These summer camp inspired date ideas will put the “play” back into summer dating. Who knows? Maybe your summer date will turn out to be your camp crush.
Summer is magic. It takes us back to our youth when we ran through the sand to dive into the surf or when we jumped through the sprinkler in our front yard to reach a rainbow on the other side. Maybe we were bicycling through the neighborhood in search of the ice cream truck; maybe we spent time at summer camp, at the shore or in the mountains.
No matter where we were, the adventures we had made us feel free and happy. We welcomed dirty hands and skinned knees, because we played as kids do…with authentic joy pouring from our hearts.
Then we got older and took on responsibilities—that lasted all year long—so the three months of summer became a little less magical. We had to pay bills, take out the trash and pull weeds. We didn’t get three months off from work to enjoy sand castles or diving boards or water ice. We just did our grind, never realizing that the seasons had shifted.
What if we took summer back, no matter our ages, our careers or our incomes? What if we embraced the playful nature of summer regardless of our routines and our responsibilities? What if we put play back into summer dating? It’s supposed to be fun, so dating is the perfect situation to get our summer camp on! I invite you to add a dash of camp to your summer dating experience with these 10 summer camp inspired date ideas:
1. Pack your favorite board games and then pick up a couple of smoothies and grilled cheese sandwiches. Head to a place that houses great picnic benches so you can snack and play while watching the sun go down.
2. Walk around your town’s version of Main Street and leave anonymous kind notes for people in random places such as coffee shops, libraries or grocery stores.
3. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a fire pit, make s’mores and sing campfire songs while you do. Hopefully it will get just chilly enough to share a blanket!
4. Enjoy a digital detox and leave your phones at home while you celebrate your town as a tourist–with an analog camera! (Be sure to develop the film before your next date, so you can make a scrapbook together.)
5. Dress up in all your finest flair and go somewhere beautiful such as a museum or a public garden. Take spontaneous photos of each other and then share the photos over ice cream sandwiches.
6. Create a vision board together using old magazines. This is great fun and it will also reveal how compatible you are for the future. Bonus!
7. Paint each other’s faces, dress up in your favorite retro clothing and play your favorite records. Be sure to get close during the slow dances!
8. Stop at the local art supply store to pick up mini paints, brushes, eyes, glue and pom poms. Head out on the hiking trail to scout out some really great rocks. When you’ve collected ones you love, spread out a blanket and decorate them to create your own pet rock family!
9. Play improv games such as “yes, and…” to create fantasy adventures or “because of that…” to get to know each other on a much deeper level.
10. If things are going well, pitch a tent in the back yard and go camping! Share ghost stories while shining a flashlight under the storyteller’s chin to add to the spookiness! Once you’re good and scared, it’s time to cuddle.
If you need even more ideas, then check out the URJ Camps Pinterest page showcasing summer camp activities.
It might be possible to have a different camp themed date for each day of summer!
Maybe, just maybe, with a little camp inspiration on your adventure, your date will turn into your camp crush. Who knows what might happen when summer ends…
“Mom, camping is not a date; it’s an endurance test. If you can survive camping with someone, you should marry them on the way home.”―Yvonne Prinz, The Vinyl Princess
[image: via Arup Malakar on flickr]