“Imagine a place where you can make amazing things, eat amazing food, and hang out with the best people. Everything is included and all you have to do is show up (and make an amazing costume).” - 2022 Camper
And that place is Unglued Summer Camp. We made it back to the shores of Big Cormorant Lake for another year of crafty, magical, end-of-summer fun! Please enjoy this photo recap and glimpses of the magic thanks to the crazy kick ass talent of M. Schleif Photography:
At the end of Spring each year, we open up the lottery (yes, this is really a thing!) for our annual Unglued Summer Camp at YMCA Camp Cormorant in Lake Park, Minnesota. In our seventh year, campers were about to be in for a weekend full of kick-ass workshops from local artists/makers, un-freaking-believable food and drinks, campy campfire and lakeside beachy vibes, an all-camp battle of epic proportions, and a sweet ass DJ’d dance to top all dances.
“If you are looking for an experience where you’ll look around and say ‘How did I get so damn lucky to be surrounded by this level of creativity, absurdity, and magic!?’ then come to Camp. It’s the best weekend of the year - no competition.” - 2022 Camper
We created Camp to be a place for all of us, a place where you can, for a weekend, leave all the stress and routine and responsibilities of our lives behind and be free to enjoy yourself fully. Love learning new things? Our incredible workshop instructors are here to introduce you to a new hobby, help you hone your skills, and make something awesome. Looking for a fun weekend away? Come hang out with some of the best people you’ll ever meet, craft it up, eat delicious food and drink tasty dranks, play some games, leave your phone in your bunk and let the weekend take you where you belong. Need a little nature in your life before summer is gone? Kayak around the lake, take a hike through the woods, and end your nights with s’mores over the campfire or lay on the beach and stargaze. It's the way summer in the north is supposed to be. Trying to just CTFO? We’ve got you. Let us take care of everything, while you sway in a hammock or float on the lake where no one is going to ask you to bring them to soccer practice, we promise. Yearning for your childhood summer camp days? Well boy oh boy, these hard af bunk beds at this actual children’s summer camp are calling your name! Earn a merit badge, eat lunch with a bunch of strangers in the mess hall, and sing along with Ashley and Justin around the campfire. But with alcohol!
“Unglued Camp is a beautiful toast to the end of summer. You get to be carefree in the best way. You’ll craft and let that creativity flow. You’ll meet kickass people. You’ll dance. You’ll eat the very best food. You’ll get to go down a slip-and-slide and revisit why maybe a slip-and-slide after 30 is not a great idea but still unequivocally delightful. You’ll be surrounded by the very best energy. The people are what makes this camp weekend a 10/10 experience.” - 2022 Camper
On Friday evening, 150 campers roll into the gravel parking lot with sleeping pads, swimsuits, and circus-y themed dance costumes in tow. Our welcoming crew is here to get everyone oriented to the camp and their bunks and give them some swag to keep it campy for the weekend.
Once campers are settled into their bunks, it's down to the beach patio for some social hour fun and games.
To go along with this year’s camp dance theme, some classic (and not so classic) carnival games. Campers mingled their hearts out and played carnival games for fun prizes (are temporary tattoos having a moment right now, or is it just me??) until they filled their social bingo cards and earned themselves a sweet ass drink from our bar boss Langston.
To provide a proper introduction to all that camp has to offer and the handful of camp 4-1-1 to keep it magical for everyone, Camp Crew puts on an orientation show. Campers gather under two big tents in the camp game field, either on a rainy, windy (almost like a hurricane if we could get those in MN) night…..or a perfectly calm summer evening.
Camp Crew kicked it off with a tik tok dance mash-up. Our lipgloss was poppin’, we jiggle jiggled, we stayed f*#%ing calm. We came in like a steaming plate of fajitas at a chili’s on a Friday night. Because it was about damn time for the welcome show!
Courtney and Dex and their fine booties MC’d the camp "rules" and super important info campers need to know about making camp the best weekend ever.
Handing the mic off to Max and Erica, we got started with the Camp Variety Show. Campers from each cabin competed in wacky, marshmallow-themed games to earn prizes and notoriety from their fellow campers, duh. Transitions can be tough, hello, especially in a packed tent in a field in the rain, so we fill our transitions with sing-a-longs and teaching the wobble.
After the welcome show, campers are welcome to take on the rest of their first night at camp with whatever they so choose. The campfire was roaring, nostalgic snacks are out in the dining hall, and either Annie or Courtney is leading a game of bar-style trivia! This is also your chance to head up to your cabin for some (rock hard) beauty rest because you’ve got a craftastic, fun-fulled, campy, summer day to look forward to tomorrow!
Trumpet calls (either on a trumpet or an electric guitar) signal that Saturday is upon us!
Fitness sessions like yoga, gym class classics, and early morning swim get our bodies moving and those stiff joints creaking first thing in the morning. Next up, it's time for clubs. Campers can pick out a club to hang with based on their interests, like draw club or book club, or their vibe for the morning. I’m looking at you, cranky coffee club.
Just because we are getting campy with kid-sized bunks and sand in our shoes, does not mean our meals are all soggy eggs, hot dogs, and tater tots. Our amazing camp chef and the kitchen crew crafted up some delicious meals for all 150 campers. For breakfast Saturday, Chef Scott spoiled us all with a sweet potato hash, crispy bacon, asparagus with crispy shallots, and chili oil, all covered in a delicious yolk sauce.
“Uncomfortable bunks & weird water. Sore bodies and not enough sleep. But none of that matters because the magic of camp spreads throughout and everyone leaves feeling so full (hearts and stomachs).” - 2022 Camper
Now that campers are fueled up for some crafting, it’s workshop time - as in 50+ workshop options each weekend time! From bath boards to baking cookies. 90-minute wine experts and pole dancing pros. Screenprinting streetwear to cross stitching on the pontoon (whoops - sorry for all the needles and waves combos lol!). Campers crushed new skills, learned from our expert instructors, and came out of each workshop with electrified tastebuds or a new project to bring home!