Two years ago and living in New York, Adam Tichauer organized a long weekend away with a group of almost 100 people that would switch a lightbulb on and completely change his course of action. Working for a successful tech company, the positive feedback Tichauer received and the friendships that were formed called for a winter "camp" that brought in an even larger group of 120 and ultimately sealed the deal and made Camp No Counselors an official summer camp for grown-ups. "It wasn’t just a fun party," he explained. "It was something more, everyone had the time of their life."
Now, CNC is kind of a big deal. This summer, Chicago and Nashville were added to the list with multiple weekends in all four cities quickly selling out. The LA camp, located just over an hour outside of the city at Canyon Creek, is approaching at the beginning of October but only the second weekend, October 9-12, has spots left. What to expect of an entire weekend away with strangers in coed bunks, an open bar and no counselors to tell you to turn off your lights? Don’t worry there are plenty activities to keep you out of trouble like archery, dodgeball, yoga, capture the flag and of course the Color War that features an adult-size slip-n-slide and flip cup game dubbed "The Slip-and-Flip" as the finale.
We found Tichauer, the Peter Pan to our Neverland, in between camp weekends —which is amazing in itself—and he filled us in on the weekend’s activities, camp clichés, and best make-out spot.
How did Camp No Counselors start?
It was July 4th, 2013 and I was running a tech company in New York. I was working a ton and I made a pack to myself that the next long weekend, which would be Labor Day weekend 2013, I would organize some sort of event where I would get all my friends together and get out of the city. I decided to rent a sleep away camp and had about 20 friends on board when the camp told me that I needed a minimum of 35 people in order to get exclusive use of the property. By the time the weekend came around 90 people had signed up.
What are the rules?
We don’t have any hard rules but we have two encouragements. The first encouragement is don't start any conversations with "What do you do for a living?" The second is for people to put down their phones.
What are the most common misconceptions about adult camp?
We get a lot of press about it being a booze-filled weekend. Yes, we have Bloody Marys and Mimosas at breakfast, beer and wine at lunch and a full open bar starting at happy hour but we curate the group. The group who comes to the camp is really interested in the activities that go on during the day, people aren’t just boozing all day long. It’s play like kids during the day and party like adults at night. Another misconception is that it’s an orgy. I would say it is it is definitely a unique way of meeting someone and yes people do hook up but it’s a very innocent thing too where you have to sneak behind the bunk to make out with the girl.
What camp cliché would you say is true?
The silly answer is that people, nine times out of ten, say that they had the time of their life at camp. I think that is genuinely true. People are coming away with very impactful experiences on their life.
If CNC were a movie, what movie would it be?
Wet Hot American Summer.
What should campers forget at home?
High heels and computers.
What are the top activities at the LA camp?
Definitely the Color War with a Slip-and-Flip at the end, the talent show is pretty good in LA because people are in entertainment and one of my favorite activities is archery because that doesn’t happen in real life.
What if someone just wants to watch from the sidelines?
We have a beautiful pool at the camp and encourage sunbathing and we also do arts & crafts at the pool. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure kind of weekend.
What’s spinning on the CNC playlist this summer?
"I Would do Anything for Love" by Meatloaf, "Trap Queen" by Fetty Wap and "Watch Me" by Silentó.
Angelenos love to have their picture taken, is there a photo booth?
There will be a professional photographer all weekend long and one of the arts & crafts activities is to design a huge step and repeat backdrop and the photographer takes photos of people there in their costumes.
Really though, where do you hide the counselors?
No counselors. No counselors.