What Really Came Of Camp No Counselors From Shark Tank?

Camp No Counselors is an all-inclusive getaway for those who want to relive the glory days of summer camp, complete with outdoor activities such as archery, hiking, and arts and crafts. Here, adults can flock to one of a few locations around the U.S. to feel like kids again ... but this time with booze. 

In 2016 on Episode 28, Season 7 of "Shark Tank," the founder of Camp No Counselors, Adam Tichauer, said he came up with the idea for his business after an incredible weekend escape with his friends and his friends' friends, too. 90 people in both his close and extended circles showed up to reconnect with old friends and make new ones, just like kids do at summer camp. As it turned out, a lot of people thought summer camp for adults was pretty rad. Well, everyone except the sharks. Maybe they hate fun, or maybe they've just forgotten how great camp was as a kid, but, unfortunately, they weren't biting on "Shark Tank."

What happened to Camp No Counselors on Shark Tank?

In his pitch on "Shark Tank," Adam Tichauer presented a simple business concept. Camp No Counselors rents out campgrounds in the off-season, which also helps camps generate revenue year-round. At the time, tickets to attend cost on average $478 for three nights. Tichauer said that the summer before the business appeared on "Shark Tank," it grossed $160,000 with four camps. The next year, it grossed $730,000 with 11 camps. This led Tichauer to project a gross of $800,000 with $160,000 in profit, with an eye to expand into corporate retreats for additional revenue.

You would think this would tickle the interest of a few sharks, but when they heard Tichauer's valuation, they weren't convinced. Tichauer asked for $300,000 for a 7.5% stake in the business — that's a $4 million valuation. When the sharks heard this, the questions started full force. With such great sales, why did he need the money? Tichauer replied he needed the investment to expand his marketing.

Ultimately, this was not a good enough reason for the sharks to invest. Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O'Leary, simply couldn't get behind the idea as it wasn't a service he would personally use. Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban, and Lori Greiner said that, with Tichauer's cash flow, he didn't need their money. Daymond John went as far as to suggest that Tichauer was gold-digging. In the end, Tichauer left empty-handed.

Camp No Counselors after Shark Tank

Despite leaving without a deal, Camp No Counselors still found success after the episode aired. Adam Tichauer was reportedly inundated with queries about the camp. After making its splash in the tank, Camp No Counselors was still very much afloat. A 2016 BBC article described how repeat customers particularly enjoyed the disconnection from technology and the 9-to-5 grind. Many adults who never got the chance to attend summer camp apparently jumped at the chance to live out a childhood dream. 

There has been some critique of the camp for its slightly odd way of choosing attendees based on their answers to a personal questionnaire and an audit of their social media accounts. Some claim this creates a weird kind of social exclusivity. However, Dave Kushner, Camp No Counselors' director of community engagement, told the BBC, "Because of limited space, we make sure the 200 people who are coming to camp are the people that want to be there the most."

Is Camp No Counselors still in business?

Camp No Counselors is alive and well and evidently not going anywhere. The business has continued to survive after "Shark Tank," and the adult summer camp business is still in full swing. One hiccup the business has seen so far is from the few years under the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The camps had to shut down, and the business obviously lost some revenue during that time. However, they bounced back, implementing practices and rules in line with CDC recommendations that would help keep campers safe and healthy.

Though locations are now limited to only New York, California, and Texas, the safety measures that Camp No Counselors took surely have helped the camp stay in business long-term. In fact, tickets for 2023 are completely sold out, and there's a waitlist for 2024 camp events. Growjo estimates the business is making $2 million in revenue per year. So, they're certainly not hurting for cash, just as the sharks predicted.

What's next for Camp No Counselors?

Camp No Counselors has seen success in part due to its appearance on "Shark Tank," but we think it's also just a brilliant concept. Shortly after appearing on "Shark Tank," Adam Tichauer explained to the BBC that he had a lot of ideas in mind for the future of the adult summer camp business. Not only did he want to continue to expand locations across the U.S. and Canada but he also wanted to take the concept overseas.

While Camp No Counselors has yet to go overseas, it currently holds retreats for companies and MBA programs, and they have special packages for couples looking for a unique wedding setting. A few big-name companies have even hosted company retreats with Camp No Counselors such as the sock company Bombas, which also happens to be another business that appeared on "Shark Tank" back in 2014.