Life of Yes℠ Sleepaway Camp

“By the time you get there, you’ve already paid for everything. Caretakers turn down your bed, clean your room, prepare your meals and give you clean towels at the tgym, which you don’t have to go outside to get to. On top of a mountain, away from your day job and you family and your chores and your concerns, you can finally be an artist and nothing else.”

Best Young Woman Job Book, Emma Healey

 

  • Does doing something for yourself sound unusual, desired, nice?
  • Are you seen only as a caretaker or spouse or employee or or or; have you lost yourself?
  • Do you say yes to everyone but yourself?
  • Do you feel alone?
  • Are you going through relationship transitions?
  • Do you want to feel a part of a community?
  • Have you done everything you’re supposed to do – the job, the home, the schooling, the significant other – but still feel something is amiss?
  • Would you like to say YES! more?
  • Would you like to be around people who say YES! more?
  • Are you looking for answers to “What am I passionate about?” “What do I want to do?” “Where am I going?”
  • Are you ready to move on from and let go of past lows, disappointment, frustration?
  • Do you have a goodness or three that may be of use to others?
  • Do you feel stuck in a rut?
  • Do you feel like you’re treading water, constantly moving but never getting anywhere?
  • Does someone else handling all the planning, decision making, and execution appeal?
  • Does a perspective shift appeal?
  • Are you ready to feel valued, heard, and motivated?

If you answer yes to one, some, all of these, Life of Yes℠ (LOY) Sleepaway Camp is for you. As seen in the New York TimesForbesSELFChicago Magazine, and Midwest Living.

LOY Camp is designed to equip you with a way of thinking and a community rooted in you getting as much as you can out of your life.

A weekend of self-development, where you feel at home with people you just met… like summer camp for adults. But without tents and having to cook over a fire (or at all), and with plumbing and AC.

Don’t come for luxury sheets, gourmet food, or spa appointments; come for growth, fulfillment, empowerment, others, and yourself.

Unplugged weekend away.
Unknown destination.
Unknown fellow campers.
Unknown agenda.
Unmarked van.

Everyone comes solo.

Everything is taken care of; you just show up.


Camp Registration

If you’re able to register via below that means space remains; if we’re full, you’ll see a Wait List option.
 
Camp is usually offered once a year, during the summer months.
 
There are no refunds unless someone from the waitlist is able to take your spot, so make sure you can commit before registering. If a waitlister takes your spot, you’ll get a full refund minus the Eventbrite fee. You can also transfer your registration to someone else by signing into your Eventbrite account and following the transfer instructions; just let us know you’re doing that. You’re responsible for handling payment transfer.
 
Noodle around the detail below before registering to confirm that YES!, Camp is the perfect fit for you.
 

Life of Yes℠ Sleepaway Camp, July 15-17, 2022

Facebook Event if you’d like to share, invite, add to your events.

Camper Testimonials

“I just wanted to thank you guys for such an amazing weekend. I did things I have never done this weekend, spoke about things I have never shared with anyone and I did it all with people I just met and I didn’t even know anyone’s last name. You guys are amazing and so brave and so real, it makes it so easy to do the same when you have others doing it with you. You are both really helping people change and it’s an amazing gift to give to adults. I had the best weekend ever and made new friends which is something that has really been missing in my life. I just can’t thank you enough!!”
“LOY sleepaway camp was perfect for me when I really needed something to help me hit the “reset” button. It was time for openness, honesty, and reflection. The place where we stayed was beautiful and set a great backdrop for all of the personal work we all did during the weekend. Saya and Pete did an amazing job of setting up an environment that was safe for self-reflection, sharing, and vulnerability (in a good way!). I met some people who I probably would have never otherwise crossed paths with, and over the weekend came to find out how much we actually have in common! Life of Yes is designed to help participants hone in on their goals from a strength-based perspective, and in a supportive and comfortable environment. People have noticed the difference that this camp has made in my life, and I’ve recommended it to basically everyone I know!”
“I signed up for LOY to spend some still time with myself and nature, grow and learn about myself, get back to the place in my childhood where I laughed and had fun, and meet others who want to do the same… and that’s just what I got! Saya and Pete were made to host a weekend like this. They did a spectacular job of making me (and I’m sure everyone else) feel as comfortable as possible, and never feel forced to do anything outside of our comfort zone. The activities were fun but also surprisingly good at getting me to reflect deeply on a lot of things about myself. Despite any differences, I found so many similarities with the other campers and everyone was incredibly nice. Like, REALLY nice! And supportive, as were Saya and Pete. We created so many memories and inside jokes and therefore, our own little LOY community! Someplace Magical was a great place to connect with nature and myself and disconnect from all the ringing and buzzing of the life of technology that we left behind, but didn’t feel lacking or boring in the least. I would highly suggest LOY, without hesitation!”
“When I left for Sleepaway camp, I felt like my mind was a snow globe, with a thousand snowflake ideas swirling around. When I left, I felt like the snowflakes had settled, and Cinderella’s Castle had appeared in the middle. What I needed to do, and ideas about how I needed to do it, were obvious to me. Somewhere Magical is so lovely. There is such value to being taken out of a routine environment, and then being relieved of decision making and distractions. It frees up so much energy for other parts of the brain to use. I absolutely did not expect to laugh so hard so much! The “Work” is gentle and profound.”
“Definitely camp of a different character! It was fun, communal, and stimulating all the while helping us cultivate skills not merely for survival but rather for flourishing, for exploring, for forging our own path. It was all at once cooperative and independent, light spirited and profound, silly and serious. I feel so blessed to have taken part in the weekend and to have met such kindred souls in a magical place.”
“The Life of Yes camp was an amazing weekend. Amazing facilitators, the location was serene, and the accommodations were perfect. The time spent was well balanced between the hard work that goes into personal growth along with plenty of fun and play. The most rewarding aspect of the weekend was the amazing new friendships that were created. I would recommend it to anybody who is looking to continue to grow in every way.”
“A LOY camp is an opportunity to jump blindly into a positive, supportive, friendly place for a weekend. I felt comfortable and cared for throughout the entire camp. When it was over I felt sad and scared that the wonderful experience that I had shared with 11 strangers wouldn’t translate into my “real” life, but instead I’ve found that, bit by bit, my “Life of Yes” is becoming my real life. I think about what I learned on the retreat every day. I have never before felt this strong, self-aware, and confident. The LOY camp awakened in me an awareness of the person I have the power to be.”
“I signed up for the LOY camp because I was feeling alone and “stuck” in my life; I figured some positivity and motivation could help. As camp grew near, I became increasingly afraid that, in my current “stuck” headspace, I wouldn’t fit in with the ultra-positive, extroverted go-getters that were bound to be there. I was afraid I’d bring the group down… Lucky for me, LOY turned out to be full of people that, yes, were positive and motivated, but were also “real.” Everyone was generous about sharing what was making them feel stuck, inadequate or afraid, and each person did so with such honest, pure intention to improve their own lives and genuine care for everyone else. It was also far from being a gripe-fest. In other words, people weren’t sitting around, either offering up motivational poster slogans or trying to one-up each other’s woes or virtues. Instead, it was suddenly having 11 people you could talk to about everything and anything, without embarrassment or shame, and who care enough to understand and give you the time, encouragement, perspective and humor needed to provide motivation and hope that lasts beyond the initial “retreat high.”
“LOY Camp – you get an email telling you to show up at Saya’s place and that you will be going to ‘somewhere magical Michigan’ for a weekend in a big white van. You have no idea who is going, what exactly you will be doing, and what it will be like, but that is all part of the experience! At first, I was a little anxious about showing up, but after meeting everyone and once everyone started opening up and making connections (thanks especially to the awesome facilitators and activities) the atmosphere changed to feel way more comfortable and fun! The weekend flew by and I left feeling re-charged, with some great new friends, and a refreshed perspective on life!”

Your Counselors Pete & Saya

We met in 2009 through a Mac & Cheese event. We began dating a month later. We married in 2013. 
 
He’s breweries, she’s coffeehouses.
He saves money for the future, she believes in living today.
He believes “cleaning” is a four letter word, she cleans for fun.
He believes “self-promotion” is a four letter word, she talks about herself incessantly.
His idea of a good time is drinking with people he knows, she’d prefer a dinner party with strangers.
He’s friends!, friends!, friends!, she’s Saya Time, friends!, Saya Time.
He’s from small town South, she’s from big city North.
He was raised Baptist, she was raised Whatever, man.
He’s white, she’s black/white.
He’s pretzels, she’s donuts.
He’s vegan, she’s bacon cheeseburger.
He’s Motel 6, she’s Four Seasons.
He wanted to drive their 2002 Civic into the ground, a “best day of my life!” for her was when they bought a new CRV.
 
Yet we make it work. And it never seems like work.
 
They say “Marriage isn’t easy.” We think it — and relationships in general — CAN be easy. Not without challenges. But overall, easy. Fun. Invigorating. Same goes for life if you adopt the Life of Yes℠ mindset.

Details

If you don’t feel like you can sign up because you don’t know exactly what you’ll be doing or who you’ll be with, a LOY Camp might not be for you. Part of a Life of Yes℠ is trust.

Listen to your gut. If it tells you to run away screaming, we’re sorry to see you go; if it tells you “I don’t know why this resonates with me but it does and I’m intrigued,” join!

We’re nice. We’re good at what we do. Trust us. Trust yourself.

LOY Sleepaway Camp goals

  • Discover, rejuvenate, reflect, and connect with people from all walks of life who share the desire to live a Life of Yes — a way of being that fosters positivity, genuineness, fulfillment, direction, purpose, and community
  • Tap into the unique gifts, challenges, needs and potential of yourself and those around you
  • Transform, lessen, and remove negativity
  • Be inspired and equipped to live fully
  • Self-reflection and (re)discovery
  • Get out of any ruts you may find yourself in
  • Push yourself
  • Feel and embrace feelings
  • Have fun and laugh deeply
  • Leave empowered to continue Life of Yes℠ at home

What’s included

  • Food/drink from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch
  • Transportation from the north side of Chicago to/from camp location
  • Lodging
  • All activities and activity materials

Packing list

You’ll get a more robust packing list closer to camp but to give you an idea…

  • Comfy clothes (clothes that you can sit on the floor in and move around in)
  • Walking shoes
  • Warm clothes suitable for sitting outside at night/being outside in cold weather
  • Toiletries
  • Towel or blanket to sit on outside
  • You’re welcome to bring items like books, music players, sketchbooks…

What not to pack

  • Laptops, smart watches, or tablets
  • Food/drink (if there are certain items you like for yourself, you’re welcome to bring; you just don’t have to bring any food/drink)
  • Bedding and towels
  • Wad of cash

Schedule

  • Leave Wicker Park (north side of Chicago) Friday afternoon
  • Arrive at camp location early evening Friday
  • Goodness all day/night Saturday
  • Leave camp location Sunday afternoon
  • Arrive Wicker Park Sunday early evening

FAQS

Where is Camp?
Somewhere Magical.

How long is the drive?
Depends on our destination (it changes); usually two’ish hours from Chicago.

If it makes logistical sense for me to meet you at the camp—i.e., I live an hour from the location in the opposite direction of Chicago—can I do that?
The van ride is important for the group dynamic, as we get to know each other and discuss all things silly and serious. Ideally, you’d ride with us. But we’re also not going to make you drive three hours to Chicago if you live in the vicinity of the camp; we’ll make it work even if you’re not able to drive with us. If you live in Michigan, Wisconsin, or non-Chicago Illinois, feel free to let us know after you register.

If I’m flying, what airport should I fly into?
O’Hare or Midway. Both are accessible via public transportation that takes you right to the meeting place. You can also take a Lyft, Uber, or cab, but traffic and pricing can be bad so we recommend the CTA.

If I’m coming from out of town, can you give me more travel information, like your address and how to get to you?
Absolutely! Once you’re registered, we’ll send you all the info you need. But if you’re flying or taking the train, please get in touch with us before you book anything. Some people like to take advantage of the Chicago homebase and come early/stay after, and we’re happy to make lodging recommendations, just ask!

Can I come with my friend, my girlfriend, my dad?
Nope, everyone comes solo.

Can I bring my pet?
Nope. (Though did you see how much we loooove puppers?!)

Who else is going?
The facilitator(s) and a group of people you don’t know and who don’t know one another.

Can I find out who’ll be there before camp?
Nope.

How big is the group?
Six’ish to twenty’ish

Can anyone come?
Anyone who’s 21 or over.

What’s the average age of the Campers?
Our first response is, “It doesn’t matter.” But if you need an answer, we’ve had as young as 23 and as mature as 65, with most folks falling between the 28-48 range.

Where do participants come from?
Down the street and across the country! We’ve had folks from Seattle, Jersey, LA, Connecticut, NYC, Denver, Milwaukee, Maine, Pittsburgh, Houston, and of course, the Chicagoland area as that’s where Mac & Cheese is headquartered.

Will I be the oldest/youngest/fill in the blank-est that’ll make me feel awkward?
You might be the oldest, the only Democrat, the only vegetarian, the only parent, the only spouse. But you won’t feel awkward. We’re awesome at creating comfortable environments.

What’s the schedule?
Besides departure and arrival times, don’t worry about it!

What are the sleeping arrangements?
Usually 1 to 2 people in a room (separate beds of course!), sometimes with a private bath, sometimes with shared baths. If there is a choice, you get to choose in the order of when you register.

Are we actually camping?
Nope! No tents, no sleeping bags, no going to the bathroom outside, no cooking meals over a campfire.

What will we be doing?
Definitely no math problems. Other than that, just be prepared for awesomeness.

You take my phone, ahhh! What if someone needs to get in touch with me?
We’ll give you our phone numbers which you can share with loved ones ahead of time and tell them to give us a ring if there’s an emergency.

Can I come for part of the camp?
Nope. It’s integral to the experience that you be present the whole time.

I’m a vegetarian/allergic to ______. Will there be food options for me?
Absolutely! Just let us know any dietary restrictions on your application or in your communication with us. If we foresee any issues, we’ll let you know, but we’ve always been able to accommodate.

Can I smoke?
Definitely not inside. Outside, it depends on the rules of where we’re going.

Are there physical activities we’re going to be doing?
Besides lifting a fork to your mouth, probably not, or at least nothing too strenuous. Some folks choose to go for runs or walks in their free time.

Is this a religious camp?
Nope.

Can I attend a camp if I’ve already been to one?
Yes.

If I have to cancel, can I get a refund?
There are no refunds, so please make sure you can attend before registering.

Other experiences like this cost a lot more money, often thousands of dollars more; how and why do you keep the camper fee so low?
We obviously need to cover our costs (transportation, supplies, venue, food, etc.) and pay our everyday life bills, but we are not out to be millionaires or take people for all they have. We want everything we do to be accessible to all. We love the diversity of our campers, including the size of their bank accounts. So we charge a fee that allows us to run a business AND that allows most people to attend.

What if I’m one of those people who would have a hard time paying the fee?
You should never let financial concerns stop you from doing something awesome! Reach out to indicate your concern and we’ll be in touch to see if there’s a solution that’ll work for both you and us, like a payment plan.

Sponsorship

Interested in being a camp sponsor? Contact Saya.