Camp Wild Child

Why every adult should go back to summer camp

Camp Wild Child

These adults played hard at Camp Wild Child in the Berkshires.

As a coworking space owner/operator, I spend a TON of time thinking about how create an environment that lends itself to the formation of friendships and real connection.

These days, adults don’t make new friends easily. Our interactions are reduced to like, love, or LOL. We drive around alone in our cars listening to podcasts. At the end of a long work day, we catch up on our favorite Netflix or Amazon series. We can conduct almost every business we need online, so we don’t even bump into people running errands or standing in line. No wonder we as a people feel lonely!

I’m passionate about coworking because it’s a return to face-to-face interaction, community, and real-life friending.

Now, I’m also passionate about camp.

Lakseide Camp Wild Child

Sittin’ on the dock at Camp Wild Child.

Camp Wild Child is summer camp for adults. It is the brainchild of Christin Marshall, a recent grad of the winter EforAll cohort, so we’ve watched her develop it from idea to launch at Groundwork! over the months. The premise is simple: go back to camp for a weekend, and find your inner Wild Child. Camp Wild Child takes place in a beautiful, rustic setting: a real summer camp complete with a waterfront, cabins, and dining hall. There are activities galore: workouts designed by CrossFit instructors and a burpee mile challenge for you intensity junkies out there; archery, hiking, bonfires, and kayaking for the traditional summer camp types; SUP yoga, self defense, water skiing, and wake boarding if you’re one of those millennials who likes to try new things.

And then there’s the true magic: no cell signal, and no WiFi. The sort of detail that causes initial panic, followed by a collective sigh: aaaaaaaaaah.

Views of the Berkshires

We could see MA, CT, and NY from this perch.

I attended the inaugural edition of Camp Wild Child last weekend. As an entrepreneur, I was stoked because Christin nailed the logistics! As a nature lover, I was swooning at the full moonrise over the lake and the smell of pine forests. And as a coworking space owner and crusader to end loneliness and isolation among adults, I was convinced that this concept is nothing short of revolutionary.

Our motto at Groundwork! is “Work together. Grow together.” At camp you could say: “Play together. Be together.”

We cheered each other on during the burpee mile, chatted over meals, shot bb guns, and basked in the sun together. And each night we did what humans have been doing for hundreds of years: we gathered around a fire.

This ancient and primal tradition still holds great power: as sparks shot into the air, secrets were shared and bonds were created. It felt utterly natural, simple, and free.

Now I’m back in front of my computer screen, but fortunately I’m at Groundwork! so I can find my way into a random lunch conversation in the kitchen soon. And I’m already looking forward to my next weekend to unplug and reconnect at Camp Wild Child in October. Will I see you there, friend?

Full Moon at Camp Wild Child

Moonrise at camp.

Jeff Golenski

Member Spotlight: Jeff Golenski

“At Groundwork, there’s a community here that I can be a part of and reach out to for ideas if need be. It’s like being in an office, but everyone just works at different companies. It’s something we’re only going to see more of as our workforce moves more towards the digital space.”

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Courtney-Morgan
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Napping at a coworking space

Is napping at coworking spaces really a thing?

Napping at a coworking space

Artist Tim Cole snoozes after installing a solo show in the GW gallery.

We probably owe the evolution of the modern workspace to those posh campuses in Silicon Valley: game rooms, couches, gourmet food, yoga, and car washes seem like great perks to improve employee quality of life. But is it really just a clever trap to ensure that you NEVER leave the office?

Coworking: Work with options

Enter the coworking movement. One of the guiding principles of coworking is that we show up to work at the office because we want to… not because we have to. And yet many of our spaces feature similar perks: at Groundwork! we have a hammock, bean bag, dart board, and ping pong table.

I’ve visited many spaces that have a nap area incorporated into the office layout:

Do people really, actually sleep at coworking spaces?

While the answer is yes, napping has yet to become a common phenomenon.

At Groundwork! our favorite napping area is the large blue bean bag in the Doug Out room. You can reserve this room for 20 minutes, lock the door, and snooze without worry of interruption. I’ve had some epic power naps in the Doug Out.

Doug Out Bean Bag

GW member Doug Lane uses the bean bag in his namesake room.

We also have a hammock for folks who don’t mind sleeping out in the open. I’ve napped in the hammock: throw a scarf over your head and put your headphones in, and the rest of the world disappears.

Still, many people chuckle at the sight of me taking a nap:

Did she have a rough night?

The truth: sometimes I get that late afternoon slump. And rather than reach for the caffeine or waste time sleepily on Facebook because I can’t focus on anything else, I elect to close my eyes for a few.

Napping keeps me on task. After a 20 minute power nap I return to my desk and get a couple more hours of high productivity before I leave the office.

The perfect work life balance

It’s a pretty exciting time to be alive, and the work day is evolving quickly. While some of us pursue Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Work Week, others throw themselves into marathon days of coding, gaming, and napping. I’d like to think that coworking offers us something in the middle: a space where work and life seamlessly integrate. At a coworking space you can meet friends, socialize, take a nap, and get shit done so that you have more time to get outside, play with the kids, or do whatever it is that makes you happy.

Coffee at Groundwork
Aminda O'Hare