Summer Camp – Minus the Tents

Summer Camp – Minus the Tents

- in May/June 2018, Outdoors

Ah, summer camp! That annual ritual of swimming, hiking, crafting and bug-bite-getting.

We may have outgrown bunk beds and snipe hunts, but we don’t have to give up all the fun. We’ve got a roundup of places to create your own summer camp-like experience — burnt marshmallows optional.

TAKE A HIKE (or two)

The 99-year-old Cleveland Hiking Club offers a step in the right direction with daily hikes for trekkers of all abilities and fitness levels. Times and terrain vary, in locations ranging from the Cleveland Metroparks to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to neighborhood sidewalks.

You don’t have to be a member. Just go to, check out the hikes offered and show up. Most range between three and six miles.

“Some members commit to achieving goals they set for themselves, such as hiking a specific number of miles during a month or year,” club president Peggy Koesel says on her website message. Members agree that the common goal is to have fun.


Michael Ferry, director of corporate and community partnerships, calls the Foundry Community Rowing and Sailing Center the perfect destination for those over 50.

“No impact, row at your own pace, great workout,” he says.  “We offer an indoor rowing experience on water. It is a beautiful facility here along the banks of the Cuyahoga.”

Enclosed in a historic 65,000 square foot building housing a 55,000 gallon rowing tank, the Foundry offers a one-hour Rowing for Fitness class for everyone from beginners to seasoned salts. The $15 session includes warm-ups, drills, workout and cool down.

Go to for class schedules.


So you want to test the waters? A stand-up paddleboard is the way to go, says Lynne Nagy, founder of UltraMissions. “It’s a beautiful opportunity to enjoy our Great Lakes. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to enjoy the lake, and it doesn’t even feel like a workout.”

Lynn says her students have ranged from children to 80-year-olds. She says larger, inflatable boards are light and comfortable, allowing riders to stand, sit or kneel.

Check out for more information.


What’s camp without a craft? Bay Arts in Bay Village lets you express yourself through drawing, photography, painting, jewelry-making and more.

“It’s a release,” says jewelry-making instructor Beth Martin. “You can look forward to creating something special for yourself or a family member, something with that ‘Wow’ factor.”

Visit or more information.

Creative campers can also express themselves with art, yoga and meditation classes offered at the Akron Museum of Art ( and at the Cleveland Museum of Art, which has adult studio classes in a variety of media (



Paperless society? Not at The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation, the largest center in the U.S. dedicated to papermaking, book arts and letterpress printing. Located on Cleveland’s near-east side, this is a working studio, gallery, community gathering place and educational center. Visit for class schedules.

Robbie Groden discovered her love for fiber arts during an art therapy class at the Gathering Place in Westlake while undergoing treatment for cancer. She knew she had to share her passion. So she started the Alpaca Fiber Studio in Chagrin Falls, which offers the largest variety of felting and fiber classes in Northeast Ohio. “You’re encouraged to make mistakes and see what you can make intuitively,” she says. Visit for more information.



Dust off that old guitar. Singer/songwriter Brian Stahl hosts a workshop from 7 to 9 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month through September at the Massillon Museum in downtown Massillon. The free sessions are for ages 14 through adult, and participants can attend any number of workshops they wish. There’s also an optional showcase performance in October. For more information, visit or email him at [email protected]

Now, how about a few s’mores around the backyard grill?


Sue Botos is a freelance writer from Rocky River who still has a collection of lanyards made out of plastic laces and a fear of clowns living in the woods.

About the author

Sue Botos is a local journalist from Rocky River, where she lives with her husband, Ed, and golden retriever, Tally. She believes that the older you get, the easier it is not to take yourself too seriously.

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