Last weekend, as you know, I attended Camp Mighty in Palm Springs for the first time. I’ve been procrastinating about writing a recap of it for many reasons, some of which have to do with how well many other people have already captured the experience. But mostly, I’ve been struggling trying to nail down how I actually felt about it.
Let me get a few things out of the way. Yes, it was kind of awkward to be a guy there. This is the first year they opened it up to men, so naturally we were few. The guys that were there were great though (I got to help Jon Armstrong on his quest to play the guitar), and the ladies of Camp Mighty were for the most part very accommodating to us.
But there were instances when the event still obviously catered towards one sex. For example, I enjoy lounging by the pool as much as the next guy. But for me to join a group of women I don’t know by the pool dials my creep factor up to 11. Hey, I see you’re half-naked in your swimsuit hanging out with your girlfriends, but mind if I crash?
I still had a great time though, and I’m confident that with time (and eventually, more guys) those kinds of kinks will be worked out. And ultimately, when you get an invitation by Maggie to go somewhere, you go. Because she’s awesome, and you know the event will be too. (So thanks for the invite, Maggie.)
I loved putting together my Life List (which is almost done – look for the whole thing soon). At lunch on Saturday we went around and read our top five for this year to our teams. It’s a surprisingly emotional experience to read notes from it out loud to a group of people. It makes it more real, more tangible and yet harder to obtain. It keeps you accountable.
But a conversation I had on Saturday night with Asha Dornfest and Stacy Morrison about the changing role of family dynamics and the ongoing identity problem with modern men (yes, I geeked out on this) has really had my head spinning since. The main thing I’m contemplating: would something like Camp Mighty work for men specifically? Would most guys get excited about making a Life List, setting goals and then encouraging each other to reach them? I of course loved this exercise, but I’m not convinced that the majority of men would be into it. I feel like it would be seen as too vulnerable – and by extension, too feminine. Not that this is in any way a good thing.
Am I wrong? I think the idea of getting a group of motivated men together to talk about the future and their own personal goals sounds pretty incredible. In fact, it’s the other side of the coin from what I’m already doing with FWD. And I’d like to believe that this kind of thing would be successful. Would you do it?