Adult Summer Camp. It’s a thing and definitely an experience I can’t wait to share with you. I had the pleasure of attending Camp Our Way’s Dallas event as a media guest. I spent an entire sweaty weekend being a kid again and it was pretty awesome.
Now, as much as I love being outdoors, being active, playing games and enjoying nature, I do not like camping. I am not a fan of sleeping in tents (or crappy cabins at that). I can be outside all day long, but I need a shower at the end of it and a bed to sleep in. The city girl in me requires hot water, A/C, and real toilets. Real talk.
So as I did my research to get the deets about Adult Summer Camp, I learned that it was everything you could imagine as a kid at camp. Thinks bonfires, s’mores, team games, water sports, talent shows but…. with open bar, DJs, live bands, and dance parties. Camp Our Way provides an opportunity for adults to relive their childhood summers, take a break from the hustle and bustle of home life, and enjoy a weekend filled with activities and booze. They also promised really nice cabins. The word glamping was thrown in there somewhere and I was sold.
Camp Our Way moves around quite a bit and hosts these retreats in different cities and at different camp sites. You can find them in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. For the Dallas event, I would be attending solo, without the safety blanket of a buddy and make new friends the organic way, in person. It’s a weekend long, all-inclusive retreat. The fee is usually around $500 so that includes lodging, food, alcohol, activities, and transportation. I’d leave Thursday night and come back Sunday afternoon.
Thursday Night – And so it begins
To start, all campers met at Truckyard on Lower Greenville (suitcases in tow) to enjoy a cold one and check in. We would all be shuttled to the Camp Cullen in Trinity Texas, a three hour drive toward Houston. My friend Susie O of SusieDrinks is the one person that I knew on the trip and she was a camp counselor.
Once we got to the camp grounds, it was pitch dark. We dropped off all our stuff in the super nice cabins and headed to the party. Our welcome party brought out a live band, drinking games, and plenty of booze. It was a great way to wind down the night and decompress after the long drive.
I had the option of being in an all-female cabin or a co-ed one. I was in a co-ed one and it wasn’t a problem. I was really surprised with how nice the amenities were. Grabbed myself a bunk bed, took a quick shower and PTFO’d. For whatever reason, there weren’t enough pillows or blankets. Being a camp newb, I didn’t bring any bedding with me. I was able to cop a pillow and blanket fortunately. But seriously… don’t forget to bring yours next time.
Friday kick off day one of Camp Our Way
Friday was a free for all day. After breakfast, there were sign up sheets for all the activities you wanted to do over the weekend. I didn’t want to jam pack my weekend so I signed up for 2-3 each day. There were so many to choose from. Along the way you start to see more familiar faces and naturally become friendly with people. There were about 100 adults at this event. You’re bound to make friends fast.
I started my Friday with a go at being Katniss and tried my hand at archery. I will say, I sucked at it. Ha! If I ever needed to hunt for food, I would just starve. There were YMCA volunteers at each activity to keep you safe, show you how it’s done and keep it fun.
Next, I went to the ropes course. It has such a Peter Pan meets Jungle Book feel. It was incredible to see all these people of different ages, shapes, and fitness level conquer the tower. There were three routes ranging from easy to hard. I told myself to go for the harder course. I workout… I should be able to do this…hopefully.
It was a 50 ft climb to the top with a safety harness. I was so proud of myself for making it up and in good time. There was a volunteer to help lift me down slowly and safely once I reached the top. I loved it! They called me spider monkey!
Shortly after, I went to lunch with a few friends and hung out till the next activity. The food at Camp Cullen wasn’t bad at all. Their breakfast and lunch were way better than their dinner, that’s for sure.
To conclude the afternoon activities, I attended Susie’s mixology class and learned how to make a traditional daiquiri and a whisky sour.
At the end of the day, there’s a happy hour and free time. Everything was totally optional and there weren’t any strict schedules, which I loved. In the afternoon, I took a short hike with Susie and some others for a dip in the pool. Perfect way to cool off after a hot day.
Friday was turning out to be a jam packed day, but not on purpose. Later on that night, everyone would be invited to a costume-themed dance party with a live DJ. The theme was 80’s dress.
I didn’t get a chance to figure out my costumes before the trip, but there were definitely some great costumes. I had so much fun dancing the night away from great hits from the 80s.
Saturday: Sleepy start to the day
Let’s say this was definitely a slower morning for everyone. Haha. I’m sure there were plenty people recovering from hangovers. The beauty of the retreat is being able to create your own adventure and pretty much do whatever you want.
To start my Saturday morning, I decided to head to the zip line. The hike up was all uphill, but it was still a fun ride down.
Next, I went to check out some water sports. Camp Cullen is on a lake and you had so many options. You could get on water skis, kayak, swim in the lake, or whatever you wanted. I decided a quick kayak would be perfect. The camp is catered to kids, naturally, so the water wasn’t very deep where I kayaked. I wasn’t too keen on getting into the water either. Water snakes y’all!
After a full morning and lunch, Camp Our Way asked everyone to head over to the cafeteria for the only structured part of the experience: scheduled team games and relay. Everyone was split into color teams. We all had our own Camp Our Way shirts which made it fun and competitive. We started off with some kickball and dodgeball.
But as Texas weather goes, it began to POUR and we couldn’t continue with the rest of the games. But, it was also so perfect in a way. We just played (and drank) in the rain. We did both tug of war and slip and slide. I heard mention of mud wrestling too, but you definitely didn’t catch me doing that. Ha. I’ve never seen so many adults channel their inner kid and it was so fun to watch.
Once the rain let up, I enjoyed just talking a walk around the lake and jamming out to a playlist. It was truly peaceful and liberating to not have a schedule. Also, I didn’t get any service aside from wifi in the building, so I was pretty disconnected most of the time. I’m so glad I was forced to be present.
Later that night, we enjoyed a talent show and ended with another dance party. I’m pretty sure I clocked in 20,000+ steps each day. Plenty just from dancing my butt off. Sunday morning, we headed back to Dallas after breakfast.
Overall, I had a great time. It was easy to make friends and everyone was super friendly and nice. The concept of Camp Our Way is great. It’s a great way for couples, singles, friends, bachelorette/bachelor parties, and families (over the age of 21+ of course) to enjoy a weekend of childhood nostalgia. I think it’s actually a fun place for singles to mingle too. There was plenty of that.
Next time, I’d love to come with a group of friends. I can totally see my friends and I just having the best time of our lives acting like a bunch of dorks.
This sounds AMAZING!!! I definitely need to go to this with my girls one weekend! Maybe for my 28th birthday!!!
This sounds so fun! I am with you on the camping thing though. I go with my kiddos at school for a few days and (thankfully) the teachers and I get a cabin to ourselves. 🙂
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