The Camp Phire Vision


by Matt Mattson

This is raw. This whole Camp Phire thing hasn't even been built yet. It's just a few conversations and what feels like a lifetime of dreaming rolled up into a tiny spark that might ignite. We'll need support and help and a whole lot of luck for it to become real, but I'm willing to publicly share this vision.

So gather around everyone. This is important.

Imagine a global network of members intentionally building a more connected... a more human... world.

Imagine a well-trained force of social "Phire Starters" who create community, facilitate dialogue, and spread a culture of Social Excellence in communities all over the world.

Imagine unforgettable events happening in cities and towns and suburbs and remote areas every night all around the world -- these events are simple conversations that invite the participants to "talk-along" with each other in ways that the rest of the world seems to be shunning. 

Imagine a chain of retail spaces that specialize in selling human connection. Masquerading as coffee shops, breweries, restaurants, co-working venues, or similarly mellow-vibed shared spaces, these "stores" sell intentional conversation and inspiring interpersonal encounters.

Imagine retreat centers in enchanting locations that offer a premium experience to people seeking intense social and spiritual educational experiences.

Imagine centralized syndicated inspirational and educational content that ties together the Camp Phire culture and provides a shared experience that is inclusive, uplifting, and engages participants in compelling ways. 

That might seem like a bunch of different ideas, but it's all tied together by a philosophy of Social Excellence, and a belief that people in today's world are longing to gather together to talk about the important stuff of life, but the places and spaces where that used to take place are all vanishing.

People are alone. People feel unseen and unheard and uninspired. People are desperate to fulfill their core human destiny of connecting with others around things that matter to them, but they lack venues for that to happen. People are busy, people are over-worked, people are feeling abused and separated and disenfranchised and lost.

People just need to find each other again. In simple ways. 

They need to sit around a proverbial campfire and just talk. Just be there. Remove all the distractions of modern life, sit in a circle, feel the warmth of the fire and the conversation, and engage with one another.

Campfires have always been a symbol of people gathering together, people quieting down. people engaging with one another in unfamiliar and unforgettable ways. Campfires are sacred spaces. Create the feeling we have when we're sitting in the woods by a campfire... you've created a communion with the holy, a connection with the higher powers of the universe. You've created a space that is as ancient as homo sapiens, and as relevant as whatever topic comes up.

Create that campfire feeling over and over in as many ways as we can. That's the vision.


The Risk of Vulnerability


Connecting with others in real ways is scary and risky. Let's do it anyway.

Allowing others a peek below the surface of your soul can be terrifying. Let's do it anyway.

The only times we ever really connect with each other in powerful ways that matter is when at least a little bit of vulnerability is accessed. We can't truly connect without vulnerability. It's that simple. Let's choose to embrace the risk of vulnerabiliy as the price we're willing to pay to be fully human.

The Mirror of Magnificence


When you look at your reflection, what if you saw how truly magnificent you are? When you look at the face of another, what if you could immediately grasp how wondrous and complex and nuanced and beautiful they are?

Let's make that choice. Let's let each face we peer into during a conversation reflect back our belief that "This person is magnificent!" Each person we encounter contains a lifetime full of lessons and stories and insights that we can tap into. Each person we encounter has also somehow survived a lifetime full of moments of pain and loss and sorrow. We all enter each encounter full of this magnificence. And it is up to each of us to remind one another of our wondrous nature. 

Each face you see is a mirror of your own magnificence.

The Co-Creation Covenant


We are all creators. We create our work, our art, our offspring... But we also are powerful creators of every experience we encounter. We have power over the choices we make. We can take responsibility for our presence and contribution to each experience, interaction, encounter, and relationship in our lives.

Let's agree to own the responsibility and the privilege of co-creation. We are, each of us, in charge of creating moments for ourselves and everyone we encounter that are the best possible moments we can muster. That might be our ultimate call as humans.  To create a wonderful world to live in for ourselves and each person who enters our sphere.

We are creators. 

The Uncertainty Principle


What if we chose to relish uncertainty? What if "I'm not sure, but I'm trying to learn" became our mantra? What if all you've been told about what's certain couldn't possibly be if many others are certain about their (almost certainly different) point of view? 

Let's have faith in uncertainty. Let's cherish it. Let's worship it. Let's love the questions and the exploration and journey of learning together.

We were created as beings able to learn and grow and change and improve. That gift in the way we were created is divine. When we dive deeply into the pool of uncertainty we are tapping into the very essence of our human potential. Our curiosity, our wonder, our inquisitiveness, and our sense of possibility might be the most powerful tools we have. They are to be credited for everything that has advanced us (and admittedly the things that have harmed us too). 

A mindset that rejects blind and immature certainty but pursues ever improving answers with passion will win the day. This is the mindset we need to engage one another respectfully and hopefully.

Let's be uncertain and be o.k. with that.