Camp Mighty: Spreading the Love / by Leslie

Camp Mighty will be held at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs this weekend.I am counting down the days to Camp Mighty! Today I have last minute errands to run for the trip and tomorrow I am getting my nails done and doing final packing. It's always amazing when you have been planning something for a while and it's finally time to get ready to go. In a way I feel like I have been waiting for this for a year, since I first heard about the invitation-only Mighty Summit. I didn't know how I was going to get myself invited, but they made it easy for me by creating a similar event that I could buy a ticket to. 

If you have looked at the website, you'll know that Camp Mighty is focused primarily around Life Lists. Before the event we were supposed to write our own, HERE'S MINE, and then while we are there, we select five items that we plan to accomplish in the next year, and ask for help with one item. But Camp Mighty can be far more than simply Life Listing our personal goals. We are also supposed to read other people's lists and see if there is anything that we can help them with. At it's heart it is a networking event, where the goal is to meet people and work together to accomplish our collective goals.

Our first collective goal, before we even got to Camp Mighty, was to raise $20,000 for Charity: Water. Each camper is responsible for $200 and we either donated the money out of own pocket or asked for donations. Some of us raised more than our individual goals so we will certainly exceed the $20,000 mark. I raised $550 with my own donation and the help of my generous family and friends! Thank-you Maddy & Jerry, Pauline, Jill B., Keith & Sue, Robin and Kathleen! My team has almost raised it's $5000 share. Do you want to help put us past our goal? Just donate here and put my name in the comment. The money goes toward buying a drilling rig in Ethiopia to bring clean water to villages that are far from their only water source. This is a new type of charity that is focused on a very specific task, and it's run in a way that takes 100% of the donations and puts them to use in the field. It's this kind of new thinking, about how we can help those in need, that the world needs more of and that Camp Mighty is promoting. 

Camp Mighty is new thinking too. It's unlike any other retreat or conference out there. It's community building, selfless and philanthropic. It's the best of what's good about blogging and social media. It's helping others reach their goals, it's teamwork, it's idealistic and non-judgmental. It's about passion and what makes our hearts beat faster. It's about inspiration, living by example and helping those around us. I've come to realize in the last year or so and maybe while becoming a mother and a blogger, that sometimes a really good way to help yourself is to help other people. Through giving, we build ourselves up, we can often accomplish our own goals and we receive help in return. Camp Mighty is at it's best when it's connecting people together to do good things for other people. Sometimes it's as simple as just inspiring someone, but it's also about teaching, giving and sharing. It's about spreading the love, sharing the wealth and building not only better lives for each other, but a better world together.

Of course, it could also just be about renting a Mustang convertible with your best friend and sipping cocktails pool side, right? That in itself is an admirable goal for a stay-at-home Mom like me who hasn't taken a vacation without my family EVER. Just getting together with a few friends and hanging out for the weekend without a care in the world is going to do me so much good that when I return, I'm sure my family will find me more refreshed and energized than I've been in a long time. Obviously we must take care of ourselves first, and sometimes that's all we can manage. But once we get settled with ourselves and happy with our life, it's important to turn towards the world and ask what can we do to make it a better place. Sometimes that means grand gestures, like raising money for a charity but it could also mean small bits of unexpected joy.

You probably won't see a blog post from me until next week while I am off on this adventure, but that doesn't mean that I won't be sharing. Tune in to my Twitter stream or the #campmighty hashtag on Twitter to see what's going on over the weekend. Expect to see lots of exclamation points! And I will be frequently using words like "Awesome!" and "Great job!" and "Amazing!" I will be meeting some of my favorite bloggers and listening to some very inspiring people. If you have contributions, comments or questions for me or anyone at camp over the weekend, please let me know via email (leslie at lightsandletters dot com) or twitter and I'll do what I can to respond.

Have a great week and if you find yourself wishing that could stow away in my suitcase and come with me, see what you can do in your own life to live in some of these principles. Write your own life list. Offer to help a friend. Do a good thing today. Smile. Take a break. And then plan to come with me next year.