5 Hypothetical Bookish Summer Camps

Recently, I learned that there are camps based on Camp Half-Blood from the Percy Jackson books and a Jane Austen summer program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel also referred to as “Jane Austen summer camp.” As a person who never attended camps as a kid, and whose only option would have been church camp anyway, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of spending a week or a whole summer away from home. I did get to travel a fair bit in college, and of course I fantasize about visiting places in my favorite books.

Here are some possibilities.

Camp Leviathan
This would be a biology (Darwinist) and engineering (Clanker) camp. Clankers could learn about different types of machines, while Darwinists might care for a camp-assigned pet during their stay. There could be blimp rides and costume contests and maybe a rap battle-style battle of wits with Deryn Sharp, awarding the camper who can come up with the best insult and the best PG-rated swear word or phrase.




drawing by Helen Green

Dorothy & Alice; drawing by Helen Green

Wonderland / Oz Camp
I can’t decide if this would be better as a single, divided camp or two separate ones.

Either way, in Wonderland, there would be simple card games (no gambling); a life-size, outdoor chessboard; croquet (plastic flamingoes provided for use as mallets; no hedgehogs to be harmed); and logic puzzles. Camp pet would be a mischievous kitten.

In Oz, there would be a wind tunnel and meteorology lessons, a yellow-brick maze with an assortment of obstacles, carnival games, and hot-air balloon rides. Camp pet would be a terrier.

Mandatory costumes provided for both camps.



Violet & Sunny Baudelaire

Violet & Sunny Baudelaire

A Camp of Unfortunate Events
Inventing with Violet. Award for best invention. Hair ribbons provided.
Bookworming with Klaus. Award for best poem. Bring spare glasses in case yours break.
Basic Cooking with Sunny. Award for most inventive use of wasabi. If interested, learn to climb using your teeth.






Going the classics route, I’d choose the Brontes over Jane Austen, especially since I hate summer and always associate their novels with misty, cool weather and lots of snow. (I live in the South; let me have my snow fantasies.) Of all these options, this is the one I would attend, especially if it took place here:

photo found here

photo found here

Bonus: 50 Shades of Camp
If you’re into that kind of thing.  Adults only.

I left out the obvious choices (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games) but if those are your choices—hell, whatever your choices—let me know in the comments.

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