Forget Digital, Go Analog at Camp Out Yonder
Text Natasha Bourlin
Technology is ubiquitous in today’s world. It’s getting hard to imagine, or remember, life without it.
Right now, you’re appreciating technology as it relates to modern media, either in print or digital format. However, we all need a hiatus from the multi-sized screens and cellular inundation at times.
More and more, we need tools to help balance our work and personal lives better. We need to reconnect with the world around us on a personal and tangible level.
We need to stare at trees; to cook on a campfire.
To talk to other humans face-to-face.
To reflect on what’s truly important in life, beyond the cacophony of notifications constantly reminding us that we’re tethered to tech.
These connections and technological reprieves can be found at the inaugural Camp Out Yonder event on May 26-28, followed by another August 11-13.
Both weekends take place surrounded by pine trees and under a symphony of stars at the Sierra Nevada Journeys Grizzly Creek Ranch campus approximately 45 miles from Reno in Portola, Calif. Three healthy meals will be provided daily. There are even teepees to sleep in.
Founder of Camp Out Yonder (COY), local entrepreneur Nellie Davis, came up with the concept after recognizing the toll that constant tech immersion was taking on her and those around her.
“We live in such a fast-paced culture, where we often value the level of our success by how busy we are. It's easy to forget to take the time to get back to nature and strengthen our relationships with ourselves and others,” Davis explains. “I wanted to encourage folks to slow it down for a weekend in a lighthearted camp out, to put our technology down and re-ignite human interaction along the way.”
Campers learn real-world techniques to help improve work/life balance daily. These include how to better utilize time daily, and how to make that time more productive and enriching. Studying mindfulness, or the art of existing calmly and being aware in the present moment, will be a primary focus for all who attend.
Time at COY can be spent however campers desire—as long as no chargers are involved. Options like taking in workshops from nationally and regionally lauded speakers, to lawn and board games will be available. Postcard making, do-it-yourself aromatherapy, film photography, songwriting, critical thinking in journaling, team building on the obstacle course and more will keep human interaction high. Group campfire chats and live music over s’mores-making wind down the evenings.
Lodro Rinzler, author of six books on meditation and founder of three MNDFL meditation studios in New York, will be May’s featured speaker.
“We'll be going into a deep dive on everything meditation: what it is, what it isn't, some history on where the various types of meditation come from,” Rinzler, bestselling author of A Buddha Walks into a Bar…, shares. “I'll lead a guided session and we'll get into what I call the ‘invisible goodie bag’—advice and practical tips on how to bring this important practice home with you.”
Having taught meditation at Google, Harvard and the White House, and with his work having been featured in The Atlantic, New York Times and Wall Street Journal, COY campers are in good hands. He wants each camper to “leave with an accessible and clear experience of meditation, and one that they can replicate at home on their own.”
For the inaugural COY weekend, Rinzler and camp host Davis will be joined by local experts in their respective fields: guitarist Liam Kyle Cahill, national blogger and writer Jonas Ellison and graphic artist and photographer Matthew McIver. Each will share their expertise and experiences in workshops and fireside performances.
August 11-13 will welcome all featured guests except Lodro Rinzler back for a second COY session, while adding a couple of other notables to the mix.
The High Sierra will greet another New Yorker, Jess Davis. Founder of a national goods and clothing brand that encourages offline living called Folk Rebellion, Davis has also covered topics like slow-living, balance, unplugging and technology for national media outlets. From her, campers will learn actionable items so they may better create boundaries in life and not be so consumed with technology, instead making it work for them once they return home.
The August camp will also add the region’s multi-faceted artist, sculptor, craftsman, wilderness skills expert and certified ecological designer Timo Granzatti to the mix. He’ll offer a bush craft fire workshop.
All meals, non-alcoholic beverages, activities, accommodations and workshops are included with COY’s $745 cost. Space is limited for each weekend, so visit CampOutYonder.com for more information, a full lineup of activities and teachers and to register.
Lodro Rinzler image provided by Lodro Rinzler.
Camp Out Yonder images provided by Nellie Davis.
This article is featured in the 2017 April RTT: