Updated: Aug 7

The dog days of summer are upon us, and with that are old memories of summers off from school. Pool days and popsicles. And eventually, summer camp to summer jobs. The transition from camper to counselor. From kid to adult.

We don't have many experiences that clearly mark the thresholds in life. The years from teen to working professional to parent are ever-shortening as the cycles of the seasons fly by.

The magic of being a kid was the idea of growing up. The imagination of all the things you would do when you were an adult.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Did we all become the people we wanted to be?

This work we're doing has called many of these questions to mind. The average age of most of the Leads and Core Team in our growing ecosystem of organizations is about 30 years old. We have Advisors - elders we look up to and seek guidance from - but we are realizing that we are now the adults in the room, making the key decisions that are driving these big-mission projects forward.

And we, the Adults who are at the table now, are constantly - obsessively - thinking of ways to be the best Adults we can be. The best version of ourselves, a person you would want to believe in. Support. Help to grow their vision because you can see it too.

And so begins the growth of a new ecosystem of Adults, learning to run businesses, support families, build resilience. Learning how to be Leaders - strong, yet growing Trees - all while experiencing the growing pains of growing up.

These Organizations are beginning to create a macro Forest ecosystem.

By growing deeper roots and protective canopies, Leads (Trees) create resource and help to equilibrium to the micro ecosystem that supports them in their growth. A Core Team of Seedlings, Sprouts and Saplings.

The organizations that are creating this local "forest" ecosystem are worth listing by Organization and Team.

Yellow Barn Farm []

Azuraye Wycoff [Lead]

Joshua Johnson [Core Team]

Danny McDonald [Core Team]

Drylands Agroecology Research []

Nick DiDomenico [Lead]

Marissa Pulaski [Lead]

Amy Scanes-Wolf [Core Team]

Azuraye Wycoff [Core Team]

Luscious Lands

Joe Lustig [Lead]

Threshold Collective

Caitlin Rose Kenney [Lead]

Brittany Smith [Core Team]

Edaphic Solutions

Shelby Kaminski [Lead]

Volta Lourias [Lead]

Grama Grass Livestock

Andy Breiter [Lead]

Emily [Core Team]

Food Bridge

Marin Toscano [Lead]

Small Haul

Charles Conigliaro [Lead]

Azuraye Wycoff [Lead]

David Leith [Core Team]

Matt Meyer [Core Team]

Luis Trinidad [Core Team]

Misha Goldenberg [Core Team]

Seung You [Core Team]

Blue Sky Consulting []

Azuraye Wycoff [Lead]

Sonia Lipov [Core Team]

Hollie Connell [Core Team]

Rhianna Truex [Core Team]

Catt Cohen [Core Team]

Rhiannon O'Donnell [Core Team]


Tommy Hoffman [Lead]

Compost Colorado

Vann Fussell [Lead]

Coyote Conversions

Callan Cooper [Lead]

Erik Shepherd [Core Team]

We are often faced with the demand of being the adult when sometimes all we want to do is be the kid. Not have to make decisions, be responsible, maintain the drive and lead the charge. Be the Camper instead of the Counselor.

But when you take a moment to step back, observe all that has been created in the last 2 years....we realize that this is play. This is Adult Summer Camp. Where now we are the Counselors, and we get to make the rules.

And the games can be fair. The games can be win-win, instead of win-lose. We don't have to compete for 1st place, but can find ways where the games reward your effort. Your leadership. Your ability to think logically, act kindly, and decide fairly. We get to be the adults now, so why not be the adults we admired as kids? The parents, teachers, fictional characters, actors, and humans that we wanted to be like when we grew up.

We get to choose who we want to be now, and that is fun. That is inspiring.

When you are working with your friends, every day feels like summer camp. Where whatever you imagine is up to you to create, all you have to do is put the effort in to do it. The world is the playground.

So did we do it? Are we the people we wanted to be when we grew up?

It would seem like we are all on track to be.

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