Who said you don’t know what you got til it’s gone?
For those of us who sometimes feel trapped by boring adulthood, Camp No Counselors provides a rare chance to relive those childhood summer camps.
What started as a last ditch effort by Founder Adam Tichauer to get some old friends together quickly gained momentum, and eventually grew into a 90-person event. It turns out, a chance to escape the daily grind of adulting was in high demand. The first camp received overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic support. Tichauer left his job a few months afterward, and in early 2014 started working full-time on developing Camp No Counselors.
The idea of the Camp is off-beat, but the flood of interest it has received makes sense. As Tichauer points out, “The majority of our adult life is spent in situations where we are expected to be serious. When did the fun stop?” Camp No Counselors gives adults and professionals the rare chance to be silly, without worrying about appearing professional or mature.
One page of their website shows a large image of a group of whooping adults, arms raised and red cups showing. A superimposed block of text reads, “Play like a kid, party like a grown up.” It’s a bold claim they’re making—that we can have our cake and eat it, too. But camper testimonies keep rolling in about how CNC is the perfect remedy for adulthood malaise, and Camp No Counselors has now established camps throughout the United States, and even into Toronto and Canada.
The four-day camp includes hearty meals that bring to mind the best parts of childhood camping—pancakes, grilled hot dogs and burgers, BBQ, and corn on the cob. Of course, Camp No Counselors also features full vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as an open bar with each meal. Definitely having and eating the cake at the same time.
In between meals, campers socialize and engage in activities together. CNC offers everything from archery to friendship bracelet weaving to wakeboarding. And to cap it off, every night ends with a costume theme party.
Jaymie de los Reyes, Director of Operations at Camp No Counselors, recently moved into ROC’s Newport Beach office. She talked to us about her experience as a veteran camper, why Camp No Counselors is such a hit, and her time at ROC.
Have you been to any Camp No Counselors camps? What was your favorite moment from camp?
Yes! I attended 11 of our camps in 2015 (in NY, Madison, Nashville & Los Angeles) and 12 camps in 2016 (adding locations in Austin, Boston, Michigan, Florida, San Francisco and our first Canadian camp in Toronto). This year, we added 6 more locations in Chicago, San Antonio, Seattle, and Denver, as well as two Canadian locations in Calgary and Vancouver.
My favorite camp moment was my first Camp No Counselors experience, where I was a camper, before working with CNC. I went solo to our LA Camp and got those “first day at school” nerves I haven’t had in a while. I got paired/bunked with an amazing roommate (and now best friend) and it gave me an opportunity to express myself beyond my social media accounts and play like a kid again.
Why do you think Camp No Counselors has been so popular with adults?
Camp No Counselors is an escape and I think that’s the reason it’s been most popular with adults. Many locations have little to no cell service or Wi-Fi, and campers are asked to avoid asking and talking about work, so campers feel a little freer to be themselves without worry of judgment.
For me, it was a great opportunity to meet people. I had only recently moved to California and because I had a remote office, I didn’t’ get to make those same connections or meet people my own age. This opened that door to meet more people in the area, and after adding more locations to our roster, I’ve been able to make even more friends across the country/continent!
What is the usual age range at a Camp No Counselors camp?
The average age of our campers is around 30, with the majority of our campers ranging in age from mid-20s to mid-40s.
Finally, can you say anything about your experience working at ROC?
I was amazed to find that ROC was able to create a sense of community. I have friends and colleagues that have discussed their experiences at other shared workspaces, having never met or spoken to their neighbors. On my first day here, I was greeted by the ROC team and a few of the neighbors around my office. ROC has done a great job creating an environment that facilitates this sense of community.