Just. Might. Be. The. Best. Summer. Camp. Ever. Shambhala Sun Summer Camp.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Dec 22, 2008
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Growing up, I attended and then staffed and helped lead the best summer camp ever. What did we do? Nothing. No entertainment. Of course, we did things, and it was fun. But basically it was a “training ground for the warriors” of peace, not aggression. It was affordable, and just about everyone was kind to just about everyone. It’s still going on, in Colorado, and in France, and in Canada. Printed on the back of the tee shirts was this phrase: “if you lose your mind…COME BACK.” It’s a profound phrase, though so simple. It rises out of the Buddhist notion that we’re never gonna be perfect—we all lose our minds, we all make mistakes. The trick to a life well-lived, however, isn’t being perfect, which doesn’t exist. It’s coming back to the present, coming back to kindness and decency, when we find we’ve gone off the rails. This is what we practice in meditation. It’s easy, though endless. It includes a sense of humor, instead of rigid positivity. So next time you find yourself lost in self-concern…come back! #shambhalasunsummercamp #shambhalasuncamp #shambhala #dharma #summercamp #mayitbeofbenefit

A photo posted by Waylon Lewis (@waylonlewis) on

There’s one summer camp that’s different. No entertainment—but it’s fun. It’s back to nature—but you learn how to march and meditate. It doesn’t matter if you’re cool or not—everyone’s a family. It’s about kindness:

Shambhala Sun Summer Camp.

I did this every year as a child (they accept ages 10 through 16).

You could’ve been home but you left!

You’re right

You shoulda been home but you left!

You’re right

Sound off, Ki Ki Sound Off, So So Bring is Way Down! Ki Ki So So Ki Ki…So So!

Sun Camp is offered in Colorado, France, and Canada. It’s great—my mentor/our idol Willy Ryken (half Winston Churchill, half Toshiro Mifune) broke my heart a thousand times (in a good way, with a smile), the camp itself gave me enough space to grow up (instead of filling our hours with chinzty crafts and crap), it was always the fun-est week every year I always used to say.

It’s Buddhist-ish, but if you’re not Buddhist you’ll have just as good a time, and won’t feel like you’re locked out of the tree fort.

Click here for more info. 


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


5 Responses to “Just. Might. Be. The. Best. Summer. Camp. Ever. Shambhala Sun Summer Camp.”

  1. Pierre says:

    My son did the Sun Camp in DCL in France, Limoges, and he loved it !

  2. Etara says:

    hey…does anyone out there have any random old pics from camp? That would be so fun to see….and I'm talking about the Willy Ryken days..let's say…1985, 86, 87ish?

  3. […] used to practice something a little like this at Shambhala Sun Summer Camp. Stop doing. Just be. Be a tree. Be the grass. Just be. And…suddenly…you’re in […]

  4. […] found these men in real life (Willy Ryken, a founder of our Summer Camp and Buddhist troublemaker, and many other father figures my mother connected me with), in history […]