Send Yourself to Camp This Summer: 12 Top Learning Destinations

If you dream of building your own house, honing a craft, or taking an adventure, these top twelve learning destinations will help fill your summer calendar.

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Space Camp

You’re never too old for Space Camp! Held in late summer and early fall, weekend programs include training on astronaut simulators, hands-on spaceflight history education, and model rocket launches. To register—and take one small step toward space, contact the Adult Space Academy soon, because programs fill up quickly.

Great Lakes School of Log Building

You’ll find numerous building camps around the country from Montana to Maine, but if you are thinking of building a log cabin, consider one of the 10-day courses offered at the Great Lakes School of Log Building. With courses accommodating all skill levels, from beginners on up, students learn everything they need to know about full-scribe log construction. Remember the fun you had playing with Lincoln Logs? It’s time to play with the real ones.

WB Surf Camp

Learn the fundamentals and get stoked at WB Surf Camp, which offers learn-to-surf adventure vacations in countries including Costa Rica and the British Virgin Islands, as well as day camps on three North Carolina beaches. First and foremost, the WB Surf Camp team encourages campers to enjoy the water.

Culinary Institute of America Boot Camp

Get away from it all and indulge your passion for food at the CIA Boot Camp‘s two-, three-, four-, and five-day programs in California, Texas, and New York. With sessions that focus on such tempting topics as hors d’oeuvres, grilling and BBQ, and various regional cuisines, the Culinary Institute serves up something to suit every taste.

WoodenBoat School

For the water-loving woodworker, the WoodenBoat School in Maine offers weeklong intensives in kayaking and sailing, boatbuilding and woodworking, and marine-related crafts. The school also provides room and board, camping, or boat mooring for those looking to get a full-immersion experience.

Vershire Riding School's Adult Camp

Similar to their children’s camp, Vershire’s Adult Riding Camp teaches dressage, cross-country jumping, and stadium jumping. Additionally, this Vermont-based school provides evening programs on cross-country jumping rules, equestrian yoga, and watercolor painting. Amusements also include tennis, wine, and hors d’oeuvres . . . what more could you want!

Boulder Outdoor Survival School

For those who want to get deep into the wilderness, the Boulder Outdoor Survival School of Colorado provides myriad options for every type of adventurer—from a 28-day field course to a hunter-gatherer course that will have you giving Bear Grylls, from “Man vs. Wild,” a run for his money.

John C. Campbell Folk School

You may have a hard time choosing from the more than 860 weeklong and weekend classes offered every year at the Folk School of North Carolina. But with such a broad range of subjects, from blacksmithing to chair weaving, you’ll want to come back each week to learn a brand-new skill! 

Sundance Resort

In keeping with Sundance’s fervent commitment to the arts, their resort in New Mexico offers studio art classes and glassblowing workshops during the summer. So, in between leisurely walks and catching some rays by the pool, you can try your hand at wheel-thrown pottery or printmaking

Penland School of Crafts

Every summer, this North Carolina-based institution offers 98 one- or two-week classes in drawing, painting, photography, and printmaking, as well as courses in working with glass, iron, textiles, wood, clay, and other media. Classes generally welcome all skill levels, although some are geared towards beginners or students with expertise. The school also offers various types of lodging to accommodate different needs. 

Habitat for Humanity

While not a camp per se, Habitat for Humanity builds and repairs houses all over the world using volunteer labor and donations. With programs tailored for youth, women, and veterans, there are ways that everyone can help out and learn. Consider a short-term or long-term trip that can land you anywhere from Argentina to Jordan—or help out right here at home.

Camp Grounded and Digital Detox

As the epicenter of technology, it’s only fitting that Northern California should also play host to a technologically unfriendly retreat. Digital Detox provides an escape from electronics (not even clocks are allowed), holding retreats in Ukiah, Calif., and leading international adventures, including a recent trip to Cambodia. Their summer program, Camp Grounded, transports campers back to the 1970’s with all the traditional trappings—capture the flag, hiking, campfires, and a talent show.

For More…

If you are interested in sights to see, consider:

Vacation in a National Park

Visiting the Newly Renovated Theodore Roosevelt Memorial

Bill Clinton’s Birthplace Achieves Historic Status