There are many parts of childhood that we didn’t fully appreciate as kids—naptime in the middle of the day, a clean bedroom, a blissfully ignorant (mis)understanding of how our parents’ credit cards worked. You know, the simple things.
Occasionally as adults, we get the chance to relive some of our childhood highlights, and that’s exactly what DMC Chicago decided to do this summer. We hosted a summer camp-themed YOE in Sawyer, MI and invited all the other DMC offices to join in on the fun!
What exactly is a YOE?
If you’re not familiar with this DMC acronym, YOE stands for Yearly Office Event. Each year, every DMC office has the chance to host a weekend of fun in their part of the country and attract visitors from all the other offices. Past examples include hiking in Seattle, skiing in Denver, and bronc riding at a Texas rodeo.
How you pronounce said acronym is a topic of heated debate here at DMC and may vary depending on your current office location, your mood that day, or your desire to make the word pun-able with your home city. For example, here in Chicago, we went with the (correct) long ‘o’ pronunciation of YOE when dubbing our summer camp, Camp ChicaYOE (Shic-ah-YOH). As in, “YO MOE, did you GO to the YOE in ChicaGO?”
Despite being adults, we managed to remember how to climb trees
We kicked off the weekend with a rooftop cookout at the DMC Chicago office. We welcomed everyone to Camp ChicaYOE with a chance to sign the camp banner and tie-dye their very own Camp ChicaYOE t-shirt. While the tie-dye was a blast, everyone left talking about the yummy s’mores cupcakes made by one of DMC Chicago’s resident bakers and Camp Director, Justine.
Before we headed out for the night, we picked teams and learned the rules for the weekend-long scavenger hunt and got a glimpse at the merit badges and the coveted gold medals that would be awarded throughout the trip.
(Left) S'mores have reached a whole new level. (Right) The coveted prize.
The Early Bird Gets the… Wine?
Friday morning, some eager beavers hit the road early to take a wine tour near our campsite. Okay, okay, so visiting wineries probably wasn’t on anyone’s camp schedule as kids, but how could we have camp in the middle of the Michigan Wine Trail without making a few stops?
Waiting for wine
We managed to keep the summer camp vibes going (even while tasting wine) by climbing trees and scoping out possible scavenger hunt finds. While no one took home a sommelier level of wine knowledge, we did take home several bottles—which is just as good.
Last stop on the wine tour. We were NOT allowed to drive the tractor.
Fun and Games
Everyone met back at camp and picked bunks. We were lucky enough to stay at an awesome property in Sawyer, MI that featured tiny cabins with bunk beds, a fire pit, all the lawn games you could ask for, and plenty of room for tents (for the purists among us).
We spent the days playing lawn games and found out that several among us had hidden skills at cornhole and KanJam, and others discovered newfound talents at a mysterious Swedish lawn game called Kubb, which we were not entirely sure how to pronounce (or perhaps play) correctly. We sang campfire songs, made friendship bracelets and played ghosts in the graveyard when the sun went down—all the summer camp classics.
Cozy cabins for camping
Hitting the Beach
We took advantage of our four-minute drive to the beach and spent a lazy day laying out on the sand. The crazy brave among us explored new heights and tested their mettle, hanging hammocks well above sea level and braving the still quite icy waters of Lake Michigan. Meanwhile, we land lovers competed for the “most protected from the sun” merit badge and (mostly) made it through the day unburnt.
Adam just hangin' at the beach
Last Day of Camp
All great things must come to an end, and so we eventually had to pack up camp, exchange friendship bracelets, sign pillowcases and promise to write our camp besties. Of course, merit badge points were added up, the scavenger hunt victors were revealed, and ultimately one team stood CAMP-ions for the week. It was all pretty campy.
Blue S.N.A.K.E.S. sporting their gold medals and performing their team chant 👏👏🐍
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