Sarah Gandy: The childish behaviour that's good for adults

Publish Date
Thursday, 15 March 2018, 10:30AM

I've just gotten back from my very first "adult school camp". Not nearly as sexy and weird as it might sound, "Camp Do It" was a camp totally for adults. It had all the makings of a good old-fashioned school camp: a confidence course over an eel-infested swamp, archery, a tarpaulin water slide and bunk beds complete with plastic covered mattresses (handy in the event of an overnight accident). The whole thing was straight out of the safety-adverse 80s.

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Twenty adults took two days out of their busy, responsibility-laden lives to cut loose and throw caution to the wind - easily done on the go-karts with no brakes. Apparently, the best way to avoid an accident as you sped downhill was to just "throw yourself out if you got freaked, or risk breaking both your legs". Great.

Despite the threat of broken bones, we all still asked: "why don't we do this more often?" Sometimes it's just no fun to "adult". I could write a big list of all the things you have to do as a grown-up (bills, taxes, responsibilities, decision making, waking up to an alarm every day… stop me now before we both end up in the foetal position).

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But I don't really need to. We all know what drags us down. The question is, what pulls us up? Just as we all pined to be adults throughout our childhood, as adults we are all looking for a chance to be kids again.

You know what else made camp great? A big fat dose of immaturity. Pranks, in-jokes, giggling incessantly when you're meant to be sleeping. All the stupid things that made being a kid so freakin' great. If you look around there's plenty of opportunities to find that magic: sports games, music festivals, old school reunions. They're there, we just need to find them and actually make them happen.

Adulting Smadulting. Find the fun and throw yourself in with reckless abandon (and possibly some fart jokes).

As for "Camp Do It", it will be back next year with The Hits… although it might need to be renamed "Camp Just Made It".

This article was first published on NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.