Our MyIntent Makers find so many awesome ways to use their Maker Kits as an inspirational tool to create meaningful conversations and connections with others in their communities.
This blog features Marney's story:
- Find out her WORD and the meaning behind it.
- Discover how she built and has hosted camps and retreats at her home.
- Learn how she uses the Maker Kit to help the people at her camp connect with themselves and others.
"We all seem to strive for that common goal of being understood and seen by others. Connection is so important."
Marney's WORD is CAMP.
She explains: "Camp, to me, is home. Summer Camp was the only place that felt safe to me...I was my most authentic self. I was able to express myself through art, challenge myself on obstacles and courses, meet new people, challenge authority in a safe way, and just be a kid."
It was because of this connection that she was inspired to create a fun and safe space for her daughter and other people in her community: "When I had kids of my own, and couldn't find a Camp that could take on my oldest daughter's health challenges, I created one at our home so that she could experience all the wonders of Camp and be safe at the same time."
Having welcomed both children and adults into her home and onto her property for the past eight years, Marney reflects on how she built her camp: "We built an a-frame cabin for them, put up a giant glamping tent, adorned the yard with hammock stands and slack lines, and put our hearts and souls into making an experience the campers will carry with them throughout their lives."
Marney first came across the MyIntent project while searching for activities to do during these retreats. She states: "I wanted the participants to start a conversation with the project that they were making; engage them in an activity that would serve as an ice breaker and bring the group together. MyIntent was a perfect fit for Retreats & Summer Camps and I have used them now for a variety of age groups, spanning from Kinder all the way up through adulthood."
"...that's where the beauty is seen; it's a conversation about diversity, uniqueness and individuality as well."
Using all the tools within the Maker Kit, she notes that the question cards "are a perfect way to engage the group and get them to open up. We have had so many beautiful conversations and actually had friendships form over them. We all seem to strive for that common goal of being understood and seen by others. Connection is so important."
Throughout her experience, Marney has found that people are initially overwhelmed when they start to look for their personal WORD: "It's a big idea to define the work we want to do, the personal growth we want to achieve, or the memory we would like to capture in just one WORD. Yet, with the conversation starter cards and people letting go of inhibitions, lightbulbs just start to go off and people really start to connect. We have had so many words that define a love, passion, or something near and dear to people and then a ton of words that capture work the participants want to achieve and goals. No one WORD defines us all and that's where the beauty is seen; it's a conversation about diversity, uniqueness and individuality as well."
"...pounding in their WORD made them feel the permanence of it."
In her last session using the MyIntent Maker Kit, Marney's goal was to focus on connection, creativity and healthy mindsets. She used this activity "for local teens and tweens as they went back to school. They commented several times about how therapeutic it was to use the kit and how pounding in their WORD made them feel the permanence of it. The kids really opened up and couldn't wait to get their necklaces the second they made them."
Marney comments that her favorite part of being a Maker "is that it brings people together. Making puts us at the same table, creating something unique yet similar...something we will take away from the Retreat/Camp and be a reminder that we are united. I love that."