If parents went to summer camp

Guest columnist Tanika Davis imagines that summer camp for parents would be heavy on naps, carbs and decluttering.
Guest columnist Tanika Davis imagines that summer camp for parents would be heavy on naps, carbs and decluttering. (Jeffrey F. Bill / Baltimore Sun)

Summer has arrived! After 14 months of winter and three days of spring, the temperatures have hit blistering, and the humidity is hanging over us like a mushroom cloud.

It also means that I am spending an inordinate amount of time desperately searching for summer camps to fill all the weeks my children are not in school. As I have lamented here before, many times, no camps cover the entire summer, despite the fact that my husband and I are still required to work — every day — from June to September. This is one of the great mysteries of life I will probably never understand, like why children will spend 12 straight hours in a pool or the ocean but will only pretend to have washed their hands when leaving the bathroom.


And so it was that I was online recently, looking (yet again) for information about camps, when I found out, via the American Camp Association, that “each year more than 14 million children and adults attend camp in the United States.”

Summer makes me feel like we’re living a modern day version of “bread and circuses.” Only we are placating our children with Netflix movie marathons and a steady stream of snacks.

Adults attend camp? Who knew?


To distract myself from the misery of finding kid camps to cover the end of August (ha!), I imagined what camp for adults might look like:

Camp Taykanap

8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday

After dropping children off elsewhere*, parents arrive just in time for a carb-heavy, all-you-can-eat breakfast, complete with bottomless mimosas, inducing maximum post-meal sleepiness. Campers are then led to various napping pods and sleeping stations to snooze until lunchtime. Napping can be continued after lunch, or campers can choose from any number of “quiet-car” activities: reading, meditation, listening to a backlog of podcasts (headphones only, please!) or staring into space doing nothing whatsoever. White noise machines and sleeping masks provided.


*We operate under a strict “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. So long as the police/social services don’t come looking for you, where you leave your children is your own business.

Peter Pan Camp (Overnight)

1-week and 2-week packages available

Had your fill of adulting? Want to reclaim your misspent youth? This residential camp is for you!

We offer (judgment-free):

  • Club 21 – Crowded, stifling hot, nightly dance parties with strobe lights, way-too-loud music, no place to sit down and sticky floors.
  • Get the Band Back Together jam sessions in a garage.
  • Daily van trips to the local mall for aimless “hanging out” and Cinnabon-eating.
  • Video Valhalla — Geek out in our gaming palace for hour upon uninterrupted hour. Showering optional.
  • Calories-Don’t-Count meal plans — Waffles, French toast or leftover takeout for breakfast. Ice cream, doughnuts, cake all day. Have a milkshake, who cares? Dairy doesn’t affect you here!
  • Boozy brunch all day.
  • Napping pods.
  • Single rooms or doubles (for those who still want to have all-night sleepovers with friends).
  • Regrets and bad decisions counseling – free of charge.
Tanika Davis, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun, looks back at the unconditional love she received from her grandparents.

No More Wire Hangers Decluttering Camp

8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday

Spend the day getting rid of broken toy pieces, unmatched Tupperware, dog-eared magazines, too-small T-shirts from previous summer camps, piles of “artwork” sent home on the last day of school, unopened packs of thank-you notes you deluded yourself into thinking you’d write, junk mail, cheap goodie bag contents, expired hair vitamins, beauty product samples, timeshare applications, old cleats and shin guards, plasticware, soy sauce packets, to-do-lists, etc.

Our expert “Hoarder Hunters” will come help you:

  • Organize the avalanche that is your linen closet.
  • Finally locate the cumin in your pantry.
  • Make space in your cabinets for your Instapot.
  • Hang your clothes up in the same direction!
  • Make peace with the fact that you will never, ever fit into those pants again.

Bento box lunches and reassuring hugs provided. Also napping pods.

Extended-day packages available for those who truly have a problem.

Hi, we haven't met. I'm the World's Worst Mother. You can just call me WWM, for short. And you are? Never mind. Don't tell me. I won't remember anyway. I can't remember anything these days, despite a paper calendar, a kitchen wall calendar, a Google calendar, Outlook reminders and many, many Post-it notes scribbled with to-dos and cryptic phrases such as "soccer prac," "Make Me Chic" and "password = ??"

I could think of a dozen other themed camps for grown-ups where we could get away from it all, meet new people, eat s’mores and write letters home to our children, asking them to Venmo us some money and send care packages with ZBars, Aleve and Pepcid AC.

But no matter the theme, I can tell you what would be constant: All camps would last the entire summer.

Tanika Davis is a former Baltimore Sun reporter who works in communications at Constellation. She and her husband have twin 8-year-old sons, a 6-year-old daughter, a perpetually messy house and rapidly appearing gray hairs. She also needs a nap. She can be reached at tanikawhite@gmail.com. Her column appears monthly.