Further Down the Road: Camps for Adults

Continue your educational road trip with a stop at a summer camp for adults. If you are looking for a more structured educational experience than the conference experience featured in this blog last week, this may be the type of event for you.

Conferences may feature several educational events simultaneously, causing the attendee to have to choose between what could be two or more events that they wish to attend. They may include time for short trips to visit the surrounding area, but leave it up to the attendee to plan the excursion. Meals and other expenses may or may not be included in the cost of registration and the cost of the hotel is usually negotiated separately.

Town and Country Magazine published a list of just some of the summer camps in the U.S. in May 2018. These camps immerse the attendee with experiences geared specifically toward the topic at hand. These topics include photography, gardening, music, cooking/culinary, nature, sports, equestrian, winemaking and craft brewing. If you are interested in it, there is a good chance that you will find a camp ready to immerse you in it.

The camp experience usually maps out a schedule for the attendee which may also include trips outside of the camp environment to experience area attractions, or other activities within the camp environment to unwind after a long day. Some of those may be related to the camp in some way, but often, they are opportunities to be a tourist.

Julie Baxes of Littleton, Colorado, plays the trumpet and has attended Jazz Camp in Warwick, Rhode Island, on three occasions. In addition to the immersive experience of the camp, she enjoyed the concerts put on each evening by the professional musicians on the staff.

“I loved the fact that we rehearsed five and a half hours a day between a sectional and two big band rehearsals,” she said. “The camp was staffed with highly experienced pro-players/educators who were positive and encouraging. The constant immersion facilitated rapid learning and was truly wonderful.”

Jazz Camp rehearsal. Photo by Harold Crane
Jazz Camp rehearsal. Photo by Harold Crane

Lodging and food are more often included in the cost of the package than for a conference so the upfront cost can be easier to budget. However, if you have any special dietary requests, it never hurts to double-check your food options before you arrive. Baxes found at one point that even though she was assured there would be vegetarian options, there was an occasion where the only vegetarian option was rice without any protein.

An expense that you may also wish to consider is airfare. That cost varies widely from season to season and location to location so be sure to figure this cost into your budget before booking your camp stay. Since she lives in Colorado, the flight time and cost is a bit more than Baxes likes.

“I may attend (Jazz Camp) again in the future, but I am also looking at other options closer to home with opportunities to possibly explore chamber music and smaller ensemble playing,” she said.

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