Books About Summer Camp for Adults

You know how when you read a book you love, you want to devour 100 other books just like it? That’s how I felt when I finished The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey.

Whether you have your own fond memories of summer camp, or like me wish your experience had been better, there’s just something about summer camp books that give you that feeling of being young and free with the whole summer ahead of you.

I’ve already worked my way through some of these and am anxiously awaiting the publication of the others!

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Women’s Fiction Books at Summer Camp

Women’s Fiction

The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey

This is a touching tale of friendship and self-discovery set primarily at Camp Holly Springs. June Moore, the owner of the camp, faces the imminent loss of her beloved sanctuary, prompting her to confront past regrets. Meanwhile, Daphne, June’s niece, reconnects with her childhood friends Lanier and Mary Stuart, bonding over shared struggles. As they navigate personal and professional challenges, their collective focus on preserving Camp Holly Springs bonds them together. The Summer of Songbirds celebrates the enduring power of female camaraderie and the transformative essence of summer that will leave you longing to go back to summer camp.

Read my full review

Buy The Summer of Songbirds

Women’s Fiction

The Clover Girls by Viola Shipman

In 1985, Elizabeth, Veronica, Rachel, and Emily forged an unbreakable bond as the Clover Girls at Camp Birchwood, only to drift apart in the subsequent years. Now, on the cusp of middle age, they grapple with unexpected challenges in their marriages, parenthood, careers, and self-identity. A letter from Emily, bearing devastating news, prompts a reunion beckoning them back to Camp Birchwood, where they’ll confront past dreams deferred and fractured relationships. Yet, as they gather, they realize they’ve evolved from the confident girls of their youth, questioning whether some friendships are destined to withstand the test of time.

Buy The Clover Girls

Women’s Fiction

The Firelight Girls by Kaya McLaren

The impending closure of their beloved camp on Lake Wenatchee forces Ethel, a seventy-year-old former director, to confront heartbreak while Shannon, once a vibrant counselor now facing career turmoil, seeks direction. Laura struggles in a failing marriage, while Ruby, estranged from Ethel, seeks redemption. Their paths converge when they discover a homeless teen hiding at the camp, sparking a journey of survival and self-discovery. As they unite to save the place that shaped them, three generations of women find solace, healing, and a renewed sense of connection with each other and themselves.

Buy The Firelight Girls

Women’s Fiction

Release date: July 9, 2024

Until Next Summer by Ali Brady

Jessie and Hillary, once inseparable at Camp Chickawah, find their friendship tested by broken promises and diverging paths. As Jessie, now the camp director, faces the impending sale of their beloved childhood haven, she orchestrates a final nostalgic reunion for past campers, including Hillary. Amidst the backdrop of adult summer camp antics—complete with drinks, skinny dipping, and unexpected romances—Jessie and Hillary rekindle their bond. While Hillary embarks on a carefree fling with the camp chef, Jessie finds herself drawn to a mysterious writer. As they navigate old memories and new connections, they realize that saving the camp means preserving more than just its physical presence—it’s about safeguarding the happiness and camaraderie they’ve found once more. With determination reminiscent of their youth, they vow to fight for their cherished sanctuary, knowing that its survival is intertwined with their own happiness and shared memories.

I’ve got an ARC, so my review is coming soon!

Buy Until Next Summer

Rom-Com & Humorous Books at Summer Camp


Wildfire by Hannah Grace (Book 2 of 3, The Maple Hills Series)

At a raucous end-of-year party for Maple Hills students, Russ Callaghan and Aurora Roberts find themselves entangled in a passionate one-night stand fueled by a drinking game. Aurora, accustomed to fleeting connections, slips away before Russ can even learn her full name. Their paths unexpectedly converge again as they both become counselors at a summer camp, seeking refuge from their turbulent home lives. Russ hopes to escape his father’s gambling woes, while Aurora yearns for a sense of belonging. Despite the camp’s strict no-romance policy, Russ and Aurora’s undeniable chemistry threatens to ignite, challenging their resolve to keep things strictly professional. As they navigate the complexities of their burgeoning relationship, they must confront whether their initial encounter sparked a flame that cannot be extinguished.

Buy Wildfire


Publication date: June 11, 2024

One Last Summer by Kate Spencer

Clara Millen finds herself at a crossroads as her once-promising career becomes a source of frustration, her love life non-existent, and her need for a break increasingly apparent. Joining her friends for a retreat to their childhood camp, Pine Lake Camp, promises respite, but Clara is met with the unexpected news of the camp’s impending sale. As she navigates this new reality, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Mack, her former camp rival. Their interactions reignite old tensions and spark new possibilities, leading Clara to question what truly makes her happy. Amidst campfire conversations and passionate encounters, Clara must confront her desires and ambitions, ultimately deciding whether to pursue the life she’s always wanted or embrace the unexpected path laid out before her.

Buy One Last Summer

Cover of Dad Camp by Evan Porter

Humorous Fiction

Publication date: June 11, 2024

Dad Camp by Evan S. Porter

John, once a devoted “super dad” who gave up everything for his daughter Avery, now finds himself desperately trying to reconnect with her as she transforms into an eye-rolling preteen who dreads spending time with him. In a last-ditch effort before she starts middle school, John whisks Avery away on a weeklong father-daughter retreat, hoping to rekindle their once close relationship. However, his well-intentioned attempts at bonding seem to push Avery further away, and John suspects she’s hiding more than just typical preteen angst. To make matters worse, the camp is far from the idyllic getaway John envisioned, with toxic dads feuding, cringe-worthy forced activities, and a hostile camp director. As summer break slips by, John becomes determined to conquer it all and reclaim his role as Avery’s hero once again.

Buy Dad Camp

Romance Books at Summer Camp

Contemporary Romance

Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs (Book 1 of 11, The Lake Shore Chronicles)

Following a breakup, Olivia Bellamy begrudgingly abandons Manhattan’s chic summer scene for her family’s dilapidated resort camp in the Catskills, tasked with its renovation for her grandparents. Camp Kioga triggers memories of her formative teenage summers, now overshadowed by neglect and disrepair. Reluctantly, Olivia enlists the help of contractor Connor Davis, a former flame from her camp days. As they work amidst the backdrop of Willow Lake’s serene beauty, unresolved emotions and hidden truths resurface, challenging Olivia’s resolve. Yet, amidst the nostalgia, there’s a glimmer of hope—a promise of renewal and enduring connections that transcends the fleeting summer season, hinting at a future beyond the camp’s revival.

Buy Summer at Willow Lake

Contemporary Romance

The Heart of Splendid Lake by Amy Clipston

Brianna, the youngest of the Porter sisters, has dedicated herself to maintaining her family’s lakeside resort in Splendid Lake, North Carolina, following in her father’s footsteps as an expert boat mechanic. However, when her father passes away unexpectedly, Brianna is left to navigate grief and the daunting task of preserving their cherished property amidst relentless pressure from real estate brokers, including the charming mogul Scott Gibson. As Brianna grapples with her emotions and the looming threat of selling her family’s legacy, she finds herself drawn to Scott, sparking a tumultuous journey of unexpected love and newfound strength in the face of adversity at Splendid Lake.

Buy The Heart of Splendid Lake

Thriller Books at Summer Camp


I’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie

In the aftermath of their parents’ sudden deaths, the MacAllister siblings converge at Camp Macaw, where their childhood friend Amanda Holmes was found murdered two decades ago, a crime that remains unsolved. Tasked with deciding the fate of the camp, they confront their own conflicting desires and hidden truths. Ryan seeks to sell, Margaux hesitates, Mary advocates for closure, while the twins Kate and Liddie stand divided. Amidst the tensions, groundskeeper Sean Booth hopes to retain his home. Complicating matters further, the will dictates that they must uncover Amanda’s fate before settling the estate, forcing each sibling to confront their own potential involvement. As they grapple with their shared past and individual secrets, the question remains: will they unite to unveil the truth, or will their fractured relationships ultimately destroy the family?

Read my review

Buy I’ll Never Tell

Have you read any summer camp books you’d recommend? I want to dig into even more!

I may have also started plotting out my own summer camp romance . . . stay tuned!


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