The Summer Camp I Never Knew I Needed
I never went to sleep-away camp as a kid. My summers were always filled with trips to Cape Cod to visit family, interwoven with summer reading reports and a playing with the huge pod of kids in my neighborhood. When I was a little older, I went to an arts camp- but that was the extent of my summer life growing up. It had never occurred to me that I might be missing something until friends in my dorm the first year at university said that the first few weeks almost felt like camp growing up.
Fast forward to now: I’m a 31-year-old creative with a knack for wacky humor and capitalizing on “I’m an adult so I’ll have cake for dinner if I want to.” My professional life is such that I crave a little childhood regression, and I’m so excited that I found a full weekend where I can do just that — with an organization I already love.
I’ve been somehow connected to Wanderful for the past 18 months. A friend knew I was struggling to repatriate after my four years in Korea, and recommended that I check them out. It helped tremendously. Since that initial event, I’ve attended the Women in Travel Summit (that’s where all those Milwaukee posts came from), and eventually signed on to help coordinate the Boston chapter.
As it turns out, Wanderful is hosing their first annual Wanderfest this year in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania October 6–9. To steal their verbage, Wanderfest is “ the inaugural Wanderful annual retreat — is a new and exciting weekend adventure for savvy female travelers from around the world to gather together, share stories, and build our global Wanderful community in the spirit of adventure, sisterhood, and travel.” So basically a traveler-themed summer camp getaway for women. The idea was to create an event for those who may not feel like the Women in Travel Summit is the right fit for them, but still want to connect in-person to the Wanderful community outside of their home chapters.
It’s going to be a super fun girls weekend away- and a great way to interact with other women in the Wanderful community (and other’s who are just coming because they know its going to be a rad time). But to me, its also way more than that: its going to be a full 3 days where I can regress into childhood and live out camp life as a fully-formed “adult” and someone who can appreciate all it has to offer.
In no particular order, here are some of the things I’m most excited about:
- not needing to use my credit card for a full 3 days
- new friends
- old friends
- trail hikes
- trying yoga again
- camp fires
- crunchy leaves
- got my fingers crossed for pumpkin-flavored anything
- waking up in the mountains
- the DIY souvenir workshop
- taking advantage of things in the camp (I desperately want to learn to stand up paddle board!)
I’m not going to try to talk you into going, but I would encourage you to check out Wanderful, Wanderfest, and the Women in Travel Summit. And keep an eye on the Wanderful socials- there have been some deep discount promo codes for memberships and Wanderfest recently!
- Have you ever attended a non-travel industry traveler retreat?
- What might be another great spot for Wanderfest in 2018?
- What as your favorite camp activity as a kid?