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Unsupervised Fun At Club Getaway: A Summer Camp For Adults

Every summer, at sleepaway camps nationwide, campers bob for apples. At Club Getaway in Kent, they do it, too, with a twist. First campers drink a hard cider. Then they bob for the apples in a vat spiked with even more hard cider. By the end of the game, one and all are quite jolly.

Club Getaway is a camp for adults.

“There’s a magic in camping. It brings people together and they forge bonds through shared experiences. The foundation of all human connection is through shared experiences,” says David Schreiber, who founded Club Getaway.

Club Getaway has a lot in common with kids’ summer camp: color wars, volleyball, hikes, football games, costume contests, a pond, mountain trails, archery, trampolines. But there are differences.

There are no supervisors. “Nobody wants counselors. When a guest is here, you give him permission to have fun,” Schreiber says.

So if two people vanish together for a while, few will notice and nobody will care.

Alcohol is available: Nobody’s driving, so why not? There is an unlimited supply of artisan food — fried shrimp, make-your-own potato chips, crepes, bratwurst, Chinese food, fried chicken, steak, fish, lobster, Mexican food, salad bar, Mediterranean food, panini, pasta, and on and on — all made on the premises.

“We bring in chefs from around the world. This year we have a chef who has opened up six restaurants,” Schreiber says. “ Every weekend, depending on the theme, we have different variations.”

There is no obligation to do anything. “You can do everything. You can do nothing,” he says. “You can be super active and party and dance, or you can just sit by the lake.”

Activities include water skiing, trapeze, zipline, aerial activities, a “Geronimo jump” involving a harness, “super stunt swing,” and more.

“This year we have something new which I am calling The Beast, which is a hybrid between a ninja warrior course, a ropes course and a climbing wall,” he said.

Themes And Prices

Club Getaway’s season starts in May and runs until mid-autumn. Some weekends are standard summer-camp experiences. Others are themed: LGBT, Generation X, investors and entrepreneurs, young professionals, sports. A few weekends are set aside for whole families. One weekend focuses on movies: Camp John Waters, presided over by the irreverent filmmaker, who will be there with two of his actors, Mink Stole and Traci Lords. (Limited tickets still available for that weekend.)

For the all-adult camps, prices range from around $425 to around $700 per person, depending on which weekend, when tickets are bought and what options are. “It depends on what package they purchase. Four-person cabins are less expensive than two-person cabins. It also depends on what package of alcohol they purchase,” Schreiber said.

The hours each weekend are 5:30 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Sunday. Campers arrive and depart on their own, unless coming from New York City, when a bus service is available. Schreiber says a bus service from Hartford may be set up in the future if there is a demand.

Family weekends are less expensive per person. An average weekend attracts 200 to 300 people, Schreiber says.

Some things cost extra, including flyboarding — flying in the air over the water — or outside trips such as whitewater rafting.

Mixed Crowd

The crowd at the last weekend of the 2017 season was mixed: multiracial, a wide variety of ages, but most were in their 20s and 30s.

Nicolle Langlois of Middletown, N.J. never went to summer camp as a kid. She heard about Club Getaway and tried it first alone. Then she came back and brought friends.

“It was great to have friends, but you get along well even with people you’ve never met,” Langlois says.

Dolores London of Bushwick, Brooklyn, has been to Club Getaway nine times. “The first time I came alone, but at the end of the night you feel like you’ve been there forever,” London says. “I learned to play tennis here.”

Kelly Taranto of Patchogue, N.Y. has come for the last six years. “I doesn’t matter if you come as a single or a couple. You’ll meet people,” she said.

Some campers come in large group. “The Dream Team,” a group from Harvard Business School, filled up a couple of long tables at one lunch gathering. “The Dane Train,” all in matching shirts, posed for a group shot in one of the oversized Adirondack chairs by the pond.

All around them, campers ate, drank, goofed around, listened to loud anthem rock and the DJ stylings of “Bluto,” aka Jeffrey DiLiberato of Amityville, N.Y.

“I’ve worked cruise ships. I’ve worked spring breaks. I do bar mitzvahs. I came here to work and I fell in love with this place,” DiLiberato says. “This is a party place and I’m a party guy.”

Some of the people who come back year after year aren’t campers. They’re volunteers, who supplement the paid staff and are reimbursed with free stays at the camp as guests. On this day, David Zlotnick of Washington, Conn., scooped food at the Chinese food bar.

“I was a guest first. I came with my bike club. Then I came for a Jewish weekend, then for Halloween,” Zlotnick says. “Now I work for free and get free weekends. It doesn’t feel like work when I am helping other people.”

More information at clubgetaway.com.

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