AARP Magazine - April, 2002
More Than S'mores
The pleasures of going to camp are timeless

By Beth Livermore

Summer camp is not just for kids anymore. Now, adults looking for an adventurous way to spend their time off have hundreds of opportunities to pursue every passion-active or contemplative, tennis or painting.

If you're looking for real camp, the outdoors kind, Northwaters Wilderness Program (518-962-4869; www.northwaters.com), based in Ontario, Canada, offers a one-week Sea Kayaking Trip on Lake Superior, complete with moose, a rugged coastline, clear waters, and camping. But it's not Survivor: Friendly guides help pitch the tents and prepare "wilderness gourmet" meals. All this for $895.

The Augusta Heritage Center (304-637-1350; www.augustaheritage.com), deep in West Virginia's Monogahela National Forest, runs lively music camps in the blues, Cajun, swing, bluegrass, Irish, and old-time styles, for beginners and pros alike. The best part: impromptu back-porch jam sessions by visiting legends. Tuition starts at about $375; room (in a college dorm) and board start at $280.

Guests at the Adult Research Program in Excavation of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center (800-422-8975; www.crowcanyon.org) in Cortez, Colorado, learn to dig, sift, sort, and clean artifacts. They then join experts in the southwestern desert to unearth a Pueblo village dating as far back as AD 1000. Costs start at $900 a week, which includes meals and lodgings in a modernized Navajo hogan, or hexagonal log cabin.

For those wanting to hang out with man's best friends, there's Camp Dogwood (312-458-9549; www.campdogwood.com), near Chicago. You and your dog can work-agility and obedience training, lectures-or just chill and play at the lake. The four-day program cost $400-$650, depending on the size of your inter-species party.

For more ideas, visit www.grownupcamps.com, www.campchannel.com, and www.campsearch.com.