Patti Digh and I lived in Washington, D.C. at the same time, but didn’t know her
then. I knew about her husband’s interest in books, old, interesting and science-based, but I didn’t know the guy was Patti Digh’s husband. It took Patti’s book (Life is a Verb) her book signing at Changing Hands in Tempe (AZ) and Facebook to connect us.
And connect we did. Patti is the inspiration behind the blog 37 Days. In 2003, her stepfather was diagnosed with lung cancer. Thirty-seven days later, he died. Patti began to live her life asking a transformational question: “What would I be doing today if I only had 37 days to live?
The answer right now is “creating and breathing life into the Design Your Life Camp,” a three-day sleep over camp for adults. No tents. It’s being held at Lake Lanier Island Resorts, outside of Atlanta, and no one is sleeping rough.
I asked Patti if she had ever been to sleep-over camp. “Yes! I still have the photo of me leaving for camp, sitting on my duffle bag, which was my father’s duffle bag in the Navy. We slept in tents on wooden platforms and rose with the sun.” What made her want to run a camp for adults? “When we took our oldest daughter, Emma, to camp for the first time, I turned to John and said, ‘There should be camps for adults.’ The freedom! The spacious feeling of camp! And so, years later, I posted on Facebook one evening, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to have a ‘summer camp’ for adults?’ and the response was overwhelming.”
On October 4 through 6, Patti’s summer camp for adults will become a reality. The camp is for adults who want to regain their courage, reignite their creativity and reconnect with their tribe–a community of like-minded people. It kicks off with a writing workshop and has three days of creativity, inspiration and even a talent show! When Patti asked me if I wanted to do a creativity workshop, there was no hesitation. Absolutely! And because the Inner Critic shows up at summer camp too, I’m presenting Mind Over Chatter on both Saturday and Sunday. (You can register for the sessions here.)
If you are an introvert and think that all this summer camping isn’t for you, well, Patti has a message for you: “First of all, don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. You’re at a different place in your life now–and whether you are an introvert like I am, or an extrovert, you’ll find connections at camp. This is the most supportive group of people you’ll ever find–come to camp as you are, not as you think others want you to be. You’ll be accepted, appreciated, and included.”
If you haven’t heard about the camp, find out. Register. I am participating, not just running a workshop. Because I need my tribe. Because I want community, and because, as Patti says, “That the energy of the space we will create will be created by all of us–it is a co-creation, a community making strong offers and participating whole-heartedly, and those strong offers will look different for all of us. I would ask them to think beyond ‘what will I get from this?’ to ‘what am I bringing to this?'”
I’m bringing my best workshop, the one my new book (The Inner Hero Creative Art Journal) is built on. But I want to meet other people who are on a journey of creativity and transformation. Summer camp in October? Irresistable!–I hope to see you there!
—Quinn McDonald is excited to be offering a workshop at the Design Your Life Camp ’13. She’s even more excited to participate in the rest of the activities.