Over Memorial Day weekend I was lucky to attend a “Financial Conference” as I explained it to people. In truth, it was a hangout session for money nerds, which was quite accurately disguised as a “camp.”
I’ve been to a CampFI before, the “Southwest” version at Joshua Tree, and was just as thrilled this time after spending three more days with my people again this year—albeit different my peoples as CampFI Mid-Atlantic.
He’s the really cool thing, the group of seventy plus people ranged in ages from 23 to maybe 63ish. To be even more clear, there almost were three generations in attendance but there weren’t different levels of discussions. ALL ages of people were engaged in discussions, on all topics, no matter their age. EVERYONE in the discussions added ideas, perspective, and additional inquiries.
I’m quite an introvert at heart—just like many others I’ve come into contact with in the FI world—yet at the CampFI’s it is so easy to talk to everyone. To me, it’s the strangest thing to just walk up to someone and start chatting, then go more in-depth on a topic, or multiple topics, a process that just seems so natural.
Discussion timelines were quite amazing as people talked very late into the evening and were often up early getting their bodies in gear with some form of activity. The campers sure seem to really live life to the max and get the most out of their day(s).
For those who don’t know, CampFI is three days of hanging out with people so similar to yourself. We arrive on Friday afternoon and leave mid-day on Monday. The camps are located outside of a populated area in a (youth?) camp-like setting. It’s a little basic on the lodging and dining side, but that seems to fit us FI people just fine, especially since we often cherish experiences more than material items. We do not seem to need luxurious accommodations.
The days are really very loose and open with lots of free time to gather, play games, snack, hang out, meet, then meet more, and truly get to know so many people living a similar intentional lifestyle. One very cool aspect is that everyone comes from different professions and often different parts of the country (or even worldwide).
There are a couple of hour-long presentations each day on life topics. The presentations are not really geared toward money talk. They seem to be more about a higher level of thinking, of living the best life on your own terms. I’m sure that is on purpose as we all consume money -talk media non-stop in our real lives.
The group size at both of my camps has been great. There are lots (70ish) of people to hang out with and make friendships, but not too many to be overwhelmed.
In closing, I think my main thought is that I find I really care about the people I’ve met. I’m excited to stay in contact and watch their lives progress towards more-awesomeness. At (and after) camp, it’s not at all like the instagram-highlight reel lifestyle, but a much truer, more real, we’re-kicking-ass at the lifestyle we choose.
If you’re really into living an intentional FI related life, CampFI is a great way to rise up another notch.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice.