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Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez. Courtesy of Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.

Summer Camp Isn’t Just For Kids Anymore

It’s hard to deny the nostalgia when you drop off your kid at summer camp. Just because you’ve got a 401(k), though, doesn’t mean you can’t go back to camp yourself. Forget tug-of-war: These four Colorado getaways come with grown-up perks.

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Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in our June 2016 issue. This version was fact-checked and updated (where possible) with current information for the 2017 edition of 5280 Traveler.


For the Indiana Jones Wannabe
Archaeology Research Program: September 3 to 9, September 10 to 16, or October 1 to 7
$1,425–$1,720

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There’s no better way to prepare for the newest installment of the Indiana Jones series (ICYMI: Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford are teaming up again) than going on your own archaeological excursion in southwest Colorado. An authentic Navajo-style dwelling at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez serves as home for a week of discovery. After a primer on Ancestral Puebloan history and the kinds of artifacts you might unearth, you’ll spend the next three days alongside the pros at excavation sites and in the research lab, uncovering and cataloging everything from pottery to tools that date back as far as the seventh century. Camp closes with a trip to Mesa Verde National Park for a ranger-guided tour.

Cattle-Roundup-Camp
Cattle Round-Up Camp. Courtesy of Vista Verde Ranch.

For the Outdoorsperson
Cattle Round-Up Camp: Any week from September 3 to October 1
$3,695–$4,195

A trip to Rockmount Ranch Wear is in order for new boots, a hat, and maybe some spurs—for decoration only—before you mosey into this adults-only cowboy camp north of Steamboat Springs. In the space of a single week packed with hands-on clinics, wranglers at Vista Verde Guest Ranch will teach you how to be more comfortable in the saddle and how to herd cattle. (Tip: Don’t ride straight at the animals or they’ll scatter.) Then you’ll put your knowledge to the test during a daylong search across 16,000 acres to find wandering cows.

For The Country Club Crowd

Broadmoor-Tennis
The Broadmoor Wine Tasting, Cooking, and Tennis Camp. Courtesy of The Broadmoor.

Wine Tasting, Cooking & Tennis Camp: September 8 to 10
$795–$1,395

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Dust off your racket (and your wine glasses) for this luxurious retreat at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Each day, a three-hour tennis lesson is paired with a variety of leisure activities: a private wine tasting with a Broadmoor sommelier, a farm-to-table lunch at the Broadmoor Farms greenhouse, or an elegant breakfast served courtside. But sign up early: Space is limited, and regulars have been returning to this camp for years.

Camp-Mile-High
Camp Play Mile High. Courtesy of Easter Seals Colorado Lodge.

For Those Who Do Want Tug-of-War
Camp Play Mile High: August 11 to 13
$300–$350

This throwback weekend at Empire’s Rocky Mountain Village camp, near the base of Berthoud Pass, starts when you toss your backpack on a cabin bunk and meet your team. Between hiking in the morning and s’mores around the campfire at night, you’ll spend the weekend competing against other squads in classic events like kickball, capture the flag, and, yes, tug-of-war. But instead of sneaking sips of Coors Light behind the counselors’ cabin once the games are done, winners (and losers) toast with Shock Tops after each day of competition.

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