Saturday, June 22, 2024

Let’s go back to Summer Camp!

Since 1997, ‘Camp’ Camp – America’s premier summer camp for LGBT adults – has offered a fun and distinctive vacation for the gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender community.

Structured just like the sleep-away summer camp that you remember from when you were young(er), Camp offers a full program of great outdoor, athletic, and arts & crafts activities along with a variety of entertaining evening social events. Located in scenic southwestern Maine, ‘Camp’ Camp is the perfect alternative vacation for adventurous members of the LGBTQ community looking for a unique vacation option beyond the usual gay cruise or resort. It’s been said by previous campers that  ‘Camp’ Camp is the best time ever!

A week at Camp includes all activities, meals and accommodations – plus, all the new friends you can handle! With a wide variety of traditional summer activities such as mountain biking, pottery, hiking, lake swimming, sailing, stained glass, canoeing, and softball – along with offerings geared towards adult clientele such as Broadway dance and figure drawing – you’re sure to find something to keep you active and challenged, returning home relaxed and renewed.  Camp is the perfect place to rediscover the kid in yourself – and maybe even discover the athlete or artist you didn’t know you were.

Accommodations are rustic, but comfortable: cabins with bunks, electricity, and attached bathrooms with private shower stalls, shared by groups of 5-20 men or women along with one gender-neutral/co-ed option.  While the cabins are indeed camp-like, the food is not: the professional chef makes a special effort to make all the food plentiful, healthy, and delicious with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients.

Camp Cabins by Cheryl Colombo

Each year, Camp is typically attended by over 200 men and women, ranging in age from 21 to their 70s.  While the majority of Campers have historically come from the Northeastern U.S., we regularly welcome Campers from as far away as California, Georgia, Washington, Illinois, Michigan, and Arizona, along with international vacationers from British Columbia, Ontario, and the U.K.

Once you go to Camp, you’ll probably want to go back. About 75% of people who come to Camp return for at least one more year, if not two or three or more.  In fact, in 2016, over 45% of the Campers & Staff had been going for five years or more.

Since its inception, Camp has grown into a community of people – people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, or somewhere in between – who enjoy a variety of social, athletic and cultural activities together throughout the year. 

Opening Circle Greeting by Jes Quesada

“Most people are a little overwhelmed at first by the number of activities they have to choose from for this price”, says Owner/ Director Kerry Riffle.

“Campers can fill their days with as much or as little as they like, then end their day at a fun social event that evening. In between, they enjoy three fresh, delicious meals each day, prepared by a team of professional chefs – not a traditional summer camp menu at all. People obviously expect to have fun, but many first-time Campers tell us they are surprised at just how much fun they actually have.”

Owner/Associate Director Betsy Orr thinks the number of people who make Camp their annual vacation destination is proof of what an incredibly fun and unique experience it can to relive (or finally to experience) summer camp as an adult. “Each year, around 75% of the people at Camp have vacationed with us before. In fact, in 2017, over 40% of our attendees had been with us for five years or more. How many gay cruises or LGBT resorts can boast that kind of annual return rate?” asks Orr.

Barn Dance – Cheryl Colombo

If you are simply looking for a fun and unique one-time vacation – or if you looking for an ongoing community of fun and friendly LGBT men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and interests – ‘Camp’ Camp is for you. 

In addition, there is a fee schedule that fits just about every budget, thanks to the unique Staff Program.  About half the people who attend Camp each year do so as part of our Staff and pay reduced fees in exchange for working at Camp.  Head to the website link here for the ‘join our staff’ page which explains the staff program in detail and includes a list of available positions and a convenient online staff application form.

Recognizing that community is a large part of the Camp experience, Camp’s owners have added community outreach measures to their business model in the past few years. Along with their ‘Camp Gives Back’ program where a portion of their Camp Store profits are donated to a different LGBTQ organization each summer, they are now making their Best Time Ever Giveaway an annual opportunity for one lucky person who has never experienced Camp before to win a free week. Entries for the contest will be accepted throughout the month of May, and the winner announced on June 1. Complete details can be found here.

For more details and sign up forms, head to:

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One thought on “Let’s go back to Summer Camp!

  • I went to Camp Camp for the first time last year with my partner. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really felt like a kid again! I tried the adventure course, built a model rocket that really flew; tied dyed 2 tshirts, learned to play guitar and went to my first barn dance! I played games, canoed, swam and loved the lip sync show, the movie night dressup and I got to fave fun with all these amazing people who came from all parts of the country and the world. I have been to womens music festivals and to womens week in Ptown but this… this was the best!! Its community!!! And I can’t wait to go back in August to be with my new friends and family!… There is nothing like Camp Camp!


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