I never thought I would say a sentence like that after the age of 14. Ha! But seriously! SUMMER CAMMP! This awesome event is hosted by Deek Diedriksen (and family and friends) in the woods of Vermont each September, and is officially one of our first yearly traditions as a couple.
We attended last year for the first time, and we had an absolute blast! There was so much to explore, with over 10 micro-shelters (and counting) scattered throughout the site, guest speakers from every walk of life happily having candid chats with attendees, and multiple projects going on at the same time, ensuring that everyone could play as major or minor a part in creating each new tiny building as they desired.
To be around so many people with similar passions and goals is always a rejuvenating experience for me. Dan and I have met some really great friends through these weekends including Ethan Waldman, author of Tiny House Decisions, Vera Struck of Silver Bullet Tiny House, Palo Coleman an incredible artist and woodworking extraordinaire, and many others like Roy, Marty, Jeremy and Jen, and of course the Diedricksen brothers!
Each year Deek seems to take things up a notch. Not only were there three different micro shelters being built, campers had the chance to work on an actual tiny house foundation! Jeremy and Jen brought their trailer and began work on the base of their future home. Vera also brought her tiny house this year!
The eclectic spread of guest speakers also included someone I particularly enjoyed this year- Matt, also known as Animal Man Survivor. He did several presentations throughout the weekend ranging from how to build basic shelters with nothing but what's laying around the forest floor, to basic fire starter implements, and my favorite, an edibles walk. This guy is an overflowing fountain on information!
Perhaps our favorite part of these weekends is hearing from attendees after we do our talk. Dan and I learned the we are kind of the comic relief slash inspiring and relatable speakers. Fine with us! We both enjoy making people laugh and breaking down intimidating aspects of the tiny house journey into more approachable steps. It also gives us an opportunity to bring light to subjects we are especially passionate about, like the environment and debt free living. I always make a point to address the fact that we live without typical plumbing and share how important it is to be mindful of what's happening with water in this world. It is our most precious resource, and it is being polluted, privatized, and completely overlooked.
|THIS GUY! :D|
Four or five attendees made a point to pull us aside and tell us that they found our talk very inspiring and they were now considering designing their future tiny houses without running water, or at the very least, minimizing features that use running water. I was over the moon! It's wonderful to know that our words, like ripple effects, can spread new perspectives and shed light on important subjects to several very different people, who then share with even more people.
Needless to say, Dan and I highly recommend joining in the fun at next year's Tiny House Summer Camp! I know we sure will!
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|Animal Survivor Man's digs for the weekend..|
|We love you Vera!|
|Laughing as Dan struggles with the camera!|