19 reasons grown up summer camp is the vacation you didn't know you needed.

Cameron McCoy is a 41-year-old higher-education worker who recently decided he needed a break.

"We really live in work-life integration," he told Upworthy. "There's no such thing as balance anymore."

So he decided to do something that might sound a little unusual: He went to adult summer camp.


Photo via Camp No Counselors, used with permission.

A million people in the U.S. go to adult summer camps every year, putting down their cellphones and turning to archery, water sports, and, depending on which camp they attend, a few cocktails to rediscover a world of few responsibilities.

"[Adult summer camp] was an opportunity to not have any technology with me," Cameron explained. "To not be concerned about time. Really, just to get more centered and to spend some time with other people going through the same situation."

Here are 19 reasons why summer camp for grown-ups totally rocks:

1. The first rule of summer camp: There will be dance parties.

Photo via Camp Grounded, used with permission.

2. And there's no age limit! Because you're never too old for a limbo competition.


Photo via Camp Grounded, used with permission.

3. You can go alone or with friends. It's all good.

Photo via Soul Camp, used with permission.

4. A lot of camps are strictly phones down. Or, at the very least, they have terrible service.

Photo via Camp Grounded, used with permission.

5. That's just part of what makes them so great.

"It's a disconnection from work and our phones and technology. It forces people to get out of their comfort zones," Adam Tichauer, founder of Camp No Counselors, told Upworthy. "When you see people in line for the bathroom, they're actually talking to each other."

Photo via Camp No Counselors, used with permission.

6. The science backs it up: Going away to camp is probably a really good thing for your mental health.

Researchers at Kansas State University found that having strict nonworking time or "psychological detachment" can be just the thing we need to keep from burning out. At a resort with great cell service and free Wi-Fi, the temptation to "just check in" can be pretty strong. At adult summer camp, most campers leave their phones in their bunk (if they're allowed to even use it at all).

And when you're finally ready to get back to the grind? You'll probably be a little more productive after unplugging for a few days.

Photo via Camp No Counselors, used with permission.

7. For Paige, a 29-year-old from L.A. (who is usually a total beach-bum), camp was a chance to relive one of her favorite childhood memories.

She went to sleepaway camp pretty much every year as a kid and thinks the grown-up version is just as good.

"I met this one girl [at adult summer camp], and we just started walking around to all the different bunks, because that's what you did as a kid," she said. "But all the bunks were empty. Everyone was out doing stuff. That was awesome to see."

Paige, Slip 'N Slide champ. Photo used with permission.

8. Other campers, like 37-year-old Jennifer, are making up for lost time.

Jennifer and her new friends at Camp No Counselors. She's the one holding the flag! Photo used with permission.

"I had never been to summer camp as a kid. I had never even heard of capture the flag before. Now I love capture the flag, and I'm actually good at it!" she said, adding that she likes adult summer camp because it's hard to make friends as an adult.

At adult summer camp, however, she says, "That's kind of the point of going."

She's been twice now and is ready to go back next summer.

9. Some camps have booze on hand to help folks relax, but there are plenty of options out there for all different kinds of campers.

Photo via Soul Camp, used with permission.

10. Most camps have dance-offs, lip-sync battles, talent shows, and other camper-led performances (if you're bold enough to join in).

Photo via Soul Camp, used with permission.

11. But one of the biggest draws is that these camps are a rare chance to really connect with total strangers.


Photo via Camp Grounded, used with permission.

12. Seriously — with total strangers! Holding hands! You won't find connections like these at an all-inclusive resort.

Photo via Soul Camp, used with permission.

13. Who you are and what you do for a living don't matter at adult summer camp. The fact that hardly anyone knows each other is kind of the point, according to camper Shelby Walsh.

Most of the year, Walsh is the very-important vice president of an online trend community. But for a few days, in the summer, at least, she was just Shelby.

"You're not allowed to talk about what you do," Walsh told Upworthy. She says there were a lot of young professionals there, but tubing, archery, and arts and crafts took priority over networking.

And perhaps most importantly? "I would definitely do it again."

Shelby (middle), on '70s theme party night. Photo used with permission.

14. At some camps, attendees are asked to take nicknames.

"It's part of letting your real life go," McCoy says, though he was skeptical of the request at first.

"Some people felt more comfortable that way. It wasn't about status or class or where you came from after that. Some people, you never even knew their real name."

Photo via Camp Grounded, used with permission.

15. Who wouldn't want to take a break from work to do this?


Photo via Camp Grounded, used with permission.

(I don't know what it is, but it looks fun).

16. Think about it — when was the last time you did arts and crafts (without your kids totally taking over)?

Photo via Camp Grounded, used with permission.

17. Of course, it wouldn't be summer camp without magnificent campfires.

Photo via Soul Camp, used with permission.

18. Like all things, though, camp has to end eventually. Going back to the real world is no fun.

"I wasn't in a hurry to get back. I wasn't eager to pick up my phone again," McCoy said. "But I was a lot more relaxed about my life when I left than when I got there."

Photo via Camp Grounded, used with permission.

19. The best part? Grown-up summer camp is a pretty affordable way to unwind.

Most camps run a couple hundred bucks for three days of lodging, food, and drinks; though your travel to and from the camp isn't covered.

And not only that, but the costs are totally fixed. Tichauer says a lot of the folks who sign up for Camp No Counselors do so because "it’s a simple turnkey weekend. You pay your money, you show up, and we have everything planned. Lodging, meals, activities, the potential for future friends. Everything."

Photo via Camp Grounded used with permission.

So there you have it. Adult summer camp is great! But it's certainly not the only way to disconnect with adult responsibilities and feel like a kid again.

You don't have to zoom down a Slip 'N Slide or wipe out on a wakeboard if that's not your thing. Camp is about making new friends, unplugging from technology, and trying new things.

With a little effort, we could all make a little more room for those things in our busy lives.

True


Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

Photo by Tod Perry

The first few months after having a newborn are seriously stressful. It's tough to get any sleep and your entire schedule revolves around the needs of the baby.

It's expensive, too! It seems like you're constantly shelling out $25 for a box of diapers and $40 for a can of formula.

So it's understandable that a Facebook user who goes by the name of Chris Blaze asked for a deal when buying a Samsung washer and dryer set of a guy named Dave he met online.

Keep Reading Show less