Camp No Counselors…..Let’s fucking do this. For once in my life I am kinda at a loss of words. I tried to write this story on the plane but between the hangover and spawn of Satan ringing the stewardess bell over and over, I wasn’t particularly inspired. A couple weeks ago I spent 3 nights in Austin, Texas. Kinda. I flew into Austin, Texas and then hopped on a bus full of soon-to-be drunk coeds. No, this wasn’t a weird sorority initiation. In fact at 25, I may have been one of the youngest people there. Where the fuck was I going? CAMP NO COUNSELORS BABY. The brainchild of two 30 something friends who after setting up a fun weekend away with a few buddies, saw it take off into a 90 person event. One episode of Shark Tank later and Camp No Counselors has taken off with 13 camp locations statewide and even a few in Oh Canada!
Now, what possessed me to think this would be a good idea? Besides the sick Thrillist video that has been splashed over Facebook, and being overly tenacious when it comes to slaughtering at Capture the Flag, I had NO idea what I was getting into. My version of camping is forgetting to bring my own pillow to The Fairmont. Sharing a 15 person bunk with complete strangers? I would be asking myself if I had woken up in with my spleen removed in a hostel. Like all of my weird ideas, I start to regret them only a few hours in. There was the time I went to Valencia for La Tomatina and was almost trampled to death while the acidity of tomato juice burned my corneas. The time I willingly signed up for a group travel trip to The Phillippines and was so disturbed by my fellow Albertan’s rednecky behavior that I paid $1500 to get the hell outta there and get a flight home. With CNC (that’s what the cool kids call it) the feelings of what the fuck have I done, came in at about Hour 1 of the bus ride when a sweet little blonde girl asked for a cooler and announced to the bus “I’m REAL country I WILL Pee in anything”.
We arrived at camp at around 10 PM and went to our respective bunks which were surprisingly really nice. Things were looking up. Private shower, his and hers sinks, and even the toilet was separated from the rest. There was a bit of a kick-off party and I looked around to see what I was working with. First off I need to tell everyone that I prepped for this camp. I take my bikini season seriously. Meaning I ate lettuce, and drank egg whites for 2 weeks to get in shape for this. Followed by an overpriced spray tan because if you can’t tone it, tan it. For some reason, I envisioned 21-year-old Texan debutantes in their teeny bikinis flocking around all weekend. Maybe the lighting wasn’t so great but lucky for me all I saw was a bunch of normal, but lovely, and dare I say approaching mid-age people. So basically I starved myself for nothing. The next morning I headed to the dining hall, got some coffee and allowed the feelings of social anxiety to work their magic. People had begun to sign up for the weekend’s activities ranging from the Infamous Blob to Kickball to Yoga. While finishing lunch someone came up to our table and asked if we had heard about “the guy”. You know the guy who got so wasted the night before that he pissed in someone’s suitcase. Oh ya, that “guy”.
It was 10 am and the alcohol was already flowing and I looked around to get a better sense of WHO these people were. What I’d find out was that the majority of people here had been before. This wasn’t their first rodeo 😉 Most weren’t even from Texas, and had come from around the country meeting up with friends for their annual camp reunion. It was kinda sweet. The big rule at camp. is to not talk about work. So when we were going on The Friendship Walk getting to know each other, fun questions were asked instead. “Would you rather have time or money” Time won’t buy me a Birkin. My personal favorite was “Tell us your best pick-up line” to which one girl shouted, “HEY, Wanna fuck?” I can’t make this stuff up.
Throughout the weekend I took advantage of people’s drunkenness mixed with my Canadian charm to figure out what these people did for a living. Call it research, but I refused to believe all these people were, in fact, the cast of Wet Hot American Summer. Although I did meet a Hollywood Actor who had been to 2 other camps, a nurse, police officer, teacher, former Playboy Bunny, and many a people who traded their business suits for cut offs and beer stained t-shirts for the weekend. I didn’t get it. But then I did.
Slowly my attitude began to shift, I don’t think I was aware of when or how, maybe it was the energy of my fellow campers mixed with the taste of warm Shocktop, or maybe it was the camp’s weird chlorine infused lake water they served us, but I started to get into it. The second-night party theme was pajama, and I wore a cute lil’ ensemble with my hair in pigtails. Camp people take their theme parties seriously. There was one guy who came dressed head to toe as Silence of the Lambs – Buffalo Bill, with lotion, pail, small stuffed dog, nipple rings and his dick tucked between his legs! The former Playboy bunny? She rocked a bejeweled thong ensemble with fuzzy kitten heels. People don’t fuck around when it comes to theme parties.
The last day/night of camp was like a revelation. We had been put into color teams and would go through something called The Apache Relay, 4 teams of 50 people would battle it out for camp glory. What you need to realize is that I have NO CHILL when it comes to wide games. Unlike my fellow camper, I hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol all day to get ready for this! I was hydrating like a mother fucker. Long story short, I killed it in the 3 legged race with Lexi a cross fitter who I scoped out from Day 1. Mama don’t play when it comes to childhood sport! Obviously, we killed it and laughed as the guys beside us fell flat on their faces. The end of the relay is finished on a slip and slide and staying true to CNC fashion there is a game of flip cup at the end. I passed on the slip and slide because grass up the VAG isn’t a good look and I snuck back to the cabin to prepare for the final theme party of the weekend. Dressed in my loosest version of a female Robin Hood, I went out for one last Hoorah.
The final night at all CNC camps ends with a Talent Show. It was fun to see my fellow campers show off a talent greater than killing it at beer pong. After some sentiment, it was time to get turnt. And turnt did I get. Without going into too much gory detail, I returned to my cabin at the wee hours of 4 am… pantiless, and with the modern day version of leprosy growing on my left foot. Did I do camp right, guys?
Final thoughts? CAMP WAS FUN!! Camp No Counselors- Come with an open mind. Once you get over the initial shock of what you are about to embark on for the next few days..you will build memories you will want to relive over and over. Despite my initial thoughts and impressions, I left camp feeling pretty damn good but also with a sense of loss. Numbers and Facebook accounts were exchanged but being a well-seasoned traveler I know better than to think I will see many of these people again. I feel kinda sad about it. We all shared something that weekend, whether it was winning at Capture The Flag (go green team), dancing to Shape of You, or swapping bodily fluids…. deep connections were made. Real deep.
CNC allowed everyone to be and to do what they wanted (although pissing in suitcases is frowned upon). If you wanted to lay by the lake all day, relive the childhood dream of not being picked last for dodgeball, or hook up with a cowboy from Tennesse you totally could. CNC is whatever you want to make it, and I kinda like keeping my options open.
*The former “Austin” camp has now been moved to a new sweet location nearby!
Would you go to an All Adult Summer Camp? If you did, what would terrify/excite you the most..