A Weekend at Camp Shock Top

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If there is any rite of passage as a kid, besides braces and the incredibly awkward preteen years, it’s sleepaway camp. Bonfires, s’mores, first crushes, cabin pranks, trumpet wake up calls. At least this is what I envisioned camp to be. As a kid I never went to camp. My dad says he and my mom loved me too much to send me away. Haha. But really my house during the summer months was a camp in itself. Always packed with friends and activities. We would take days trips to the beach and hang out in our backyard treehouse. I can’t say I really missed out on the quintessential camp experience. But when I was given the chance to go, as an adult (with unlimited booze), I just couldn’t say no.

In partnership with Camp No Counselors, Camp Shock Top was a sponsored all-inclusive sleepaway camp that took place along the breathtakingly beautiful Paradox Lake in upstate New York. The weekend kicked off after work on a Thursday night. We boarded the charter bus stocked with snacks and Shock Top and made the 4-hour journey through the Adirondacks to our beautiful destination. Despite the long ride, our enthusiasm never wavered and we greeted camp with a bonfire and drinks to go around. The social anxiety subsided as we bonded over s’mores, beers, and no accessible wi-fi. The only rule at Camp No Counselors… you can’t talk about work.

Photo ©2016 Andrew Lipovsky / www.AndrewLipovsky.com -- Camp Shock Top photographed at Paradox Lake in New York on June 3rd & 4th, 2016

Photo ©2016 Andrew Lipovsky / www.AndrewLipovsky.com — Camp Shock Top photographed at Paradox Lake in New York on June 3rd & 4th, 2016

There’s something thrilling about being thrown into an experience with strangers. No phones to keep us busy. No comfort zones to stay in. As grown-ups we were given the chance to shed our everyday responsibilities and just be ourselves. This was something special.

Day one started with our choice of camp activities. Archery, arts and crafts, paddle boarding, high ropes course and dodgeball just to name a few. And if you were in the mood for a more relaxing day the lake was the perfect spot to lounge with a beer in hand. I opted for archery and paddle boarding. Probably wasn’t the best choice to choose two arm-intensive activities on the same day. Talk about extreme soreness the next morning! At the end of the day everyone headed back to their respective cabins to prepare for our first of two parties. This night’s theme was the 90’s and I was all about it. Nothing a little Adidas, gold hoop earrings, and a dark lip couldn’t handle. I was certainly in my element and I danced all night long (with the help of a little Shock Top of course).ArtsNcrafts

Photo ©2016 Andrew Lipovsky / www.AndrewLipovsky.com -- Camp Shock Top photographed at Paradox Lake in New York on June 3rd & 4th, 2016

Photo ©2016 Andrew Lipovsky / www.AndrewLipovsky.com — Camp Shock Top photographed at Paradox Lake in New York on June 3rd & 4th, 2016

Day two was an epic match up. Before lunch our camp was divided into four separate teams (go gold team!) to compete in the camp-wide Color Wars and Apache Relay. For all the glory, each team would duke it out in a series of activities including dodgeball, lip sync battle, and kickball to claim the ultimate prize of camp champions. The best teams of each activity would win points that would allow them to get a head-start in the ultimate apache relay race. Unfortunately my dear gold team came in last place but we still had a heck of good time.

Camp Shock Top - Dodgeball

Camp Shock Top - HungryHungryHumansGame

Camp Shock Top - LipSyncBattle2 Camp Shock Top - LipSyncBattle

Camp Shock Top - ShocktopTrophy

What sets this relay race apart from anything I’ve ever seen is the wild “slip-n-flip” at the finish line. Each team member must go down the slip-n-slide and play the biggest game of flip cup. Whichever team drinks each beer and flips all their cups successfully wins! Certainly not something a normal camp would have. But when you get a lot of twenty-somethings together, hilarity ensues.

Photo ©2016 Andrew Lipovsky / www.AndrewLipovsky.com -- Camp Shock Top photographed at Paradox Lake in New York on June 3rd & 4th, 2016

Photo ©2016 Andrew Lipovsky / www.AndrewLipovsky.com — Camp Shock Top photographed at Paradox Lake in New York on June 3rd & 4th, 2016

Camp Shock Top - SlipNslide2

Even though my team may not have come in first, there are no losers at this camp. It was such a fun day and it wasn’t done yet. After dinner it was time to commemorate our last night together with a talent show and send-off party. Tonight’s theme was the olympics and everyone decked out in their red, white and blue gear. Fun times all around.

Day three greeted us with rain showers. In my opinion, the perfect weather for a Sunday drive home. We cleaned up our cabins and bid farewell to the beautiful grounds at Southwoods Camp.

I really couldn’t have asked for a nicer weekend. Strangers came together, unplugged, and became their inner kids-at-heart. Luckily for me, Andrew Lipovsky allowed me to really kick back and relax as he captured all the magic in his beautiful photos. Thanks so much to the Camp No Counselors and Shock Top teams for letting me take part in this amazing trip!

Camp Shock Top - CabinQuad

Photo ©2016 Andrew Lipovsky / www.AndrewLipovsky.com -- Camp Shock Top photographed at Paradox Lake in New York on June 3rd & 4th, 2016

Camp Shock Top - LakeLife3

Photo ©2016 Andrew Lipovsky / www.AndrewLipovsky.com -- Camp Shock Top photographed at Paradox Lake in New York on June 3rd & 4th, 2016

Photo ©2016 Andrew Lipovsky / www.AndrewLipovsky.com -- Camp Shock Top photographed at Paradox Lake in New York on June 3rd & 4th, 2016

Photo ©2016 Andrew Lipovsky / www.AndrewLipovsky.com — Camp Shock Top photographed at Paradox Lake in New York on June 3rd & 4th, 2016

If you’re interested in joining the adventure, Camp No Counselors offers adult summer camps at locations across the country for you and your friends. Fun fact: they also offer weekends for more seasoned campers as well, ages 45+.  Or you can enter to win an all-inclusive trip sponsored by Shock Top here. Either way be sure to check out my video below to witness all the fun for yourself!

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Stephanie Klose

Stephanie is a freelance writer who can be found snuggling up in bed with her two favorite dachshunds, Penny and Charlie, or gallivanting around New York City in search of the best chocolate ice cream cone. Whether it is stateside or across the pond, there isn’t a place she wouldn’t go for a little adventure. You can connect with her on on Twitter @StephGoneTravel and Instagram @SMKlose.

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