I knew my transition from college into the real world would be rough. I graduated in 2009 with no job prospects, an Everest size mountain of student debt, and not a single respectable blazer in my closet. But it wasn’t until a few months later, settled into my new apartment, that a totally new fear crept over me. Eventually I would find a job and begin to pay off my debts, but who would I celebrate my successes with?

Once you become an adult the opportunities for intense bonding, the kind that forges friendships for life, are few and far between. Summer camps are the perfect example of what can happen when you throw people together and make them eat, breathe, canoe together, for a condensed period of time. Here are 5 summer camp-esque retreats for adults:

  • Entrepreness, Saya Hillman, felt that same need for bonding, which is why she created the Life of Yes Retreat, a weekend long affair that whisks 15 strangers away from the Chicago to an undisclosed cabin in Michigan for what she calls, “summer camp for adults.”
  • Camp Winnarainbow’s motto is, “it’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” The original “adult summer camp,” Camp Winnarainbow, a circus and performing arts camp, was started by hippie icon, Wavy Gravy, in 1988. The camp is located in Laytonville, CA and is for adults who have “forgotten how to lighten up and let loose.”
  • For active women who want to bond with other women over yoga, biking, and farm fresh meals, R.A.W. (Real Active Women) Retreats outside Seattle, WA, offers a unique way to decompress and relax with new found friends.
  • It’s not hard to bond over wide-open skies, gorgeous rolling hills, and a nightly campfire. Come by yourself or bring a few friends you’d like to know better to A Bar A Guest Ranch in southern Wyoming. One of the old guest ranches in the country, guests can choose several expeditions to explore the surrounding area on horseback, foot, or vehicle.
  • A unique take on the adult summer camp, Camp Unleashed, allows you to bring your dog with you to bond with other owners and pets. Choose from two camp locations, Asheville, NC or Becket, MA in the Berkshires, and spend a weekend escaping to the country to explore nature with other dog owners.

You can still have quality bonding as an adult but you have to work a little harder at it. Take some time this summer to get away from the 9-5, refresh, refocus and open yourself up to meeting new people. What ways have you connected with friends? Have you ever been on a retreat? We’d love to know!