What was summer camp really about?
Making bead necklaces? Developing essential life skills? Exploring one’s nascent sexuality in a casual environment loosely chaperoned by coeds on summer break?
Well, all of those things, really. But it was also about camaraderie.
And camaraderie is what you’ll find below, where we've put together an itinerary of summer camp-themed events right here in Chicago, from the bar serving bottled Bug Juice every Sunday to a new rooftop safari tent where you can hang your hat for the night.
THE GEAR: Wayward Collective
Even if the closest thing you have to nature is fending off bushy cyclists on the 606, every Chicagoan must know how to gear up for the wild. And for that, there’s Wayward, the Wicker Park outdoor-goods emporium peddling all things adventure-related. Above: a five-piece starter pack that'll have you looking prepared but dapper for a day of camp-themed shenanigans in the city.
Image via the Dawson
THE AGENDA: Camp Dawson
Every Sunday from now through August, the Dawson will turn their expansive patio into a summer camp for the 21-and-over crowd. On the activities ledger: craft cocktail classes, a special menu featuring elevated versions of campfire favorites (hot dogs, grilled cheese, s'mores pies), tetherball tournaments, arts and crafts, and live music. Be sure to grab a bottle of Bug Juice (pictured above), but beware: you'll get more than just a sugar buzz from this version.
Gwen Hotel Urban Glamping (3 images)
Images via Collin Pierson Photography / The Gwen Hotel
THE CAMPSITE: Urban Glamping at the Gwen
Maybe you camped so hard you're too tuckered out to drive home. Maybe you want to impress your camp crush with a night under the stars. Regardless, you'll do no better than the 16th-floor terrace of the Gwen Hotel's Luxe Suite, which now hosts a 16-foot-wide Lotus Belle tent appointed with a queen-sized bed, Indian jute rug, mango wood side tables and more. Available through September 30th, the experience also includes options like a turndown s'mores service and in-room “glamping” tasting menu from Chef Matt Jergens. You'll also get use of the suite itself, a two-bedroom that can accommodate up to six more sleepover buddies.