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A-Musings

Vulnerability is Not a Liability

by Tammi Leader Fuller
 ∙ Oct 27 ∙ 5 Min Read

You, my friends, our community of thousands of awesome, purpose-driven people, are Campowerment’s greatest assets. 

And if we didn’t fully understand the deep connections we had made together, even after we continued to witness them camp after camp (for years) – even after you moved us to create a non-profit so you could send other women retreat-ing with us – even after you helped Campowerment recover from the losses we experienced in the 2018 fire in Malibu…

We fully “got” the power of our kinship – and that of the kinship you have with one another; those you know and those who enter Campowerment for the first time – in March of 2020, when the bottom fell out of life as we knew it for all of us (of course some more than others, but let’s face it: nobody wasn’t shook). 

So it was that third week of March in 2020 (you know the one) and we were reckoning with the reality that we were being flooded with emails wherein you vulnerably shared you needed community. That you were scared of the unknown; you were scared of the known; you didn’t want to feel alone in that. We felt it, too.  

“I just want to stay connected to my ‘camp friends,’” read messages. “I need my camp people right now.” “Can’t you find a way to help us help each other through this?” and questions of the like were the resounding ones that came pouring in.

We made the decision quickly to answer the call – to launch some ad-hoc sessions designed to connect you – our peeps – with each other.

And then came the calls from so many of our experts: “How can we help?”

So the first 7 sessions we launched on week 1 turned into 14 a week (we’re Virgos – shit), charging on a pay-what-you-can basis. 

We donated the first $5,000 to folks within – or adjacent to – the Campowerment community who need some assistance with rent, with food, with PPE, with life things, and we kept on…10-14 sessions a week for 5 months!

The whole thing was stunning. Two thousand people joined a session or two or five or ten or 200. In them, we shared and laughed and cried together, and gained strength from each other.

By summer, we were all exhausted…and then, the racial reckoning began. We introduced a new “area of life” to the expert-led content we share; we called it “Impact,” and in sessions from that corner we took on hard conversations, big lessons and yes: lots of vulnerability. We added a program format: “Listening Sessions.” 

We were all growing, shedding, learning, unlearning. So we kept going.

By October we realized this was the foundation for a whole new way. And that’s when we knew it was time to officially launch something to sustain and invite our people to be part of the continued connection, beyond the campfire.

This experience would ultimately become a year-round membership community – Campowerment.com, the house we built, brick by brick, in a time of crisis…because you so vulnerably asked.

We launched our year-round membership two years ago this month…and since then, we have hosted nearly 500 LIVE, expert-led, interactive sessions, in our very own Campowerment way.

Because you showed up, for yourselves, for each other, and to try to understand and cope with all the changes that were taking over our lives as we knew it.

Now, with our 250+ members (and counting!), we get to witness each other through life’s peaks and valleys and the in betweens. We get to have and return to and impact a space carved out simply for us to BE, to share of ourselves with one another, to be supported, to support…to ask questions, to pick up life skills, to celebrate milestones the people in our home lives are too jaded to remember are worth celebrating!! To get to appreciate the people in our home life that WE are too jaded to remember are worth appreciating! All of it.

For me personally, as a single mom living alone in a new city where everything was shut down, I can honestly say Campowerment.com has saved my sanity and held my heart during what was otherwise a really lonely time of isolation. It’s reminded me I am (like you are) not alone, in anything I am experiencing.

And so we say: thank you and happy 2nd anniversary!! And so I (very personally) say it twice.

We are so grateful to the 2,000 folks who joined the free and donation-based sessions during those trying first months – then especially to our 70 Founding Members who helped us get here – and all who came next and continue to show up for yourself and each other.

Onwards! If you’re not yet member, don’t wait ‘til we’re celebrating year 3 😉

Join our year-round community of women, here

 

From the campfire & beyond,

Tammi

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Way-Fun Fact #26
Our scholarship foundation (Give Her Camp, Inc) is fueled by past campers (+ people who believe in this movement) who want to pay their experience forward.
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