Lecina goes to Camp . . .
When I was 13 my parents sent me to to camp for the first time. I remember getting there, selecting a bunk bed and taking stock of the next two weeks of my life. The cabin smelled like a beach towel that wasn’t quite dry and the company was an array of girls that either did or did not need a bra. . . I didn’t. . . and for that matter, still don’t. The obvious and recurring question that I faced for the next couple of minutes was: who was I and how did I fit into this mix?
That’s the thing about camp - it’s a chance to reinvent yourself. For the most part, I played the role of the girl that was suspiciously good at the basketball free-throw game, “21” - to this day, I have no idea where that came from. Secondarily - I was the girl dressed as Pebbles for the Flintstone Formal surreptitiously trying to dance with Camp Counsellor Travis. Man, he was dreamy.
Looking back, I appreciate that me going to camp was more likely a chance for my parents to get a break from the horrid experience that is raising a teenager, but none the less, it was also an opportunity for me to learn something, while learning something about myself.
And then one year, we stop going to camp.
We get too old, too cool or both, and we limit our exposure from new experiences, meeting new people, and learning new things. During the course of the digital age, our penchant to avoid new people and new things has become dangerously easy - we comfortably, quietly hide behind the incessant glow of our smart phones and manipulate a sense of personal growth as we promise ourselves to actually try the recipe we Pinned this time only to order Skip the Dishes ten minutes later.
Sure, we go to conferences; we have topical conversations with like-minded professionals, add each other on LinkedIn, and tweet about the remarkable teachings of @whatsherface to potentially network a new professional circumstance for ourselves, but at the end of the day, skipping out on the plenary sessions and sitting at the back of educational break-outs are hardly the makings of even a glimmer of self-actualization.
So is that it? The moment we qualify for benefits and start saving towards retirement - we find ourselves suddenly devoid of experiences and opportunities to dance with the likes of camp counsellor Travis?
Thanks to Camp Hoo-Ha, the proverbial Girl Guides for Grown-ups, we are pleased to announce that no, it’s not.
This is our friend, Melanie McKay.
She is the creative genius behind one of the greatest things we’ve discovered in our thirties - Camp Hoo-Ha. The creatively named camp-like experience is intended to be a space and opportunity for women to learn a little something, have a little fun, and meet new people outside of a professional context.
An outsider looking in at a regular Camp Hoo-Ha Gathering, in their Headquarters at Festival Hall in Calgary, would no doubt immediately start researching the password to get past the corridor. Occupying the space are an array of delicious appetizers, wine glasses filled past their invisible, but present “pretentious” lines, and a room full of women having actual conversations.
A hush falls over the crowd as the Camp Counsellor, an expert invited to share their wisdom, takes the stage - tales told include:
How to Kick Ass - A Necessary Guide to Self Defense
Teach me How to Denim - How to Buy Jeans Without Crying
The Art of Making Beer - then you get to drink it!
Cooking Turkeys - something adults should know how to do?
Sex Ed - decades later and we still have questions.
Skin Care for the Post-Pubescent - why is this still a thing?
A Guide to Gardening - then you get to eat it!
The attentive crowd takes in the teachings and showers the counsellor with praise as they collectively chant “Hoo-HA! Hoo-HA! Hoo-HA!” As proof and pride of their participation, campers are given badges commemorating their new-found knowledge; the badges are as cool as they are clever thanks to the creative prowess of Art Director Mike Meadus, - a proud addition to any teeshirt.
No matter the lesson featured for the month, Camp Hoo-Ha represents the chance for women to gather without agenda, to learn without professional expectation and to grow in the absence of their smartphone’s glow.
It’s not an exclusive event, but like any credible camp, it’s necessary to register. Be sure to visit their Instagram and Facebook Page and website to get your invitation and purchase your ticket.
CAMP HOO-HA HITS THE ROAD!
Not from Calgary, not to worry! Camp Hoo-Ha has already established a foothold in the likes of Edmonton and North Battleford and is in the midst of planning a radical road trip! Keep an eye on their social media to learn when they’ll be hitting a city near you! Saskatoon - they’ll see us in September!
INTERESTED IN AN EXCURSION?
Camp Hoo-Ha is taking it to the tents (but actually cabins) and hosting a weekend of Camp Hoo-Ha Shenanigans from June 15 though to 17. A whole weekend of wine, wisdom and memories awaits. Be sure to check out their social platforms for all of the details as tickets are going fast!
Travis ... just admit it, you were dancing with her too.