Happy Wednesday everyone!
Finally, Finally, FINALLY!!! I am doing my summer camp recap! This was my first time going away to summer camp and it was a wild ride to say the least. Lol I was apart of camp staff since this was an event put together by my job so I was literally running around the whole time. I did not juggle working and enjoying summer camp well though. After only a few days at camp, I suffered from heat exhaustion. LOL but we will get there.
The Compact Camp: Feminist Summer Camp for Grown Ass Women
To start off our long weekend, the staff members drove to the camp site in La Honda, Wednesday afternoon for setup. After setting up all day we took a break and went out to eat at Alice’s Restaurant, which was the closest restaurant to the camp site. We finished the night off putting together camp swag bags, blowing up balloons, and putting together other equipment for the installs and decorations designed by Jess from Sentimental Fools.
The next day after everything was setup campers were starting to arrive for check in. This is the moment everything start to get exciting because I really didn’t know what to expect. Not only was I new to camping, I was new to the company so I was still learning everything. While some of the campers were old friends and familiar faces for the other staff members, I didn’t know anyone. For me I was meeting 100 strangers and camping with them for 4 days. This really didn’t hit me until check-in.
The first day/night of camp consisted of tours right after check-in, orientation, ice-breakers, zip-lining, campfire sing alongs, and s’mores! Immediately everyone started opening up and getting more acquainted. It was actually amazing to watch 100 women get together, chat, laugh and have fun making new friends. At the campfire on the first night,we were given a little piece of paper and we were asked to write down something that we really wanted. (or it could be more than one thing) Whether it was something we wanted to gain from camp or something we wanted in life, we wrote it on our pieces of paper and threw it into the fire. This was a freeing exercise that I have never actually done. It felt good to sit and think about the things I really want out of life, write them down, then throw it into a fire. It felt like I was physically and spiritually “letting go and letting God”.
Every night 10pm was considered quiet hour or lights out, all camp activities were shut down and the campfire was put out. For any campers who still wanted to party, the craft cabin was reserved for late night activities such as adult coloring, listening to music, and hanging out. After clean up, I was tired every night so I didn’t really get to party after hours.
Our meals were served in the dining hall and if you missed a meal you were out of luck! Lol so I wasn’t playing about making it to breakfast, lunch and dinner on time everyday. The food was surprisingly good. I’m always hesitant about the food at large events like this one, especially since we were in the woods. But we had amazing meals served with lots of options. Our meals were well-balanced with salad, fruits, and vegetarian options. We had tacos, burritos, chicken, pasta, spaghetti, etc plus dessert with every meal. The only down side is it was quite a hike from the camp site to the dining hall. Needless to say it wasn’t hard to work up an appetite.
Which brings us to day two – Friday…
After breakfast, we listened to one of the amazing keynote speakers Cyndie Spiegel. She told us a little of her story and gave a great presentation about asking for what you want more.
Following Cyndie’s workshop, I headed over to archery which I was surprisingly good at. I hit the bullseye on my first try. Unfortunately, while I was doing archery I started to feel dizzy. But instead of stopping and listening to my body I drank some water and kept going. Lunch was scheduled after archery so I ran to my room to change into my swimsuit so I could head to the pool right after lunch. We had BBQ for lunch and had sooo much fun at the pool party. Unfortunately, I missed Monique‘s workshop on fear because I was assigned to setup and clean up the pool party.
I was on clean up duty after the pool party and ran to my room to get dressed for dance class immediately after. The dance class was lead by Nicole Gervacio. I loved every minute of the class. The class made me miss my college dance classes. I need to get into some kind of dance workout class ASAP. Being able to let go and move my body was such a freeing experience. Sadly I had to leave the class early because I almost collapsed from heat exhaustion. I went back to my room and fell out on the bed.
Thank God Chelsea, (the best coworker and roomie ever) found me before the grim reaper was about to come get me. (according to my dramatic mom) LOL My other coworkers and camp staff members took care of me and nursed me back to health as well. I was given ice, lots of water, food, and the night off to rest. I was doing so much running around and moving without drinking enough water. The camp site was located in the mountains, the elevation was significantly higher than what I am used to so hydration was vital. I definitely should have been taking it easy and drinking way more water.
That was a very very close call but the Compact team had my back 😉
The third day, Saturday went SO much better. Once I got some much needed rest and relaxation, I was ready to get back to it. I missed the Sunrise Hike, but after breakfast I was able to see the second keynote speaker Jay Pryor give their presentation. The message was very uplifting and needed. The presentation was definitely eye opening. I learned so many new things and gained a new level of respect for Jay’s journey.
I’ve always been a super active and sporty person so of course I opted out of all the bedazzling, vision boarding, journaling, and water color workshops to do the outdoor activities instead. Ugh. LOL. Now looking back on it, I wish I would have at least took one arts and crafts workshop because they looked pretty cool.
Instead of crafting, I went to buti Yoga led by Chloe Jackman. She was easily one of my favorite people at camp! Her energy was amazing. She was always dancing, singing, laughing, and shaking her butt. LOL she was for sure the life of the party everywhere she went. Saturday I promised to take it easy on myself because I for sure didn’t want another repeat of the day before. I really enjoyed buti yoga, this was Chloe’s first time teaching a yoga class but we couldn’t tell. She was a natural at yoga and she was kicking our butt’s into shape.
Saturday afternoon everyone was given time to chill after lunch. There was a Camp’d Out glamping tent open for campers to nap, read, or quietly relax inside. The tent was so nice, I honestly wouldn’t have mind sleeping in it over night. It was such a cozy, peaceful, & nicely furnished tent! I came home and tried to figure out how I could redecorate my room to look like the glamping tent lol.
We had another pool party Saturday afternoon. I was running the Polaroid photo booth and we managed to get all the curly hair girls by the pool for a quick photoshoot! We had so much fun at the last pool party.
Everyone was well acquainted with each other at this point. It felt good to have old-fashion fun, unplugged and away from the internet, our phones, work, and all the other distractions and responsibilities of being an adult. The whole time I was at camp I genuinely felt like a kid again and I can tell the feeling was mutual.
We played bingo for some really cool prizes. Bingo got really competitive and no I did not win. *rolls eyes* but it was still very fun cheering for everyone who did win! I had a much needed massage after bingo, and ran over the “Go Big Before You Go Home” dance party. We closed out the night with our final campfire, sing along, and s’more session.
Sunday was our last day at camp and it was a very bittersweet day. I was personally tired AF and ready to go lay in my bed but I was sad to leave everyone. At breakfast everyone gave their thank you speeches and acknowledged everyone on the team and also welcomed me to the team. Camp was my first time meeting my co worker Najva Sol in person but unfortunately it was also her last week with the company. 😦 We all jokingly called this “Camp In My Feelings” because it was so many tears! All jokes aside camp was a much needed release for everyone.
We went on our “Hike Through the Valley of Giants” which ended in the Coyote Bowl where we had our closing ritual. We were giving the time to really sit with everything that was discussed, felt, and learned the entire weekend. It was another tear-filled and hug it out session. An emotional release and closing of a very transformational weekend. We experienced and went through way more than many of us expected. This time we wrote down what we wanted to leave at summer camp on a small piece of paper and threw it into the fire.
I had an awesome experience at my first summer camp and although there were the few hiccups, I am excited to do it again next year!
Photos by Madison Short
Find out more information about the Compact and how you can sign up for Women’s Summer Camp next year here.
Thanks for reading & we’ll talk more next week!
P.S. Big Congratulations to John Legend for being not only the first black man to receive an EGOT but also the youngest.