written by:
July 6, 2013
If reminiscing about summer camp gives you all-too-vivid memories of DEET-laced bug juice and failed make outs, you’re due for an attitude adjustment—for design-minded travelers, these nostalgic and outdoorsy getaways are right on target (insert archery joke here).

Two hours northwest of Chicago in southern Wisconsin, Wandawega Lake Resort is your best chance at re-living those memories from Bunk 12—only probably much better. The major undertaking of ad world executives and husband and wife team David Hernandez and Tereasa Surrat, the camp was a Latvian Catholic summer retreat until they took ownership several years ago. These days, after some major sprucing-up, including renovating the private cottages, building boy scout-reminiscent tents, and raising an enviable modernist tree house, the lake front property has become a magnet for urban creatives.

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For those who love the open road—and have had RV dreams squelched by gas prices—L.A.-based Happier Campers has certainly got a solution; in fact, they’ve got an entire fleet. 

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Each of their restored, vintage, ultra-light trailers are stylish, cute-as-could-be, and light enough for almost any car to easily tow one to the farthest reaches of the state.

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Marfa’s El Cosmico offers “temporary liberation from the built world” with its 18-acre “motel” consisting of teepees, trailers and tents. Showers are communal (as are the frequent on-site performances and happenings) but the whole place is so well designed you’d never care. Quiet hours start at 11pm and only friendly canines are welcome, adding to the laid-back but artfully respectful vibe that permeates the much-loved West Texas town.

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Unique Camp isn’t just in it for the aesthetics (OK, maybe a little bit)—they’ve created an adult camp weekend that aims to recreate those whimsical, inspiring and formative experiences carried along from childhood.

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Plus, there’s a ropes courses and more!

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Still in its first year, the four-day camp was founded by the team behind maker fair. Unique is a chance for small business owners to unplug and learn both from their peers and from a highly-selective group of instructors.

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Extra-luxurious camping company Shelter Co. is a good fit “for the adventurer who has everything except a cure for wanderlust.” The team of expert tent-pitchers and world-makers will set up your site for a weekend or event as picturesque as it is well curated. 

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Each of the canvas tents is a temporary home to full-sized real beds, vintage lounge seating, rugs, and lighting. Meanwhile, they’ll add bar set-ups, children’s activities or a stocked library depending on clients’ leisure priorities.

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wandawega

Two hours northwest of Chicago in southern Wisconsin, Wandawega Lake Resort is your best chance at re-living those memories from Bunk 12—only probably much better. The major undertaking of ad world executives and husband and wife team David Hernandez and Tereasa Surrat, the camp was a Latvian Catholic summer retreat until they took ownership several years ago. These days, after some major sprucing-up, including renovating the private cottages, building boy scout-reminiscent tents, and raising an enviable modernist tree house, the lake front property has become a magnet for urban creatives.

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