I went to an amazing YMCA camp when I was a kid. I looked forward to it all year round. Which kinda sucked because I was living my whole year for 2-6 weeks of my life. But, camp was that worth it. Somehow social “norms” failed to exist there. People were popular because they were nice not because of any random things that usually existed in jr. high and high school. We all lived in cabins in bunks and lived out of a trunk that was full of similar raggedy clothes.
The weeks at camp were spent being creative and competing only against ourselves to achieve our own goals. Learning from counselors and each other. No one was technically an expert just people that wanted to share the knowledge they had and help others grow.
Camp Eberhart helped develop a strong part of me. Counselors at Camp EB developed the photo love in me.
Now, decades later, I am attending what I can only describe as an adult camp for photographers. We meet up once a year (sadly only for a week). We room with people we likely never met before unless it was a past year of camp.We can let our creative dress flag fly (I donned my rarely worn cat skirt).
We talk with no sense of competition or sense of distrust of each other. We share information that helps each other grow and meet personal goals and develop new ones. We learn from counselors that also learn during the entire week. We eat together. We chill together.
The first year I went I had no idea who I would be learning from. I just knew I wanted to go. It was the first conference I have ever been to for photography. And, I will likely have a hard time going to any different one again. I already knew when I cam back last year that I wanted to go again in 2020, but it is a hard sell to me to shell out that money just so I can see my friends at camp again. Would the next year really be better/different. The answer is YES. I don’t know how, but it was even better than 2019. The teachers were just as amazing as last year. I cannot downplay 2019’s teacher amazingness. But, just how they keep finding new ways to reach us all and teach us all. This is probably why they sell out every year. Day one I was already inspired and ready for a new start.
But, just like when you leave camp you find yourself thrust back into the real world with so many more problems than when you went into camp. This year I came out to something that will basically shut down my business as is for the foreseeable future. We all exchange numbers and emails and instagrams handles and continue to penpal our way through the next year.
Even better this year like they knew we would need it this year more than ever, our wonderful camp directors/boss ladies created a community that can keep the feeling of camp going year round. I knew I wanted to join as soon as the announced it. Of course since I left the conference life has been an unexpected mess and I finally kicked myself in the pants last night and signed up.
I look forward to the first challenge since it is my most challenging area in my business. Want to know what it is? Check it out on TFN Together!!!