There’s nothing I like more than a woman who asks for what she wants!
And that’s how I met Lauren Caselli.
She sent me a cold email telling me that she noticed I kept talking about this camp I wanted to create, sometime in the future, when I had time and money and energy. She told me — point blank — Your Tribe needs this. It’s time to make this happen.
Let me help.
From the moment we started talking about her coming on board as the Event Manager (Mama Multitasker + Detail Woman Extraordinare) for Camp, I’ve felt heard. Supported. Validated. And taken care of in the best way possible.
And when you get to Camp? I know you’ll feel the same way.
I’m honored to introduce ya’ll to Mama M. She’s going to take it from here…
You know how some things are just meant to be? I do.
Which is how, this past October, I found myself pulling up to the quaint Asheville airport and getting hugged REAL hard by Molly Mahar.
I had driven over 16 hours from Upstate New York to meet her in Asheville, NC, for a site visit of some potential locations for this amorphous dream that she’d conceived of about a year prior. The working title was “Stratejoy Summer Camp” or, as my Instagram tells it, #ssc2015.
Molly and I had never met face-to-face. She’d asked me on board based on one cold email I sent her, a series of proposals, and a barely-populated website… She knew this was meant to be, too.
And then, all of a sudden, one day, she was hugging me outside the baggage claim.
And I felt like I’d come home.
As we walked around downtown Asheville and drove to our site visits, I got to know this person that I’d never met in a way you can only get to know someone by spending 24 hours a day with them for two full days. In those two days, I learned:
- She does life with such inspirational conviction and confidence.
- She has such a convicted belief in her tribe (that’s you, cupcake)
- She’s a terrible navigator (literally, Google Maps? Not her thing. Sorry, Molly. Secret’s out.)
Which is the crux of Summer Camp-
Meeting brand new people in a brand new place, and getting all up in their face, quickly and deeply.
It’s about learning about how convicted, fiery, passionate, loving, sensitive, and caring they are. How they’re terrible at navigating, or swimming, or three-legged races, but wonderful at encouraging you, asking you “How are you? No really, how are you?” and helping you find the words for that thing in your chest that you don’t quite have words for yet.
In a place where you have nothing to lose, because you may never see any of these people again. Where the cloaks come off, the walls come down, and the arms open up for hugs.
Where you can love your heart out, cry your eyes raw, and dance your pants off, while everyone’s watching and nobody’s judging.
What’s Up Our Sleeves:
When Molly asked me to write this post, I had a hard time deciding what I could reveal and what I wanted to keep a surprise.
But just know a few things:
- There will be dance parties. Frequently. Because I don’t know a better way to celebrate than with loud music and a tribe of feisty women.
- There will be silence. Intentionally created, and constructive. Because we all know you could use a little less noise in your life.
- There will be someone to take care of you. Between Molly, myself, our amazing counselors, and the rest of your cabin and camp mates, you will always have someone to lean on.
Why You Need Summer Camp:
(and why I do, too)
Someone asked me — why Asheville? Good question.
There are so many wonderful places to host an amazing, life-changing, fun-filled summer camps like this on the West coast. And truth be told, the weather is a bit more predictable out there (thanks, East Coast blizzard).
But we still wanted to come East.
As West Coast bunnies (Molly in California, me in Montana) we knew it would be a bit more complicated to pull off an event in a state (heck, an entire area of the country!) that was unfamiliar. It would be more work for us for sure. More research, more expense, more hauling of our supplies.
But still, the East Coast called.
When it came down to it, we were craving the surprise of someplace new.
And truth be told, I love unpredictability.
Because at the edge of what you do know and what you don’t know?
That’s the unpredictable stuff. And that’s where the growth happens.
It’s about rain storms, and growing friendships quickly, and canoeing on the pond with someone you just met. It’s about whispering the hard truths to your bunkmate, late at night, in the dark.
It’s about turning off your phone, checking out of your email, and getting ready to say the prickly things that you aren’t even sure you have words for.
It’s about us taking care of you, which, let’s be honest, you definitely don’t do often enough. It’s about you falling into your bunk at night and us tucking you in with crickets singing and frogs croaking.
It’s about us surprising you with things you didn’t even know you needed, until you show up on August 19th.
Mostly connection, community, and open-armed hugs — but also, ya know, wine and chocolate. And water balloons, silent hour, magic rituals and early morning coffee.
We’re hoping in the midst of the unpredictable, you’ll find yourself growing and stretching. And rejoicing in it all.
What Do I Know About Camp?
I know that the Stratejoy team is in FULL ON Summer Camp Prep Mode.
We hangout bi-weekly-ish on Google Hangout and talk about everything from bunk decor to costume parties to launching strategy to surprises (yes, surprises!) to menu preparation.
I also know that it’s going to take the shape of the ladies that say yes to this amazing experience.
It will be one of a kind, because YOU are one of a kind.
And I hope that you’ll be there for us so that we can show up, with love and sparklers, for you.
I’ll see you there!
Love, Mama M
p.s. If you have burning questions that need answers —
I’ll be joining Molly for a live Summer Camp Q&A Session tomorrow night!
When? Wednesday, March 25 at 6:00 pm PST/ 9 pm EST
What? A chance for me to answer any question you may possible have about Camp! You’ll be able to chat live if you’re watching or you are welcome to email Molly or I with questions you’d like me to answer. Recordings will be sent to everyone who registers for the event.