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A-Musings, Community

Top 10 of 2023

by Chelsea Leader Gold
 ∙ Dec 22 ∙ 8 Min Read

A Poem for You & All of Us

For us with Campowerment, this year marked a decade
Which is a Top 10 of its own!
But its true delight and sanctity
Came not through newness, but through what we’ve known

It’s difficult to fully encapsulate
What 2023 brought our way
But the things that shook the ground beneath
Have been inside this community since its founding day

The Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold
Is called Kintsugi; its concept embodied by our year
While these last 12 months, we found success, shared it & grew
We more celebrate the feeling of being together, as a community, still here!

So, we raise our glass (of bug juice)
To the interstitial moments; Campowerment’s subtle wins
Your presence was the gold that filled the cracks
So we could be whole in ‘24, when the next new chapter begins

The Top 10 Highlights of Campowerment’s 2023

Thanks, in huge part, to every individual woman who brought herself to show up for magic and to every bold client (innovative leaders of companies, groups, organizations, teams) who brought a group to make that magic all your own. Here goes…

🔥 The most diverse amalgamation of campers in Campowerment’s history

The Classic Camp squad repped:
⚡ A 52-year age spread (youngest camper: 23; eldest camper: 75)
⚡ More than 15 ethnic backgrounds and cultures
⚡19 states across the U.S.
⚡ And just about every emotion on the spectrum –  traveling through peaks and valleys over four days of wonder and awe and laughter and beauty together!

Of the diverse fabric of this year’s camp, one camper shared:

“One of my favorite things about Campowerment now is that it looks like the world outside of Campowerment, and that’s been so enriching.”

Another, who just graduated with a degree in Creativity and Change Leadership, declared, “This is what diversity and inclusion looks like.” Perhaps above all else, this makes Campowerment of 10 years ago’s proverbial heart explode. ❤️‍🔥

🔥 145 interactive learning sessions, live online, for members

When vulnerability begets vulnerability, which makes way for real friendship, true connection, life lessons that strike the exact cord we need to make our music – that’s when we know we’re on the right track.

By 12/31/23, we’ll have offered 875 members-only sessions on…

…which lent a learning platform to thousands more meaningful things that live in each and every woman who was present for any of them!

Members: thank you for the opportunity for Campowerment to be alive…shaped with you…and here all year. (Not a member? Join here today for lots of somethings special.)

🔥 The Museum of You, live @ camp

Pioneered by community member Tamatha Thomas-Haase (co-founder: Grand Exit, which began after a fated meeting at Campowerment in 2019), we tried something totally different for Closing Circles and Closing Ceremony at camp. ‘Twas an exercise called “Museum of You.” The prompt for each group to answer, and present:

If an archaeologist were to come to camp and find an artifact that symbolizes what happened here this weekend, what would they find?”

The results were 🤯

🔥 Supporting the next step of our client’s regenerative mentorship program

In year seven of their annual Leadership Camp, our clients at the Herb It Forward Foundation (HIFF) shepherded the next generation of counselors into their richly layered and incredibly intentional community experience. When we first supported their org, they had about 30 scholars as campers – many of whom were freshman, wondering what this camp would be.

Fast forward to June of ‘23, and HIFF had nearly as many counselors, more than half who were campers in year 1 – supporting more than 75 campers their junior. Uniquely collaborating with Campowerment to produce their community’s most key gathering of each year, HIFF showed us something all its own this year: the gorgeous, messy, honoring act of passing the baton.

🔥 Introducing two new content series to the membership community

The Women’s Wisdom Series is meant to turn the volume up on the experiences of the community members among us who’ve walked a path we’d like the breadcrumbs to follow. It offers members of a space to own the reality that they’re an expert* of the experience they’ve lived – and share the wisdom gleaned along the way. 

Accountability Hours are the monthly moments borrowed from your schedule to do the damn things you intended to make progress on this month, but otherwise might not make time for. We help each other know where to start, find the motivation to start where we may already know we need to or just find one another for an hour, to recompose before moving further into our weeks. 

So far, these simple but powerful sessions remind us of all we share, and how much better and stronger and smarter and more ready we are together.

*S’more on the replacement term for “expert” ‘round these parts…coming soon

🔥 Your funding 30 scholarships to camp, ya’ll!!!

You blew the lid off our sister scholarship foundation’s records, and unlocked the opportunity for thirty extraordinary women to attend our Classic Camp this fall, to find and take the next steps on their journey through personal, professional and/or spiritual growth and development. And that, our friends, has exponential power to shape families and communities far beyond our campfire…

🔥 Our first team offsite, facilitated by a beloved community member

In Denver, new home to our HQ. In January of 2023, we brought in camper Suzanne Leamer, founder of En Dash Consulting, to facilitate a strategic planning and operations meeting among our small but mighty Campowerment Crew. Thousand of generous ideas, hundreds of neon post-its, dozens of hilarious moments and a handful of big initiatives later, we re-entered our work re-ignited on our mission: 

🔥 The first AI integration into a Campowerment retreat

Our absolutely lovely clients at the healthcare company Daiichi Sankyo hosted its Women’s Forum with Campowerment as the producers and Dawn Andrews, Business Strategist, as their expert facilitator.

In their core business sessions, they worked together (awesomely) to deconstruct, then modernize, the identity and 3-year roadmap for their business employee resource group. Their bonus collaborator: ChatGPT, or as they called its persona, “Roxy,” the AI-powered chat engine. Roxy received the group’s complex input of keywords that they narrowed down to describe what they do, and why; and it spat out a simpler output that synthesized the identity the group was beginning to reshape. 

In other words, instead of asking it to think for them, they allowed AI to hold up a mirror to answer: “Who are we really saying we are, as a group? And what are we identifying as our ‘why?'” They kept iterating until Roxy gave them back a reflection they felt accurately portrayed them…in other words, until their words begot the reflection they wanted to see. Definitely a first within camp’s gates…and admittedly, shockingly useful, when played right.

🔥 The rogue late-night card game of Classic Camp ‘23

Most of us weren’t even awake to see this one for ourselves, but camp lore has it that a group of not-yet-ready-for-bed campers at Classic Camp set up shop in the Arts & Crafts area of the dining hall after activities ended the last night of camp, and instead of hitting the hay, played a hilarious card game. So hilarious in fact that they are still laughing about it, almost three months later, on text regularly – and in person in NYC when they met up post-camp to giggle IRL. 🐻 

🔥 Bearing witness/being witnessed: #Overheard in the Monthly Milestone Circle

What happens in the Circle stays there (Vegas rule), so these quotes will remain anonymous, but you’ve got to know that our members-only Monthly Milestone Circle are gorgeous in the space they offer us to be totally seen, and to see one another for who we are becoming every day. Some of our favorite quotes: 

⚡ “With this Circle and so many camps, it’s the connection and continuity we share, in the good times but also the times we need a little extra love and support…I treasure that.”
⚡ “You don’t realize how under-appreciated you are until you’re somewhere that you are appreciated. And then you decide to change that in the other spaces.
⚡ “This is where I find my inspiration to do more habit-stacking!”
⚡ “I learn so much by listening; sometimes I hear something and it just sits with me, and I let it all marinate, into the rest of my month!”

Year three of Milestone: let’s do this! Members: try it out. Let us have your back; come have ours.

🔥 And bonus #11, as insisted upon by Tammi: we pooped the potato, and let go

An absurd game that we made all our own, and integrated into relay at Classic Camp, for sh*ts and giggles, almost literally… 


. . . 

Thank you for an incredible year, fam.  Wide-eyed and open-hearted for the next lap around the sun with you. 

From the campfire & beyond,
Tammi, Chelsea and the Campowerment Crew

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