I went to money nerd camp, summer/Midwest edition

Surprise, it’s Friday! What gives with the ridiculous lack of posting lately, especially considering I’ve been in town and have had time to write? Well, I walked into the Apple store with a malfunctioning computer on Monday[*] and walked out without one. That is, I walked out without a computer, functioning or malfunctioning. Not sure how long it’ll be before I get my computer back with hopefully some new parts that means it works like it should, and in the meantime I’m learning just how many things I prefer to do on my laptop than on my phone.

…like blogging. Even though I already knew that. I refuse to write posts on my phone,[**] so I’m stuck writing bits and pieces of things on my work computer during my lunch break. Sucks for sticking to my schedule (and otherwise I’d have no excuse not to this week!), but I have to say I’m not at all upset about the fact that that means I’m not up late writing this week. I could get used to this! But fingers crossed I get my laptop back soon.

CampFI, round two

So I already wrote a very long post about my main takeaways from CampFI Midwest a few weeks ago. But what about the fluffier (literally fluffy in one case!), less serious stuff? Fear not, this is a recap post of my second experience at money nerd summer camp.

Going to my second camp was a slightly different experience, since I more or less knew what I was getting myself into. Did that stop me from getting super nervous right before it was my turn to introduce myself to everyone the first evening? Hah, nope!

The hosts

Major shoutout to my awesome hosts both before and after the trip, especially when the flight back kept getting delayed thanks to storms! Gwen’s old news because I’d already met her (just kidding, friend ?), but I got to meet Erik on this trip. Can’t wait to see you two again soon for FinCon and Disney!

I’m just gonna say, Gwen and Erik were fighting over which of them I’d be riding to and from camp with. Yes, I’m awesome -hairflip-

Obviously the person I was most looking forward to meeting. I told you there was literal fluff in this post!

The people

There were a lot of familiar faces there, of people I’d met at Mid-Atlantic and bloggers that I’ve met before, including Bianca, Tanja, and Kevin. My fellow DC blogger Young FIRE Knight also managed to score a last-minute ticket to camp, so more old news there. And shoutout to Stephen for organizing these events!

I got to meet Physician on FIRE and his family, Carl from 1500 Days (and the famous dinosaurs!), Cait Flanders, Anthony Ongaro, Coach Carson, Noah and Becky from Money Metagame (can’t wait to see you again when your gap year takes you through DC!), Financial Panther, and Doc G.

We were also graced by the superstar presence of JL Collins!!

The presentations

Like at Mid-Atlantic, there were six presentations over the weekend. And again, I’m pissed that I accidentally deleted the note on my phone with my takeaways from the presentations. I guess this is why paper and pen are superior? Anyway.

Physician on FIRE was up first with a presentation about kids and FIRE, and then came Chad Carson with yet another presentation that makes me wildly impatient to get into real estate. Cait talked about #minimalism and decluttering, and Anthony continued the theme with habits and living more mindfully. Tanja talked about FI as a superpower, and Carl (wearing the most fantastic shirt I’ve ever seen!) spoke about the things he’s learned in his journey and post-FI life.

And then we all sat around showing each other our spreadsheets for the entire rest of the weekend. Oh wait, just kidding!

The introvert alone afternoons

It was a change the second time around that I didn’t feel like I needed to spend every second talking to people or making sure I was learning. Or maybe it’s because since I knew what to expect, I knew I needed to pace myself so I wasn’t completely drained by the end of the first day. Especially because I was going into camp still exhausted from Glacier. Functionally, this meant making sure I had lots of introvert alone time during the day (because let’s be real, of course I was going to stay up late talking to people and playing games), and I ended up skipping out on the afternoon breakout sessions to make sure I had an opportunity for that downtime. Sure, I spent a few hours laying in the sun (#solarpoweredhuman) reading on Saturday, but it wasn’t all me hiding away from everyone.

My afternoon activities included kayaking across the river to Wisconsin (sadly there were no cheese curds to be had on that trip); being sociably anti-social with Physician on FIRE’s wife (aka sitting next to each other reading our books and not talking); multiple walks with multiple people; multiple conversations on multiple docks; and freezing my ass off swimming in the pond (instead of bettering myself ?).

And lastly, I displayed my horrendous cornhole skills to the world. Turns out Noah and I make a fantastic team, since he’s way too good at cornhole—my abysmal skills bring him down to normal human level instead of superhuman level ?‍♀️

The only picture I took while at camp. While I was sitting here reading I got to watch a hummingbird in among all the foliage

The evenings

The first night was an absolute struggle given the extremely early morning and the time change—I remember looking at the time multiple times that evening and being dismayed that it was only 9:00 because that sure wasn’t an acceptable time to disappear and go to bed! But I managed to pull through and stay up way too late all three nights in a row.

I learned how to play Bears vs Babies, Presidents and Assholes (I guess it’s also just called Asshole? Somehow I’d never heard of this game prior to camp, and yes, that’s probably a failing of my college education…), and kinda-sorta-not-really-at-all cribbage. I also learned that Erik is a JERK when it comes to games. He also has an awful tendency to decide halfway through the game when you’re about to make a brilliant move that there’s some obscure rule he neglected to mention that means you can’t actually make your brilliant move. No, I’m definitely not at all speaking from personal experience here…

But the tables turned when Becky and I taught Gwen and Erik how to play euchre. In case you didn’t know, I may be a southerner, but I’ve got deep midwestern roots; my family plays multiple games every year at the beach. Also my great grandmother was a champion euchre player and would make plays that never would’ve worked if she hadn’t been the one playing. I’m good at euchre, just sayin’.

For a second time, the last night of camp ended with a fantastic game of Cards Against Humanity that went until 3 am. Only this time we voluntarily were playing until that late, and not because we were stuck inside during a severe thunderstorm. I sat next to Tanja for that and I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on how her mind works (are we playing CAH at Cents Positive??) ?

The takeaway

So I’m not going to suggest that you, too, should throw down $620 for CampFI and plane tickets on a whim one day. But am I upset I did it? Absolutely not. Was it worth it? One hundred percent! And I’m so looking forward to CampFI Mid-Atlantic again in May!

Oh, also, the joke about mosquitoes being the Minnesota state bird? I’d never heard that prior to camp. But it’s not a joke at all!

[*]Okay, it was fine, per se, but it’s been ridiculously slow ever since I bought it a few years ago. And since my AppleCare is running out in a few months, I decided now would be a good time to make sure whatever’s wrong gets fixed. Let’s just say the tech was aghast that it took an entire damn minute for my laptop to go to sleep after I closed the lid. Yeah, that’s how doing anything on my laptop goes ?‍♀️

[**]Angela, I cannot believe that’s how you write most of yours. Besides, every time I try to fix a small mistake I catch in a published post via the app it completely fucks up the formatting!

16 Replies to “I went to money nerd camp, summer/Midwest edition”

  1. Old news huh!? Rude! ? it absolutely was worth it to me too!

    I was soaking it all up during camp and was mostly social at all times which left me exhausted at the end of it, maybe next one I need to take it easy a bit more and relax!

    1. SUPER old news! Yep, that’s *exactly* how my first camp experience went. Glad it was worth it so you can’t get mad about me being a bad influence ?

  2. Great recap! Finding some alone time to recharge during these events is a necessity for me too. Makes staying up for late night games much easier if I had an hour or two to myself during the day.

    Can’t wait to see you in DC!

  3. If I ever go to one of these things, I’m going to be utterly starstruck.

    Also: I, too, have tried typing posts on my phone. It’s a great idea, and if Angela’s doing it, shouldn’t we all be doing it? But… I am a phone blogging failure so far.

    1. I hate using my phone for it so much, which probably has a lot to do with the small screen. But as I’ve mentioned a lot lately, I deliberately chose a much smaller phone than I could’ve!

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