Monday, February 24, 2014

The Hammock Club

The University I work at enrolls some exceptionally talented and creative students, and the markedly awesome part about us is we empower them to launch their own ideas. I heard about a student club this week that I fell in love with:

The Hammock Club.

I immediately pictured melancholy hippy hipster kids who don't wear shoes, frowning and listening to their no-one-has-heard-of-that-band music. However, they are far, far from my judgmental idea. It’s a diverse group of students (and staff!) from all walks of life, cultures and ethnicities, ages, etc, that gathering purposefully to participate in community while chilling in a hammock. Read: Coolest.

Not only do they have a great, descriptive name, they have a great purpose statement of “being not doing.” They present hammocking as a way of life, not just a thing they do when they’re camping year round in sunny Sothern California. They host regular “hang times” and currently have 130 members. One member shared with me that they have successfully hung 35 hammocks in one tree. I saw a photo as proof. Whaaaat?

The Hammock Club focuses on connecting with each other and conversation. No one is on their cell phones. No one has their ear buds in. You might find the occasional napper but most of the time they are actively engaged with each other. 

What I additionally find admirable is they aren’t exclusive. In fact, they keep extra hammocks with them just in case a passerby heroically wants to join them. They throw interested strangers a hammock pack, teach them how to set it up between anchors, and engage with them. All are welcome.

They are simply present with each other. In hammocks.

In a culture that tends to be very us-vs.-them, exclusive, and isolated, I find this club –this idea-  to be incredibly refreshing and mindful. I just might add a hammock hang time to my list of fun for 2014. 


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