This summer camp is for adults, but rules still apply: No booze, no drugs, no phones — and absolutely no talking about work.
Tired of work, bills, stress, chargers and your cellphone’s constant demands? Need a chance to reset?
Try heading to summer camp.
Started by a Seattle man and a group of friends, Camp Rahh has most of the things you might remember from your youth: bunk beds, campfires, kayaking, paintballing, arts and crafts, archery, yoga, horseback riding, dancing, rock-wall climbing and even sneaking out at night to look at the stars. But it also has things you won’t recall, including four-course gourmet meals by chef Brian O’Connor (of Bok A Bok Chicken) and a chance to hear Shy Girls and other musicians perform in the woods.
Founder Brian Oh had the idea for the camp, which is now in its third year, when he was “essentially feeling burnt out.”
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He worked at a tech startup at the time, had been traveling a lot and needed a break. But he also understood that he didn’t really need to go anywhere or spend money on airfare to have a life-changing experience in the Pacific Northwest.
“The big thing I realized is that people come to our back yard to go hiking and do everything, why are we leaving? We don’t really need to spend money or go to the other side of the world to make new friendships or relieve stress,” Oh said. “We can do all of that right here.”
While trying to design a restorative and fun getaway, he and other early staffers decided that the camp ought to be free of drugs, alcohol and technology. They also thought that work talk should be banned.
For Mary Hazen, the thought of meeting new people without any of those usual barriers or crutches had her feeling “nervous and self-conscious,” but she was surprised to find that it was easier to open up and have real conversations and to make new friends with the proscriptions.
“At first, you have to remember how to have a conversation without saying what you do, but then I had these beautiful and in-depth conversations with people I did not know,” she said.
She was so “totally refreshed” and changed by her experience in 2015 that she’s since joined the small staff and now serves as director of operations.
The four-night, three-day camp will be held this year in Port Orchard from Aug. 24-27 and costs $550, which includes everything from the moment the camper steps on the bus till the return to Seattle.
Bunks are still available for campers aged 21 and older, and registration will run through the middle of August.