The Compass Blog

Summer Camp For The Kid In All Of Us – July 16, 2017

Happy smack-dab in the heart of Summer 2017! This week, while pondering an appropriate subject for this newsletter, multiple times in multiple places, I got the message loud and clear. Summer Camp.

On Tuesday evening, I attended Camp Create – with a room full of people who were new to me. Our fearless leader suggested that, “Camp is a place to get away from everyday life, explore new things, make friends and spend time just playing. At camp, relationships flourish and stories are shared. Diversity is embraced in a variety of ways – people, ideas, food, culture and more. At camp, we learn to ignore time, step outside our comfort zone and take leaps of faith.”

Last night, I pinched myself as I listened to Lyle Lovett, on stage in Missoula, Montana, with his Large Band. He noted that this was the second stop on the Summer Tour, and how, “When the band gets together, it’s like Summer Camp all over again”. He talked about the memories being made, and how, when calling home from the road, it was hard not to exclaim how much fun they were having and how, yes, really, they were indeed working. The stories told around the “home fires” and the “camp fires” were totally different things.

On my 2-hour drive home, I watched the horizon light up over and over with a giant lightning storm. We’re pretty darned lucky here in Montana to have miles and miles – and miles – where light pollution doesn’t exist in our vocabulary. (We’re not called “The Big Sky State” for nothing.) The light show was Mother Nature’s belated 4th of July present, and something you might watch across the lake at summer camp, if you weren’t hunkered under your mosquito netting telling ghost stories, while trying to get the s’mores unstuck from your braces.

And finally, while catching up on podcasts during my drive, not surprisingly, “This American Life” hit on … you guessed it … Summer Camp. One of the lines that caught my attention was, “People who love camp say that non-camp people simply don’t understand what’s so amazing about camp.”

Which brings me all the way back here, to you. Chances are, Summer Camp is a distant memory for most of us. However, with some creative crafting, we have the opportunity to embrace the best of what Summer Camp has to offer and spin it into our Adult World. In this screen-centric world, having face-to-face encounters with people – real people – who are like us or NOT like us, help us grow. Build relationships, believe in yourself, embrace diversity. Who doesn’t need more of that?!?! Camp changes people’s lives.

When you are 8, heading to Camp might be a leap of faith (or a push of faith, thanks to your well-meaning parents). When you are 10 and 11 and 12, it becomes easier to wave goodbye from the camp bus window because you’re a “seasoned” camper, returning to the beloved rituals, singing silly camp songs, finding your Camp BFF and crushing on that one Counselor, amongst your Camp People. At 18 or 38 or 68, heading to Camp becomes an intentional leap of faith. Leaning into the One Summer That Changes You.

Are you ready to take your own intentional leap of faith?

Check out the incredible list of possibilities on and find a place that speaks to you. Leap. Apply.

Build Relationships. Check. Believe In Yourself. Check. Embrace Diversity. Check. “When I say COOL, you say WORKS. Cool. Works. Cool. Works. Camp CoolWorks – we pick you to be on our team!”

If you’re a first-year CoolWorker or a seasoned CoolWorks Alumni, we can’t wait to hear about your “Summer That Changed Everything.” Send us a postcard! CoolWorks, PO Box 383, Morrison, Colorado 80465.