A transformative summer camp for grown-ups
We come to camp to play.
We leave behind the trappings of grown-up-ness.
We come to camp to discover.
We give attention to the people and places around us.
We come to camp to connect. We take a breath. We take another.
Though beautifully situated with more activities available than you can imagine, Camp Wonderful is really more about what happens inside.
We’ve seen amazing things happen at summer camp: music, theater, and epic dance parties, for sure. But the most remarkable thing we witness is grown-ups going from being total strangers on the first day to becoming life-long camp friends by the end of our time together — and there’s nothing like a camp friend.
How does that happen? Simply: time spent together doing things you love. And anything could happen: swinging on a flying trapeze, canoeing to Blueberry Island to find the next treasure hunt clue, a hard hitting, competitive game of volleyball, a quiet, shady reading spot in a hammock under a tree. Anything you can dream of, Camp Wonderful has it.
We’re teaming up with truly amazing camp counselors, musicians, and program mavens to develop a powerfully inspiring experience as we build our camp community together. And we’ll do everything we can to make sure that you feel invited and included all along the way.
Dates to be announced this winter
New England - in the rolling hills of the Berkshires and the beautiful nature of the Pioneer Valley
Camp Wonderful aims to be wildly inclusive: we welcome folks of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, gender expressions, and abilities. All bodies, all curves, all curls. We will not tolerate racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, or xenophobia. All are welcome.
Furthermore, if you would like to attend camp and cannot afford the ticket price, please contact us directly and we will do whatever we can to accommodate you. Funds for lower income tickets are available but very limited.
What a wonderful day looks like
WAKE UP - Awake to the sound of your friends singing! Then head out to Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi, Morning Pages, or opt to catch a little more shut-eye.
THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY - Coffee. Bacon. Pancakes. Granola. Frosted Flakes. More Coffee.
PLAYSHOP #1 - Printmaking. Creative Writing. Slackline. Intro to Clowning. Frisbee. Pickling. And lots more.
DID SOMEBODY SAY LUNCH? - Peanut Butter & Fluff. Quinoa & Kale. Pizza. Grilled Chicken. Salad Bar. Bug Juice. Fruit Roll-ups. Iced Coffee. In short, something for everyone.
FREE TIME - Lake time. Hammock time. Pool. Hiking. Pickle Tasting. Really Deep Conversations.
PLAYSHOP #2 - Tie dye. Volleyball. Improv. Levitation. Capture The Flag. Poetry. Pickling.
A PINCH MORE FREE TIME - Shower. Hunt for bears. Spot birds. Name bugs. Find four leafed clovers. Decaf coffee.
SUPPER - Lasagna! Gluten-free lasagna! Dairy-free, gluten-free lasagna! Turnips.Tiramisu.
NIGHTLIFE - No-talent-required-but-talent-is-also-appreciated show. Campfires. Canteen snacks. Overnight hike w/ camping. Firefly tracking. All night ping pong tourney. Varsity pickling. Late night playshops. Flashlight tag. Sneaking around. Music. Tea and coffee house revelry. General merriment.
*Note: Seeing how many new friends can fit in a hammock can be substituted for any of the above :)
At Camp Wonderful, we agree to:
Leave technology behind. We'll safely store your phones, computers, mp3 players, and T1-82 graphing calculators. With these things outside of arm's reach, we can better focus on real talk, real thought, real music, and real math (just kidding, we can make a giant abacus for that).
Let go of time. There’s something timeless about being...well, timeless. The only watch you’ll have access to is that big ball of fire in the sky, but don’t worry, staff will make sure you know what's happening and when.
Play, connect, and reflect. We agree not to talk about the big W (work). Instead of ‘What do you do?’ try: ‘Have you gone on the slip ‘n slide yet?’, ‘I’d love to paint your face. Would you like some whiskers?’ or ‘Did you try those fresh donuts?!’
Embrace new names. At Camp Wonderful we go by Camp Names only — come up with your own Camp Name that points to your passions and personality — or allow our professional namers to help you find your Camp Name when you get here. Haven't you always wanted people to call you ‘Ice Cream School Bus’?
Be substance free. Camp Wonderful is a safe, no drugs and no alcohol space. As kids at camp, we were able to get weird and wonderful simply by roasting marshmallows and drinkin’ bug juice. Let's do that s'more, shall we?
Be camp-years-old. Our community is made up of of folks who are all ages, and we think it’s far more fun to compare things like cartwheels or s’more making skills than it is to compare how many times we’ve each circled around the sun. We don’t talk about work and we don’t talk about our ages, either.
Meet the Team
Ash is a writer and engineer with a preference for being outdoors, and a passion for bringing people together. Currently living out of two backpacks and via the hospitality of Airbnb hosts, Ash bounces between the foggy peaks of San Francisco, and the New England of his childhood. At camp, he's excited to get people writing creatively about their experiences.
Havenheart loves deeply, lives spaciously, cooks by smell, and is currently focused on cultivating a trusting, lifelong relationship with his heart and intuition. In his spare time (read: day job), he elegantly bends and dances with the boundaries of reality. He sees you. Yes, you. And loves what he sees. Thank you.
Smashy Smashy is a performer, teacher and rabble-rouser. She creates solo and immersive theater that she tours around the world by bicycle, also teaching physical theater and organizing creative political actions to protect the environment and for the migrant crisis. Muskrat is thrilled to join you for some play workshops that connect to your body, harness your creative impulses, and discover your dormant power and imaginary world within.
Why Not Both?
Why Not Both? is the kind of person you can talk to at any time about anything. She loves all things sportsball related, writing, and cartoons, and can often be found hanging out with her baby shark (dog) or baking cupcakes. Why Not Both? is stoked to meet you beautiful humans, jump in the lake and share some campfire joy with y'all while wearing her Cookie Monster onesie.
Ocean Potion discovered summer camp as an adult two and a half years ago, and found it life changing. She's since attended five camps at Camp Grounded, become part of an incredible community of loving humans, and is excited to share and help create that joy, aliveness, and presence as a counselor at Camp Wonderful with all you wonderful humans.
Woop Woop is a music loving, plant eating, barefoot hiking, nomadic rainbow dancing wild woman!!! She is SO excited to connect with all of you beautiful souls and pumped to share some deep belly laughs, sing some late night songs by the campfire and share some AcroYoga magical fun under the stars!
Dilly promises to see your amazingness and help YOU remember just how terrific YOU are! She's been a counselor at Camp Grounded and has led songwriting playshops at Kalani Oceanside Retreat, Sandpoint SummerFest, Camp Grounded and the Forrest Bird Charter School. She can help you write your song or show you how to make extra-gluten feather rolls that melt in your mouth.
Jonah Spear (Benefitz) Founder, Camp Director
Jonah a lifelong summer camp devotee. Read his thoughts on camp here.
He has co-directed youth camps at Rowe Camp and Conference Center, launched and co-hosted family camps at Rancho La Puerta and The Esalen Institute, and told terrible jokes, run awesome playshops, and co-conceived color wars as a counselor at Camp Grounded.
Jonah's background in theater, circus, and dance also informs his work as program director at Second Response, a humanitarian aid organization dedicated to building community resilience using somatic approaches to self regulation. Together with his father, he teaches workshops and PLAYshops to caregivers, teachers, and young people all around the world.
Molly McLeod (Ampersand) Art Director
Molly loves creating amazing experiences for people — whether it’s designing board games, helping local governments design better services for people, making zines about creativity and friendship, or organizing a summer camp! She can't wait to show you how to paint signs and spin brooms.
Randy Kohn (Falcon) Co-Founder, Director of Sales
Randy is an entrepreneur, trapeze artist and overall renaissance man from New Jersey. He had his first sleep away camp experience shortly after his parents decided his high energy personality was too much for them to handle year round. It was at French Woods Camp where he was first introduced to the flying trapeze and he spent the next 9 years as a camper and staff member.
Randy’s time at French Woods set him up for a career in circus schools and flying trapeze. Randy grew up to literally run away and join the circus, and at 24 performed a triple somersault in front of a live audience, a rare feat that only few artists have accomplished. After returning home spent the last 7 years working in sales and strategy at tech start ups. He still runs away to visit trapeze schools any chance he gets.
Letters from Camp
Stories from our counselors, staff, and campers about what camp means to us and why we're excited about Camp Wonderful.
- Jul 21, 2017 10 Ways To Bring Summer Camp Home Jul 21, 2017
- Jul 18, 2017 10 Things To Add To Your Camp Wonderful Packing List Jul 18, 2017
- Jul 14, 2017 Thoughts and Reflections from our Camp Director Jul 14, 2017
- Jul 11, 2017 Top 10 Reasons to Come to Camp Wonderful Jul 11, 2017