What happens when you do something that sounds “horrendous”

Our Fall 2015 Life of Yes℠ campers

  • Four males, six females
  • Ages 29 to 57
  • Single and married
  • Kids and no kids
  • Jobs
    • Unemployed
    • Sales Account Executive focused on financial services
    • Software Developer
    • Condo Specialist for a mortgage company
    • Volunteer
    • Software Tester
    • Marketing Director at a powertool company
    • 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher
    • Research Administrator
    • Marketing Manager at a professional theatre company

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 010 011 012 013 014 015 016 017 018 IMG_3435 copy IMG_3440 copy IMG_3454 copy IMG_3459 copy IMG_3460 copy IMG_3469 copy IMG_3479 copy IMG_3486 copy IMG_3517 copy IMG_3544 copy IMG_3551 copy IMG_3561 copy IMG_3574 copy IMG_3587 copy

Just back from a weekend in Somewhere Magical, Wisconsin, playing Camp Counselor with Best Friend as we kidnapped ten strangers to an undisclosed location to do undisclosed things. The unmarked white van and unplugged’ness — campers turn in their phones upon arrival and get them back when we return — plus fairly (and purposefully) vague webpage create a nerve-wracking scenario for most.

Statements made this weekend

  • (When I read about it on the website), “everything about Camp sounded horrendous.”
  • “I waited until the last minute to apply, hoping there wouldn’t be room for me.”
  • “When we (did that activity) when we first arrived, I wanted to go home.”
  • “I first heard about it a year and a half ago and was intrigued but didn’t have the courage till now.”

I can’t express how grateful I am that people in my life continually do things that cause them to break out in hives and second-guess themselves and regret EVERYTHING EVER. Because to see people walk towards fear, embrace fear, overcome fear, and become stronger due to fear is a beautiful thing. And because I’ve never once, in my eleven years of encouraging folks to leap, witnessed regret when all is said and done; there may be regret along the way but not at the end. When they sit in our final circle on Sunday afternoon and look back over our short yet long forty-eight hours together. When we check in with one another a week, six months, a year after Camp.

It’s an interesting thing to think about what makes people jump when. Why now? What finally gave them the push?

I’ve heard it all from “I’m tired of saying yes to everyone but me” to “I need to de-clutter my mind” to “I want clarity as to direction of my life” to “I feel lonely.” And we all nod knowingly, having been there ourselves.

That is another aspect of beauty of Camp — realizing we’re not alone. Which encourages vulnerability and letting go. Which is a powerful thing, sharing the weight you’ve been carrying around as well as helping lift weight others are shouldering.

And to do that with people you just met and who are so completely different from you? That’s the stuff guys, that’s the stuff.

As Best Friend and I close the door on our 2015 Camps, we stand graced in light and appreciation and excitement. We can’t wait to see how our campers move — whether it be backwards or forwards, probably a bit of both, we know they’ll move. And that’s what matters.

Spreading their light to others.

Unapologetically keeping light for themselves.

Living not by circumstance but by action.

Being not paralyzed but energized by choice.

Giving themselves permission.