Who says summer camp is just for kids? Whether you want to design jewelry or take up quilting, these workshops make it fun to acquire new skills - no bunk beds required.
Plus: Check out New York's Eastfield Village, a school that teaches 18th- and 19th-century trades.
John C.Campbell Folk School
Brasstown, North Carolina
This 300-acre camp in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains offers a year-round roster of 860 two-, five-, and six-day sessions in traditional skills such as basketry, calligraphy, and batik dyeing (pictured). Lodging options range from rustic dorm rooms that sleep six to plush doubles with private baths. All the family-style meals feature organic produce grown on-site.
Squam Art Workshops
Holderness, New Hampshire
At this three-day sleepaway camp, you can stay in private lakeside cabins (On Golden Pond was filmed nearby) and choose from a variety of classes devoted to knitting, jewelry-making, songwriting, and more. "Our programs give women an excuse to hang out with people who enjoy the same things they do," says owner Elizabeth MacCrellish.
Santa Fe Photographic Workshops
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Housed in an active monastery with views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, these workshops last from three days to a week and specialize in such subjects as Adobe Photoshop, digital photography, and black-and-white developing, among others. While the school provides towels and linens, the private on-site housing is bare-bones: no air-conditioning, TVs, or phones.
Can't make it to camp? Try some of our fun DIY crafts!
Country Threads Quilt Camp
Held at least three times a year in the hayloft of a 19th-century barn, these four-day quilting classes are taught by master patternmakers Connie Tesene and Mary Etherington. There's no lodging, but nearby Clear Lake offers affordable options.
The Steel Yard
Providence, Rhode Island
Learn the basics of ceramics, stone setting, or blacksmithing in just one weekend at the Steel Yard, the former site of Providence Steel & Iron. End your days with dinner at one of the many family-run Italian restaurants on Federal Hill, then bunk at the nearby Christopher Dodge House.
Alabama Chanin Weekend Workshops
At these small gatherings held in designer Natalie Chanin's Alabama studio, students choose from 45 fabrics and 200-plus patterns and stencils, then re-create a favorite piece from Chanin's high-end clothing line. Accommodations aren't provided, so book a room at the Coldwater Inn in nearby Tuscumbia.
Atlanta Printmakers Studio
This nonprofit studio, founded in 2005, hosts weekend workshops in bookbinding, lithography, etching, letterpress, and fine-art printmaking. Out-of-towners can reserve a room at the Georgian Terrace Hotel, an Atlanta landmark whose rooftop pool offers 360-degree views of the city.
Would you rather buy crafts than make them? Check out these Etsy sellers we love!
Sonoma County Grape Camp
Whistle-toting counselors are on hand to keep would-be vintners on schedule as they pick, sort, and crush grapes at this three-day camp for oenophiles. "When guests leave," says director Larry Levine, "they have a real appreciation of what it takes to produce fine wine." That, and a hand-blended bottle of vino to carry home.
Penland School of Crafts
Penland, North Carolina
Try your luck at two-week sessions in wood carving, glassblowing, or chair upholstering at this year-round craft school in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Students stay in single or shared dorm rooms, enjoy meals made from scratch, and have access to the workshop facilities 24 hours a day. "What you can learn here in a week will astonish you," says communications manager Robin Dreyer.
Taos School of Metalsmithing and Lapidary Design
Taos, New Mexico
Design a silver ring, learn how to solder metals, or practice cutting gemstones at these five-day workshops, during which participants make a one-of-a-kind jewelry creation. Held downtown in a historic adobe house, classes include just four students per session to ensure ample individual instruction. Nearby inns offer attendees discounted stays.
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