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A Retiree Finds Fitness Nirvana at Sleep-Away Camp

For one week each summer, Jan Klein channels her inner child at sleep-away camp. The big difference: She can pair her s’mores with whiskey or wine. The 68-year-old retiree has attended ESCAPE Camp, an adult sports camp, since 2007. The camp has been held at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass., since 2013.

Like traditional summer camp, her days are packed with activities like archery, rock climbing and canoeing. She can also try fitness-focused programs like running clinics, as well as an optional fitness assessment, which Ms. Klein always signs up for. “At camp, age doesn’t matter, nor does your fitness level,” she says.

Through camp, Ms. Klein discovered she loves kayaking and aqua aerobics, but has had a hard time finding programs near her home in Hartford, Conn. After trying yoga for the first time at camp she now has a regular home practice, and started hiking. She doesn’t love it all: Fencing definitely isn’t her thing.

Camp also inspired her to dust off her old bike and start riding again. She jokes she can now keep up with her husband, David Klein, who takes a weeklong cycling trip while she’s at camp. “He knows this is something I like to do by myself,” she says. “It’s nice to have one week for me to try new things and meet new friends.”

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