Nikita Nosov works sales for a Seattle tech start-up. It's stressful, and even at just 23 years old, sometimes he longs to be a kid again.
“I get tired of the noise, whether it’s on the city street, the constant noise from my cell phone, or TV. It’s hard to just be,” he said.
That is why Nikita signed up for a four-day escape at Camp Rahh, a summer camp for adults.
“When you're at summer camp having the time of your life, no worries, no stress, no frustration -- I miss that,” he said.
On the shores of Padilla Bay in Skagit County, campers can do pretty much anything they want. They play games, take art classes, kayak, hike or do nothing at all. There is an oasis of hammocks hidden in the woods. If you find them, you can snooze all day if you choose,
“Here is your opportunity to act like a kid,” said the camp’s Mary Hazen. “Unfortunately, we're not really invited to do that very much in life.”
Camp Rahh costs $450 for the four-day weekend (early birds get a $60 discount) which includes transportation, food and everything else.
There is one catch though.
All technology is strictly forbidden. Everyone surrenders their phones upon arrival. No selfies, no Snapchat, no Facebook, no Instagram -- which raises an interesting question at dinner time.
If a meal is served and no one posts a picture of it ... what happens then?
“I can just go ahead and eat it,” laughs a camper named Hailey. “It's amazing. What a concept!”
The food, by the way, is prepared by Seattle chef Brian O’Connor, formerly of Skillet.
Along with the food, what strikes Hailey is the quality of the conversation, and how easily it flows without any social lubricants. Oh, that’s right. While Camp Rahh is 21 and over, no alcohol or drugs are allowed. Not even a beer around the campfire.
To Hailey, that’s refreshing.
“I had this really deep conversation with someone that you couldn't have at a bar, and I remembered it. It wasn't like, I talked to this guy and I don't know what I talked about with him.”
For most, the weekend provides a chance to do everything and nothing at the same time. Nikita hopes this new perspective will stay with him long after he plugs back in.
“I know it's not going to be easy. It'll be easy to fall back into that routine. We'll see what happens.”