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Six Summer Camps That’ll Blow Your Mind


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(NEW YORK) — Capture the flag is so last summer.

Now summer camps are getting hyper-specialized, and they’re not all for kids.

A Burlington, Massachusetts-based Zombie summer camp has both day and overnight options, where campers learn biology, environmental sciences and conservation under the guise of defending “land of Sidleterra, their source of adventure, life and resources.” The camp has archaeologists and historians on staff who teach the kids about civilizations from real-world history, literature and mythology. Team building and life skills are taught while learning “to infiltrate the zombie’s lair.”

If your little one is more tea party host than zombie host, a camp in London, England, promises “an alternative summer camp experience for those seeking something more elegant than the usual cabins and campfires.” Called “Princess Prep,” the seven-night sleep away camp includes daily etiquette lessons, tea at Kensington Palace, horse riding at Hyde Park, visit to the crown jewels and Buckingham Palace and more. The program is for 7- to 9-year-old girls.

If your kid is jumping off tables and swinging from the light fixtures, it’s time for stunt-double training. Pali Adventures Hollywood Stunt Camp for teens is near Los Angeles and is taught by professional Hollywood stuntmen who teach everything from shoulder rolls to high falls. Your teen can expect to — safely — learn hand-to-hand combat, swordplay techniques and how to choreograph a fight scene. The company also runs fashion camps, magic camp, movie make up camp, rock star and secret agent camps.

East Coast-based secret agent wannabes might enjoy the spy camp in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. The Spy Camp at Camp Lohikan incorporates lots of “typical” camp activities. Camp description reads: “Agents receive training in martial arts, code breaking, surveillance techniques and undercover maneuvers. Then we move on to the ATV four-wheelers to train our agents in safe evasive driving techniques … which might be necessary if a mission requires a quick getaway! Additional training on our high and low ropes course prepares our recruits for those harrowing high altitude missions. Then it’s over to the water for training in the operation of jet skis.”

Parents who wish their over scheduled kids could learn a simpler way of life should check out the Plantation Farm Camp on 500 acres in California’s Sonoma Valley, less than two miles from the Pacific Ocean. Along with animal care and produce planting, kids will get all the typical camp activities like swimming, horse back riding, star gazing and more. There’s even a three-day, three-night abbreviated version for families who wish to experience summer camp together.

But parents — any adult — who wants to experience camp the way they did (sort of) when they were teens might want to sign themselves for Soul Camp, an adult sleep away camp. “Campers” (who must be aged 21 or older) participate in a range of activities spanning from yoga, meditation, dance, astrology and numerology, bootcamps, arts and crafts, and more. Each camp features a speaker series from wellness experts and thought leaders from around the nation. There are two locations: Soul Camp East, located at Camp Towanda in the Pocono Mountains and Soul Cap West is located at Wonder Valley in the Sierra-Nevada mountain range.

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