I Can't...

If you have an idea for an “I Can’t,” either to attend or to facilitate, head to the Suggestion Box at bottom of page

‘Member camp? Where you learned, participated, and stretched yourself amongst an invigorating blend of familiar and new faces? Where you were led by welcoming, low-key counselors in a welcoming, low-key environment?

In Mac & Cheese Productions’ I Can’t series, adults state they’re unable to do something, they try it with a bunch of other adults who also “can’t,” and everyone proves themselves wrong and not only does the thing, but enjoys it and says, “That wasn’t so bad. In fact, kinda fun. Good for me! What’s next?!”

As at camp, topics and structure are varied but the “be yourself amongst others being themselves, witness the magic that happens when you try with others trying” vibe is pervasive. 

Sample of Past Offerings

I Can’t –

Yoga

Improv

Buy a home

Draw

Have a dog

Adult my money

Figure out what I want to do in life

Clean

Find love

Put on makeup

Travel

Ask for money
 

Testimonials

"Hi Saya, I just wanted to say thank you. I was really scared about taking (I Can't: Improv), but you and Pete did such a great job of making a space where there was no room for fear and insecurity. It was really helpful for me to be there. Thanks again!"
"The workshop was so comprehensive and has really gotten me excited about cleaning. I am also thinking about how I can incorporate ideas into other areas of my life, so thank you again!"
"I went with a friend and wasn’t thinking I would learn anything. But I did! I learned that there are so many outdoor spaces in Chicago that I’m not taking advantage of. And that getting outdoors for even 30 minutes a day may reduce my stress and tension. I’m now considering taking the I Can’t Camp getaway edition! It would be my first real camping experience and I’m saying Yes!!"
"This workshop was great! Kristyn and Saya were awesome. I learned a lot on approaching home organization and have a better understanding as to why my strategies previously didn't work. Kristyn was passionate and very knowledgeable. The workshop was held in a comfortable setting that fostered great interaction and dialogue."
"I thought this class was great!  I learned a little about yoga and got to try it in a super comfortable environment, the instructor was fun and explained things. The class overall was a great way to bring people together with similar interests and also things they’re each going through."

Current Offerings

Bring something to write on/with and if you’d like, food/drink for yourself. Held at Mac & Cheese Productions℠, in Wicker Park, near Ashland & Division unless otherwise indicated; exact address sent upon registration.


I Can’t: Camp

Partner — Aaron Wolf of Adventures Accessed

Are any of these you?
“I like the idea of camping but get overwhelmed by planning gear, food, logistics…”
“I’d like to go camping. But it kinda scares me.”
“I don’t have an REI-sized wallet.”
“I’m ready to get out of the city.”
“I’d like more nature in my life, to be more ‘outdoorsy’.”
“I want to explore more but would like others to explore with.”
“I’m IN! for a trip if someone brought the gear, food, ride, and knowledge.”

If you answered yes, I Can’t: Camp is for you.

Getaway Details

For three days and two nights, we’ll backpack through the Hidden Lakes of Michigan’s Manistee National Forest. Each day will be a different hike (and swim, if that appeals) and each night will have a different scenic view. Lakes, streams, expansive wetlands, lush forest, and wildlife are the norm. We’ll learn map reading, fire starting, foraging, and natural history. Most importantly, we’ll connect with our group and our selves, distraction free, surrounded by beauty, and most importantly-importantly, campfire s’mores!

Unlike Life of Yes℠ Sleepaway Camp, where we sleep indoors, have plumbing, and don’t have to make our own food, this is really camping-camping. Ya know, dirt, sleeping on the ground, bugs.

All materials provided.

FAQs are here.

Aaron grew up in the Northwest ‘burbs of Chicago. After nearly failing out of high school, he graduated and shipped off to the Marines, serving around the world including an Iraq deployment. Upon his return, the transition back to the “civilian world” had challenges and Aaron dealt with an identity crisis that would last through college and into his corporate career. Five years later, things began to boil over. Panic attacks at work, a lack of outdoor exposure, and a VA hospital that really likes prescribing pills made life too much. He’d retreat to the forest to decompress, connect, and be himself. He eventually figured out that being immersed outdoors brought him back to a feeling of Self — that he could be Aaron and not Corporal Wolf, and that he was indeed his happiest, most creative, best version of himself when outside. If only he could make a career out of helping others find the same joy and benefits; turns out, he could. Aaron quit his job, wrote a business plan, secured financing, and now leads backcountry experiences as a professional, licensed outfitter/guide via Adventures Accessed.

Aaron is proud to provide nature-based programs that —

  • help special needs youth build confidence
  • empower the next generation of great scientists at the Field Museum
  • provide exposure to urban youth, and
  • provide outlets to overworked, drowning in screens adults who need a break

Adventures Accessed Facebook ☆ Instagram ☆ Twitter ☆ Website

Register

There are no refunds so please make sure you can join before registering. If you’d like to share, invite, keep track of this event on Facebook, click here.

 


I Can’t: Wine — Buy or Order Edition

Partner — Sommelier Alex Botsford

Are any of these you?

  • I like wine but buying a bottle — at the store, in a restaurant — stresses me out…
  • I buy the bottle with the cutest label…
  • I always just buy what’s cheapest…
  • There must be good wine that’s also affordable…
  • I want to like wine but don’t know where to start…
  • Everyone loves wine and I want to be in the club…
  • I hate wine and will never find anything I like…
  • I like wine but ordering — at a party, in a restaurant — stresses me out…
  • I’ve never tried wine before but into the idea in a judgement free environment…

If you answered yes, I Can’t: Wine — Buy or Order Edition is for you.

After quitting her full time job and spending 3 months road tripping through Western United States, Alex decided to move to San Jose, California to take an intensive class at the International Culinary Center. After months of studying and tasting non-stop, she passed both her Introductory and Certified test for Court of Master Sommeliers. Her passion in the wine world is educating people who want to learn more about wine.

Come with whatever knowledge you currently have and leave with a few descriptors of what you like for ordering and what to look for at the store. All materials provided.

To Bring

  • A laptop or something to write on and write with if you’re a note-taking type of person
  • Snacks/dinner for yourself if you’d like; thumbs up to nibbling and sipping during the workshop

Alex on Instagram ☆ Twitter

Register

If you’d like to share, invite, keep track of this event on Facebook, click here

Suggestion Box

"I Can't" Idea

Suggest an "I Can't" topic, either as an attendee or as a facilitator. If you have a facilitator in mind whom isn't you, tell them to fill this out. Note that this is a very popular series both on the attendee side and on the facilitator side, so if you're suggesting yourself for the latter, no promises. Additionally, Mac & Cheese is much more likely to collaborate with people already in the M&C world, people whom we already know are fabulous; meaning if you don't already come to events and/or interact online, you should start doing that! The whole "friends helping friends" thing...
  • Please make sure you type this correctly. If you're just suggesting a topic, Mac & Cheese probably won't reach out; this is is more for folks who want to facilitate a session. But, just in case...
  • If you'd like to share further info on the topic.
  • The rest of the form is for people interested in facilitating

    You're all done if you're just submitting a topic idea — skip down to SUBMIT.
  • Mac & Cheese is usually where I Can'ts take place, but sometimes it makes more sense to hold a session elsewhere, e.g. a glass blowing studio, a gym, or an animal rescue.
  • If you're open/it doesn't matter, state that. Mac & Cheese can hold 30ish. Keep in mind: how many attendees will make it worth your while, venue size, venue capability (number of tables and chairs, etc), materials you provide, desired participation level (individual, small group, whole group), desired "feel" (is intimate preferred?), desired potential revenue (the more people, the more revenue potential).
  • If yes, when and why then? If you're open and timeframe doesn't matter, state that.
    Do you XYZ without having to be reminded? If you're given instructions, do you read and follow all of them? Are you punctual? Do you pull your weight? Are you proactive? Can you manage life without a lot of hand-holding? Do you offer something fabulous? Are you low-maintenance? Do you think you can work with a Type A only child who has a lot of opinions, systems, and preferred ways of existence yet whom is also collaborative and open to your you'ness? Are you someone who aligns with Mac & Cheese Productions℠ and is someone Mac & Cheese would be proud to be affiliated with? Are you a good person who believes in equality for all? Are you nice?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.