America's Best Learning Vacations
© Courtesy of Weaving in Beauty LLC
Head to camp this summer to learn a craft from a creative master.
Instead of spending your vacation sitting on a beach, reading a book, why not spend a week at a creative camp and write it yourself? “Fantasy camps” and “boot camps” exist for every form of creativity under the sun.
These peak experiences are a safe place to explore the boundaries of long-cherished creative dreams, or just to scratch off the line item (“write an amazing poem,” “sing on Broadway,” “play a riff with Roger Daltrey”) from your bucket list.
While the word camp denotes a specific kind of place, vacations with an artistic edge don’t have to be set in a physical “camping” space. Luxury hotels, cruise staterooms and five-star meals with celebrity guest artists are more common adult creative camping experiences than log cabins and s’mores. Hotels and resorts have been taking note. Many are adding “artists-in-residence,” who not only pursue their own art on the property but teach and mentor guests as well. Cruise lines, too, are adding programs that expand on board experiences to include creative encounters with authors, artists, art experts and performers.
Lauren Class Schneider, founder of the recently debuted Broadway Fantasy camp, says creative camps are trending right now because “adults are on a merry-go-round caring for aging parents, careers, kids. These experiences give vacationers a chance to be a kid again themselves. Who wouldn’t want that?” Schneider also believes that uncertain times inspire the desire to splurge, indulge and celebrate. “We don’t know what tomorrow may bring, so carpe diem!”
Although many peak creative vacation experiences focus on fine arts like writing, music and stagecraft, vacationers can choose from a broad range of other creative disciplines, including culinary arts, folk art and art appreciation. All it takes is a taste for adventure and a willingness to step into the spotlight.
Gretchen Kelly specializes in film-inspired travel (or “set-jetting”), wine- and culturally-inspired journeys, and pilgrimages of all types for publications like the New York Daily News, Interior Design, Elledecor.com.