Eayikes Communitaaaay! is in the books, and man, what a gamechanger! It was not only a cool camp weekend, but without a doubt a super profound experience that affected all of us involved, and really compelled us to examine our lives, our relationships, and the greatness we all have inside us.
Eayikes started out as an idea and a pipedream in our heads, so to see what it’s become with the all these little intentional baby steps everyday over the past year and a half, along with the unquestioned ride or die support of a freaking beautiful community around us, it's pretty mind boggling, and even crazier to ride the wave you've all provided for us. (We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy! (see Wayne’s World))
As I replay everything back from the weekend, the best expression I can come up with to sum up the experience is just, “Ooooooohhhhhhhhwwwwweeeeeeee!” (eyes closed head nodding side to side). If I could describe it, it was like a meal that you crave and drool over for months, and when you finally feast on it, it exceeds all the expectations of your anticipation, and reminds you in of all it’s glory and goodness just why you were missed it so much. It was pretty much this scene from Hook, but even better.
We started the weekend splitting up into 5 guilds that represent the 5 values of Communitaaaay!, and each guild would be the example and the leaders of those values. They were:
***Trust & Respect
***We B. Famileayikes
***You Be Greateness
***Push Past Your Comfortzone
With everyone committing to building this environment of trust and acceptance right off the bat, it was pretty clear that this wasn’t about staffers creating an experience for the campers, but all of us collectively going through a pretty transformational experience, because of the environment and openness.
Some of the highlight activities and workshops of the weekend were:
Guild Presentations - each Guild repped their values and gave a presentation to the crew, it was costumes and characters galore.
Workshops! - There was Book Binding, Vision Boarding, Bucket Listing, Sketching, Creating Soundtrack Cover Art, and Facing Your Fears.
Olympeayikes! - A olympic games for Communitaaaay! hosted by Le- Yassir, Gentle, and Marvel!
Dinner Challenge! - All the campers split up to prep, set, cook and serve dinner for the entire camp, while being followed around by judges and a film crew. They passed with flying colors.
Guild Reflection Time - Each guild got to spend time on their own and dig deeper and learn more about each other’s lives and experiences.
The Siege! - A massive live scenario game we created and played where The Ranch was turned into a Childlike Wonderless place, and the campers had to pass challenges, and work together to defeat the evil villain Sugetree Jeffiyama!
International Soccer Game - We had a soccer game on the final day that was commentated by 5 commentators from different nations speaking different languages…AMAZING IT WAS!
Closing - A final circle for folks to speak on whatever they wanted to...All I can say is that it got really real!
The fact that we all came together and bonded at the level we did having different cultures, backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, education levels, with an age range from 14 - 32, was pretty cool, but the best part of it all was the fact that these factors were never issues, rather they were the unique aspects of every person that we celebrated in each other.
By the end of the weekend we were family, and linked together by this experience. We had learned each other’s personal stories, we had empowered each other to take a leap in uncomfortable moments, we worked in teams, we solved challenges, and most of all we connected as people in our most simplest form, giving love, trust, support, encouragement, and childlike wonder to each other.
I wish I could break it down to a pinpoint science and explain why each aspect of camp clicked, but then again a huge part of me is content not to. I’m good with the idea that all I’ve got to do at Eayikes is to go all in with my Childlike Wonder, and share it with the folks around me, experience the magic that unfolds, and be completely present in those moments.
I think Dylan explained it best in our closing circle on Sunday when she likened Communitaaaay! to the idea of “duende” in music. It’s the idea of a song without notes, or music without a listener. The idea that one cannot have soul and connection without the relationship to the other, they depend on each other to create a heightened sense and energy and the moment.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks so much for reading and supporting! You’re a big reason that we’ve committed our lives to this cause, and know that we’re going to see this sucker through! We’re on a never ending journey to spread and share this sense of community, trust, respect, and love to all who want and need it!!!