What it's like to go to Trybal Gatherings — summer camp for adults

Updated: Sep 8

In late August, I went to Trybal Gatherings, a sleepaway camp for Jewish adults. I went for the first time in 2019 with some friends, and keep going back because I've made even more friends, and it's a lot of fun! They offer the camp in a few different cities, but I've been going to the Berkshires at Camp Eisner, which attracts mostly Bostononians and New Yorkers in their 20s and 30s. It's not a full summer, it's a long weekend, which is just enough time!

I did not love sleepaway camp as a kid, so I was hesitant to go to Trybal a few years ago, but turns out camp's pretty fun as an adult. It's an escape from work, and I can do activities I'm interested in, try new things, and meet lots of people.

Here's what my experience was like, in cartoons and with pictures from camp. I don't have many because I tried to stay off my phone as much as possible while I'm there.

I stayed in a bunk with my friends

The first year I went to camp, I thought it was weird to stay in a coed bunk, but it's actually a lot of fun! The camp has all boys and all girls bunks, too, and private ones. The bunk experience is so fun — we blast music, pool our snacks, and go to activities togther. Since there are no bunk counselors, my area got a little messy...

Enjoyed "water sports"

We had a steady supply of beer, cider, and more, from a canoe in "Bubbe's Beer Garden," which is on land. We also enjoyed a pool party with a DJ and lots of floaties. I played pool basketball for a few minutes, then returned to my the relaxed position.

Spent time at arts and crafts

If you saw my doodle about camper types, you'd know when I was a camper as a kid, I liked doing arts and crafts. That's still the case. At this camp, I made scented salts and herbal bundles during the"Shabbas vibes" activity. Someone from Tribal Markers came to lead another activity about connection and holding space for each other, and I used that as an opportunity to draw a doodle on a fellow camper's arm. It is him relaxing!

Did Jewish stuff