Women rediscover themselves, relive childhood at camp

Ann Arbor woman says her trip to Campowerment well worth it

Women are finding a way to escape their daily lives and let themselves be a kid again. They are going to camp -- Campowerment to be exact.

The three 1/2 day camp was started by Tammi Leader Fuller who gave up her job as a TV producer to be a camp director.      She spent 34 years as an Emmy-winning producer but wanted something different.

"For so many years, I had a career that looked really great on paper, and it was prestigious and all that, but it didn't fill me up," said Leader Fuller.

Leader Fuller loved camp as a child and started it as a way to relive the life-changing experiences she had as a child at sleep-away camp.  

"Those two months in the summer made me who I am today. Without our parents telling us who we should be, we became who we want to be," said Leader Fuller.

During camp, the women do all the traditional activities children do at sleep-away camp - sing songs, play games, roast marshmallows, sleep in cabins.

The women love it.

"I'm channeling my inner child while I'm here," said Ivy Lasky.

Nora Lee Wright, an attorney in Ann Arbor, attended Campowerment with her sister-in-law in Malibu.   She never went to sleep-away camp as a child and thought it would be something fun to do.

She was also deciding whether she wanted to make any changes to her life, and Campowerment offers opportunities for women to do some soul-searching and re-discover themselves.

"At my age you're always willing to change something," said Wright.  "I've been looking at different career options, you know, with five years or so to work or more and I had been increasingly unhappy with what I was doing work wise and so I've always been kind of exploring that because I didn't have anything that i wanted to do like i didn't want to quit my job and go you know open a bakery or something like that."

Campowerment offers workshops with experts that include health, fitness, business, parenting, and relationships.

Dawn Andrews is one of the experts who hosts a class on work-life balance.

"I encourage people to start their own businesses and pursue their happiness instead of this conversation around balance," said Andrews.

Vilma Biaggi, MD, talks to women about health issues.
"My landmark of the conversation is: get to know your body, know your normality," said Vilma.

Women can also push themselves to their limits by tackling the ropes course, zipline or archery.

"I vowed to myself by jumping off the pole that i was not going to hold back anymore. I was going to go for it," said camper Kris Wittenberg.

Wright got on the zipline, she also did yoga outside and enjoyed other fun activities the camp offered.

"They had some just fun things like massages and some spa treatments, they had a beauty consultant who came in," said Wright.

Wright said there was also a cocktail hour before dinner with drinks and hor d'oeurves.

Leader Fuller is confident women will get something out of her camp.

"I can tell you 100 percent of the women, 100 percent of them, go home changed," said Leader Fuller.

Wright said she came home and made some small changes using some of what she learned to help her stop being a procrastinator.

"Oh change is so hard, I can't say that I really changed" said Wright.  "I have incorporated some of the tips and suggestions by the clutter organizer, I'm not a real clutter person but I'm a big procrastinator so some of her suggestions kind of keep things going in terms of a calendar system."

"I've changed a little bit in terms of my law practice and gravitating from being an attorney who has private clients to working more closely with my family businesses and that's been better, I like that better," Wright said.

Wright points out that many women don't take time for themselves like they should  She said she has always tried to carve out time for herself especially because she worked full-time and raised four children.

Her advice to women considering Campowerment is to go for it.

"Well worth it.  Definitely. It was a fun vacation," said Wright. "If you could afford the time and the money, go!"

Wright noticed that many of the women who attended the camp when she did had been more than once or were already planning to return.

The cost ranges from $850 to $1,000.  For more information, click here.

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