“What do you mean you have to go to work in the summer?”

This from the lips of my precocious, yet insightful, 9 year old son.

I have to admit, I’ve had the same thought lately.

As both a parent and a career person, the rhythm of my life is very much affected by the rhythm of my children’s lives…including the seasonal changes driven by the calendar of a student.

In the fall as they prepare for back to school, I often find myself also exploring and committing to some new learning opportunity (e.g. honing my social media skills, attending a conference on a marketing topic I want to learn more about or flexing my creative muscles through a writing class or cooking etc.).

Similarly, when school ends in June and they get to kick back and take a break…I find myself longing for one too.

Sure things slow down in the summer a bit at work, there are half day Summer Friday’s, long holiday weekends, and the requisite summer vacation.

But sometimes it still doesn’t feel like enough.

I think what I am really longing for is…camp.

The opportunity to go to a different and special location, to move to a different rhythm, to experience new people and new ideas.

To swim, hike, be outdoors more. Try my hand at different skills- like pottery, lanyard, belt making etc.

Bring more music into my life with campfire songs and sing alongs.

How can I feel more the spirit of camp, while sitting 9 to 5 at my desk?

I could start packing Smores with my lunch, but I don’t think that’s a really viable solution. Not for my waistline at least.

One thing I’m trying to do is to get out and go for a walk at lunch.
While I’m not exploring wooded hiking trails, I am trying to find new streets and stores in Soho that I don’t already know.

And I am stopping often for a Pinkberry gelato on the way back to the office which does gives me a feeling of re-freshment  (and sure beats the sugary Popsicles of my youth).

This little infusion of summer time in my work day doesn’t quite quench my thirst for a bonafide carefree childhood summer…but it’s a start.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

How do you add a little summer camp to your work life?

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Julie is the Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands.


  1. While it might not break-up the middle of my workday, I am fortunate enough to have a pool, and I find taking a dip in the evenings at the end of a long (and HOT day) brings me back to my days of summer camp and multiple trips to the pool and/or lake.

    If you had to ask me for something to break-up my work day– it might be a Hamburger or Hot Dog lunch on either Tuesday or Thursday as those were our “Cookout” Meal-days.

    Aaah, summer camp. Met my wife there. Bet our parents NEVER THOUGHT they were investing in their future grandchildren…

  2. Americans have a reputation in Europe for being extremely hardworking. We often read reports about how many holiday days American workers have left at the end of the year. I read somewhere that 70% of workers don’t take their full quote of days off.


    Of course, the truth is workers do practically nothing over the summer. Once the 4th of July (or George III day as I call it) the breaks are on – the daily email flood turns to a trickle, everyone seems to be moving in slo-mo 🙂

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