Why should the kids get all the fun? There are some real camps out there where grownups can spend a week and learn something new.
The Rockin’ R Ranch in Antimony, Utah, operates three cattle drives each summer and lets paying guests come along for the ride. For four days, campers on horseback drive cattle through prairies and mountain ranges, sleeping under the stars at night. (Cost: $1,495)
At Camp Winnarainbow in Laytonville, California, adult campers spend six days learning clowning, improvisation, juggling, tightrope walking, magic tricks, how to walk on stilts, and how to ride a unicycle—everything a clown worth his red nose knows how to do. (Cost: $675)
If you’ve always yearned to be a sideshow freak, here’s your chance. Sideshow School is a four-day course on bizarre skills and talents, held at historic Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. Among the courses: fire eating, snake charming, sword swallowing, and glass walking. (Cost: $1000)
Are you prepared for the zombie apocalypse? Should that unlikely event arise, a weekend at the Zombie Survival Course camp in southern New Jersey, about 60 minutes outside of Philadelphia, will teach you everything you need to know. Among the staff are firearm instructors, martial artists, personal trainers, and survival experts who will show you how to store emergency supplies. Camp owner Mark Scelza says he’ll even teach you “how to hot-wire a car.” (Cost: $425)
The Weeki Wachee resort in Spring Hill, Florida, was a popular (if cheesy) tourist destination in the 1960s and ’70s. One of its most famous attractions was its “mermaids”—women dressed as mermaids who swam around all day in giant tanks. The resort is still open, and one of its attractions now is Sirens of the Deep Mermaid Camp, where campers receive two days of classes in underwater ballet. (Cost: $350)
Good old-fashioned summer camp
When you think “summer camp,” YMCA Camp Chief Ouray has a program that’s probably exactly what you have in mind. Like the classic summer camps of your youth, this camp has beds in cabins, horseback riding, canoeing, swimming, archery, arts and crafts, and campfires, all against the backdrop of the Colorado River Valley. No one under 50 allowed. (Cost: $300)
Read more in Uncle John’s Perpetually Pleasing Bathroom Reader.