career fun life list photos

Camp Mighty 2011 Summed Up

Oh, Camp Mighty. It’s hard to explain what it is because it is so much more than words can tell, but basically it was a weekend where we brought our Life Lists and focused on accomplishing things. From the website:

The objective is to improve your life until it cannot be further improved…The retreat gives you time to think about what you want, a team to help, and a pool. For floating.

Camp Mighty was a larger version of the Mighty Summit I went to last year, a life-changing event, as it was what started my business in earnest and what helped me realize on a visceral level that living epically is totally possible, even for little old me.

This year’s event brought into focus that I’m in a Good Place right now. My Life List is chugging along; I have successfully created the space for doing Amazing Things. The time is there, the room is there, the fortitude to press onward and accomplish is there. That didn’t come easily, but my 2010 goal of making my lifestyle such that I could Life List as I wanted was accomplished.

And it feels SO GOOD.

“So, Amber,” I asked. “What now?” Because, ok, excellent, but one can’t stop.

The larger conference was broken down into four teams; we met together and were encouraged to share five things with the group that we wanted to accomplish. Here are my picks, and if you can help with any of them, get in touch, please. It would be so nice of you.

  • Holi color fight.
  • Hike in Hawaii, jump off a cliff, and yell “Geronimo!”
  • Officiate a wedding ceremony.
  • Fly kites in a group of friends.
  • Be in a book club.

They’re all “doing cool stuff” things because that’s where I am right now: I want to have FUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNN! Wouldn’t you know: I was seated a few chairs over from two ladies who live in Maui – one of who is building a guest house.

“Hi,” I said. “I’m Amber, and I make an excellent house guest.”

“See you this spring?” she said. “I know a cliff you can jump off of.” (Later that evening we decided capes should also be involved.)

Someone else had “have a professional portrait of myself taken”, and, of course, I had my camera. The only thing cooler than having someone help you with a Life List item is to help someone else yourself. (A lot of people had this on their list, actually, but between timing and the rain, I didn’t get to snap as many faces as I’d have liked.)

Best parts: hugging people who have inspired me. And hugging people I’ve inspired. (So much inspiration!) And rocking out to the TonTons (plus chatting with the singer between sets – she’s adorable). And drinking champagne in the hot tub while chatting with super smart ladies. And the speakers. And dancing my ass off at the space-themed dance party, in my pretty space-themed dress. And soaking up the sun poolside. And road tripping with three hilarious gals from LA to Palm Springs, with a pit stop at In-N-Out (as one does when one is from the east coast and lands in California).

(My dress is from here.) (I totally brought my one-frillion dollar camera into the hot tub. I was careful. The photos were worth it. Don’t judge me.)

I did end up floating in that pool, too, alone on Friday night, with the rain in my face and my body warmed up by the hot tub. It was incredible, and an excellent way to think, by the way, should you have the opportunity.

“What next? What bigger? What more?” I whispered these questions to myself softly, but heard them loudly because my ears and my lungs were both underwater. You want to know what popped into my head?

Adventure. Business bigger.

That’s it.

Everyone who has heard the details of AMP growing the past year is astounded at the trajectory, but I still want more. I decided, as the pool wormed its way into my ear canal, that I will be consciously unafraid of making more money and getting more business. (It is terribly difficult to be consciously unafraid when your stomach is in knots.) I will take on larger, longer weddings, I will stop dragging my feet about offering customers prints and albums. And I will have more adventures, because those are rad, and I deserve them.

You all know me by now; you know I do not believe the “Universe speaks to us” or anything like that, but goddamn if there isn’t an unprecedented inquiry for a 120 person wedding sitting in my inbox as of 9:30 am Tuesday morning.

So I will open myself to adventure and success this year.

Oh man oh man. Here I go.


  1. Elizabeth

    16 November 2011 at 2:08 am

    If you’re willing to fly to CA I can help you with the “officiating a wedding” part. And if you were willing to move here I could help with the “be in a book club,” since I’m in two 🙂

    yay for life list, all you camp mighty-ers have inspired me to start working on mine again

    I will TOTALLY fly to CA to officiate a wedding ceremony. Are you freakin’ kidding me?

  2. Kara

    16 November 2011 at 8:25 am

    I don’t live in NYC (I am in the depths of the midwest) but if you are willing to have an online book club with virtual meetings, then I am happy to be in your book club. (yay for reading! book clubs are fun.)

  3. Kara

    16 November 2011 at 8:33 am

    Also? OMG I LOVE YOUR DRESS! So awesome. Vavavoom.

    (I really hope that I don’t seem stalkerish, but I have enjoyed reading your blog since I found it through MightyGirl a year or so ago.)

    Not at all! I thought the dress was super cool. It was held up by good tailoring, tape, pins and a Higher Power.

  4. Erica W

    16 November 2011 at 8:44 am

    YES!! Do it!! and then let us know how it goes 🙂 good luck!

    Also – we look naked in our shot. Totally cool with that.

    Right. We only “look” naked. *wink wink*

  5. Roobacca

    16 November 2011 at 9:39 am

    Amber, it was so great to meet you in person! Your energy and positive approach to life were so apparent and refreshing; we need more people like you in the world. Also, I love the picture of you and Erica.

    Aw, thank you! The photo of me and Erica is hilarious – we TOTALLY look stark naked. I’m processing your photos now – they’re fantastic. We will totally have to get “down and dirty” (but not make out) in MKE.

  6. margosita

    16 November 2011 at 9:52 am

    How cute are you in that space dress? And how sweet are all those smiling faces?

    Awesome, awesome.

    So sweet! I keep looking back at this post and grinning.

  7. Amy

    16 November 2011 at 10:41 am

    I loved meeting you and I wish we could have hung out more. Next year? Or when I’m in NYC in March?

    March! Give me a call when you’re here.

  8. Roxanna (miguelina)

    16 November 2011 at 11:35 am

    Congratulations! This one had me all choked up and teary. Wish I could have been there!

    It came up several times over the weekend that you were very, very missed.

  9. Michelle

    16 November 2011 at 11:39 am

    Such an inspiring post! Your experience has given me a kick in the butt today, so thank you for that.

    Oh, and the book club, I say, let’s start one.

    It’s a good thing we’re having drinks this week! The planning shall begin!

  10. agirlandaboy

    16 November 2011 at 1:51 pm

    You’re one of my favorites. Any time I get to spend with you feels like a gift. You deserve every single ounce of success that comes your way. Go Amber!

    I can’t tell you how cool it is that you said that. It makes my toes curl from happy.

  11. Cindy

    16 November 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Ooooh! Let’s do the Fly Kites thing when I come in July!

    YES! Please look me up when you land. I won’t forgive you if you don’t.

  12. Smedette

    16 November 2011 at 2:27 pm

    You are freakin’ gorgeous!!! All of this Life List talk is so inspiring. Sometimes I worry that my own Life List is just frivolous shit and I need to put more thought into it.

    I’ve been wanting to do a book club thing for awhile…something to think about.

    Listen, if frivolous shit is what makes you happy, NO SHAME IN THAT.

  13. Leslie

    16 November 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Amber, you were one of my favorites too! How do you do that? You were awesome and sweet and invited me to sit with you and called me beautiful. I will love you forever and ever. Your dress was gorgeous, I loved it so much. I will fly kites with you AND participate in the Holi color fight, or take pictures of it for you. You have an open invite to come upstate and see me (and Jill) and I hope we can get together in NY too. xo

    I will love you forever and ever, too. Thank you for your super sweet words space-party night. I was a little “in the bag” (ahem!), but your words (and lovely, spontaneous hand-holding!) meant the world to me. Road trip north very soon!

  14. Pam

    16 November 2011 at 3:33 pm

    My single biggest regret for 2011 is not going to Camp Mighty.

    But that space dress? SPECTACULAR.

    Go get ’em, girl. It’s all you.

    Next year is your year, right?!

  15. Val

    17 November 2011 at 2:58 am

    That whole event sounds amazing! I so want to do the color fight!

    You’re an awesome photographer and I so admire that you’ve been able to grow your business and am sure it will just continue to take off!

    Aw, thanks! I think I need to start planning a holi color fight!

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  17. Nadia

    19 November 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Sounds like a super awesome experience for a super awesome gal. Also: I love your space dress. LOVE. (in case you didn’t get it the first time)

  18. SAWK

    21 November 2011 at 10:54 am

    This is awesome! I finally met it.
    And I wish we had had more time to talk talk talk.
    Next year!

    I know! Thank you for handing me your card, though. We’ll chat next time.

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