Remember when you counted down the days to summer vacation? Three months of hanging with your friends, and – if you were lucky – spending a week at an awesome camp. It was a chance to try a new sport (archery!) or master a new skill (diving!). But mostly, camp was a place to make new friends and connect with old pals.
You may be all grown up now, but there’s no reason you can’t be a kid again by designing your own version of summer fun.
Summer camp for grown-ups
Do you miss the cabins and bug spray of summer camp? Well, for the love of Bill Murray in “Meatballs,” there are actual adult camps out there. For example, Camp Kitigin in West Branch offers adults a screen-free, sleepover experience for a weekend in September. No smartphones, no tablets, no laptops and no Wi-Fi. Instead, you’ll find all the usual camp amenities: campfires, canoes, zip lines, fishing, rope courses and, of course, archery.
Join a dodgeball league
Adult dodgeball is a big hit. Organize your own games, or check with your local parks and recreation department to find leagues. A reminder of common rules: Start with balls at the center line, make a mad dash to get them and start throwing at the opposing team. If you hit a player with a ball, that player is out. If you catch a throw, the thrower is out, and the catcher’s team gets a player back.
Are kickball and softball more your thing? Learn more about HAP partner Come Play Detroit.
Get down and dirty in a mud run!
These events have taken on a life of their own in the past few years, and Michiganders love them! Each run has its own special charms, like swinging on ropes over mud pits, shimmying on your belly through the mud and climbing walls like a madman. Check out the Mud Run Guide to learn about several popular state mud events, including the Down & Dirty Obstacle Course.
Take a well-learned vacation
Remember, your mind needs to stay in shape, too. While some friends live for sports, others are more in tune with getting out and about. Is this the year to explore some art museums in a city for a few days? Are there a couple of friends who share a love of architecture?
Start a junk food obstacle course
Summer camp often meant getting in better shape, partly by putting a little distance between you and your refrigerator. Well, why not make a pact with your friends to eat better this summer as well?
Nick DeSantis, a personal trainer based in Shelby Township, says this could be a great chance to partner with friends.
“Keeping off fast food is vital,” he says. “And if you can’t get rid of soft drinks right away, then try to go down to diet soda. Then, get down to a noncarbonated drink. People supporting each other when it comes to health can be a good way to go. It can work for exercise classes also. When you’re in it with others, you’d be surprised at how it can help you stay on track.”
Make summer last all year
No matter which activities you choose, camp should stay with you long after you pack up your tent. Look at this summer as a break but also a chance to break through. Maybe that dodgeball game can become a monthly event. Or you and your friends can meet for a healthy meal once a week.
After all, the summer might end, but the good feeling can last all year round. Challenge yourself and have fun.