With the machines packed away (SINGER®, thank you for supporting our community!) and my clipboard empty, I wanted to take some time to share with you stories from Camp Workroom Social 2016, complete with some of my fav pictures from the weekend!
All Camp photo 2016.
This year Camp Workroom Social welcomed 75 campers and 25 sewing Camp staffers from around the world to Frost Valley YMCA in New York state’s beautiful Catskills Mountain region. Against a perfect autumn backdrop, we hosted six sewing and design intensives taught by some of the most talented, fun, patient, and kind instructors (and supported by an equally awesome team of assistants). Our youngest camper was 22, and our eldest was 66! We had two mother-daughter pairs, one set of cousins, several groups of sewing friends, and many brave women who signed up without knowing a single person at Camp.
Left: New friends knitting, eating ice cream sundaes, and drinking wine. / Right: Me laughing while crying as I’m awarded my clipboard-carrying merit badge.
It didn’t matter if you were a new camper or a returning camper, or if you came to Camp with or without friends, the CWS team watched on as dozens and dozens of new friendships formed over the four days we were stuck in the woods sans Internet. By the end of the weekend I think I counted about a bajillion happy camper (and staffer!) tears. (Admittedly, about half of those happy tears were mine; it’s totally a medical condition and I have the merit badge to prove it!).
Campers in our Jacketmaking Intensive taught by Christine Haynes. The Ellsworth Coat pattern is now available at ChristineHaynes.com and we are teaching another Jacketmaking Intensive at Workroom Social in Brooklyn this January!
I think CWS instructor Christine Haynes explained the Camp vibe perfectly on her blog…
I’ve taught at camps and camp-like events in the past, and this was something different. Jennifer, head of the camp as well as Workroom Social in Brooklyn, created a space for people to bond, connect, be vulnerable with each other, learn, share, and grow. Everything I can say sounds trite and corny, but all the cheesy cliché words are true. It was magical and everyone I met there is now like a BFF. Seriously.
Left: Camper Laura assisting in our knitting workshop. Everyone at Camp loves to help everyone else! / Right: Everyone learned how to knit!
To me, Camp isn’t just a place you go. It’s the magical feeling of joy, friendship, curiosity, an openness to trying new things (and possibly failing at those new things), and an eagerness to help others (which in turn helps achieve an even greater feeling of magical joy and friendship!).
Campers having fun while learning about different kinds of presser feet from SINGER® expert Becky.
This year our campers didn’t come to Frost Valley to have a magical experience happen to them. They came to Camp to create a magical experience for themselves and for the people around them. Our community, campers and staffers alike, made Camp magic by being there. They reached out and helped each other. They celebrated each other’s accomplishments. They were silly. (Vulnerable, even!). They encouraged each other through tough times, whether it be sewing frustrations, challenges at archery, or just plain homesickness.
Left: Staffers Whitney and Devon at the Camp PJ Party sponsored by SINGER®. / Right: The Carolyn Pajama crew!
They willingly wore pajamas to a cocktail party just because I asked them to. That’s Camp!
Campers and staffers hanging out in the Dining Hall after hours checking out everyone’s Me-Made Fashion Show makes.
I must confess that I don’t just produce CWS for you, but I selfishly produce it for me. Camp fills ME with so much happiness, love, energy, and you guessed it—MAGIC. I just love watching everyone come together they way they do at Camp, and it’s hard to think that you could discover something new about yourself now, as a grown-up, but YOU CAN. And it makes me so happy to help the personal growing come to life at Camp.
Me beyond excited about the start of my Camp Workroom Social Friendship Hat! Thank you Allyson and Lion Brand Yarns!
Camp is also my opportunity to connect with my inner 12-year-old self. (Is it weird that I liked carrying around clipboards even as a child??)
I have a whole list of great Camp moments to share with you, but I’m still going through the photos. Stay tuned for CWS recap part 2!
In the meantime, if Camp Workroom Social sounds like your cup of tea, make sure you are on our mailing list. 2017 registration will go to subscribers exclusively before we post registration on the website. Don’t miss your chance to be a camper next year!