Healthspan Blog

Long healthspans mean happy lives

Summer Camp for Grown-Ups

2nd July 2006

While the kids are away at camp this summer, I keep secretly wishing I could go back to the fun of summer camp again.  Having read an article about parents creating summer camp for their kids in their own backyard, I decided I *will* go to summer camp…summer camp for adults.  I talked a friend into joining me and we started planning our camp.  A couple other friends like the sound of it so we have a nice little group started.

I really like to hike.  I’m lucky to live close to literally hundreds of hiking trails for all levels.  Most towns and cities have interesting walks or hikes, even if they don’t top the triple digits.  One friend loves to swim, she was a competitive swimmer in high school.  Another friend is a yogi and practices yoga a few times a week.  Yet another pal has a son who is a basketball player and she has a hoop at home.  Still another is a scrapbook pro.  If you have friends that are looking for some fun or to lose a few pounds over the summer without a fad diet, reel them in.  But you can go to camp by yourself, as well.

You (and each of your friends) should make a list of:
1. Sports you know how to play (basketball, baseball, soccer, etc.)
2. Exercise activities you enjoy (elliptical, walking, hiking, weight lifting, etc.)
3. Hobbies (scrapbooking, cooking, computers, do-it-yourself, literature, photography, etc.)
4. Things you remember from camp (rowing a boat in a lake, archery, making God’s eyes, etc)
5. Six things you’d like to learn to do (for me, this was swimming beyond doggie paddle)

You’ll need to find out the schedule of your fellow campers as well.  Ideally, you and your friends will all be available and able to commit to the same schedule…be it once a week or daily. 

Now sit with a calendar and figure out what “classes” will be on which days.  Summer camp for kids usually includes two physical activities – one in the morning and one after lunch.  They also usually include a craft of some sort – maybe your group will be scrapbooking, maybe they’ll be learning to use a wood lathe.  There is usually a part of each summer camp day that includes a real-world skill; be it cooking, changing oil or chopping firewood.  Figure out who can teach a sport, exercise and hobby each day of camp. 

Once you have your schedule, make sure you’ve incorporated as many of the “things you remember” as possible. Finally, the “things you’d like to learn” can often be taught by another member of summer camp, taking a class or asking a friend’s spouse to teach you. Don’t be afraid to ask.

I love my summer camp.  I hope you’ll start a summer camp, too.

Written by Mary Smith

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