Since my days as a counselor at summer camp, I’ve always wanted to go back. I was nearing my thirties and as the self-appointed activity organizer for my group of friends, I found that it was becoming harder and harder to gather our crew. The responsibilities of adult life were starting to take over. Personally, I was working around the clock for a company that I no longer had passion for. I needed to recharge, get out of the city, off my phone and just have a fun weekend. I knew that only an outlandish idea would get enough support from my whole group of friends to actually happen - so I rented out a summer camp. What started as a small weekend getaway with my closest friends, quickly became a 90-person event as the word spread.
We arrived to the camp in Upstate New York with no expectations, and at the end of the weekend, we left recharged, alive and inspired by the amazing circle of new friends that we had all made. I watched in awe as we disconnected from our phones, ‘titles’ and day-to-day lives, and truly connected with each other, collectively becoming carefree kids once again. Epic dodgeball showdowns, tug of war matches, unforgettable slip ‘n slide runs, dance-offs under the stars and of course, Color War, became our weekend currency.
At that first camp weekend in the early autumn of 2013, I realized that the majority of our adult life is spent in situations where we are expected to be serious. When did the fun stop? As adults, we are rarely afforded opportunities when it’s okay to play, to laugh at yourself and to just be silly. Camp was that chance. I saw a highly accomplished and driven group shed their work identities, and become their truest selves.
As kids, we made friendships based on who we were, not based on what we do. This was the first time in years that I saw adults forming friendships based on that innocent principle. By the time the weekend was over, the one question on everyone’s mind was, “When can we do this again?”. A reunion was quickly planned, then another, and another. I knew Camp No Counselors was something special. More people had to experience it. And so, I left my job in early 2014, took a jump, and have been exhilarated with the ride ever since.