The Berkshire Camping Club is a cultural group
of individuals, couples and families
who wish to recalibrate and connect in nature
for an extended dose of Vitamin "N"
one weekend a month.
Why a Camping Club?
In our modern lifestyles it's often hard to stay connected with our own center of gravity... in the daily rush, it's easy to forget to nourish ourselves through our connection with community and the natural world.
In many communities, the inter-generational mentoring has broken down. Many now feel isolated, feeling like they have to "go it alone" or primarily rely upon their nuclear family for support. At the same time, many report a feeling of disconnect from the natural world, and wonder how to live more in tune with the patterns of nature, or if this is even possible. This isolation and uncertainty has become the norm for many today, but it wasn't always this way.
What happened? Where did truly supportive community go in the modern era? And, what has become of our relationship with nature?
Culture used to be a thing that truly supported community well-being. At it's best, this means a culture also supports individuals to shine in their gifts and roles that support the larger community. It also means that the culture guides the community to work in alignment with the cycles of nature surrounding the culture.
The lack of a culture aligned with nature is now catching up with our modern society. Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and Vitamin N and co-founder of the Children and Nature Network, coined the term "Nature Deficit Disorder," which describes how our loss of connection with nature has resulted in widespread behavioral problems and despair, as well as a stunting of human development. Technology addictions and other addictive behaviors, depression, feeling a lack of purpose, isolation, divorce, stress, and anxiety are all systemic issues that can be traced to a massive loss of culture.
The purpose of culture is to open connection with our deeper selves, each other and the natural world. Berkshire Camping Club was formed out of this need to repair our culture and begins by providing an opportunity to do so on a smaller scale and have "fun" doing it! Our monthly "pop-up" village is an ongoing demonstration in how to build a healthier resilient and connected community.
Our research has shown that 75% of the participants from our Nature Treatment initiatives were women over 50yrs old. As the Berkshire population ages, we are losing many capacities for families to thrive, let alone survive in our rural resort economy. The only initiatives that Louv's C&NN has found to be effective in making any cultural change has been from Family Nature Clubs. In these clubs, families get together in a park for a few hours and allow their children to have self-organized and unstructured time in nature while the parents share food and friendship. Why not extend that benefit to the entire weekend? Tim Beatley, from the U. of Virginia created a hypothetical nature pyramid that depicts the minimal amounts of nature we might need to be healthy like we have for food? A weekend dose of camping in nature is just what we imagine is needed to maintain optimal health.
Explore various public and private campgrounds in and around the Berkshires (approx 1hr radius to accommodate young families).
Negotiate better campsite rates/sites and enjoy getting to know our fellow campers over the course of the year.
Welcome all RVs, trailers, vans, tents, tarps and hammock shelters although some campgrounds may have limitations on length and hookup.
Campers of all experience levels can participate in this unique form of village building
where children self-organize their outdoor play, adults share food, fire and friendship
while all benefit from this extended dose of Vitamin "N" throughout the month.
October 2018-Host a kickoff campout the last weekend to gather interested members, explore collective intentions and propose locations for 2019. Find out more and register here.
November 2018-Open up membership registration
February 9th, 2019, 10-12pm-Club social and planning at the Lenox Community Center to formalize the club campout schedule and activities, club member roles/responsibilities and recruitment strategies. Bring a winter snack/drink to share. Bring your skates for family fun on the ice out back.
February 15-18th, 2019-Meet campground owners and recruit new members at the 57th annual Springfield RV Camping Show in the Eastern States Exposition, Springfield, MA.
April 2019-Camping season begins
October 2019-Last campout of the season.
Winter 2019-20-Explore optional campouts, gatherings and events through the winter months.