THE TINY HOUSE JAMBOREE: Why it took 40k+ to help me realize that I don’t need to be scared of people
As I’m sure that the majority of you know, the first (and hopefully not last) Tiny House Jamboree took place in Colorado Springs, CO this past weekend. For three days, a staggering amount of people made their way down the hill at the Mining Museum’s venue to hear the speakers, to have a chance to tour several tiny houses, and to learn from the vendors. People came from all 50 states. From over a dozen countries. From all walks of life. From all age brackets. And they came by the tens of thousands.
On Thursday night (the evening before the first day of the Jamboree), Andrew and I sat around with a couple dear tiny house friends and tried to project how many would actually attend the event. Sure, over 10,000 people had pre-registered, but come on, how many would ACTUALLY show up. We estimated 2/3 of the 10,000+. Imagine our surprise. No, “surprise” doesn’t do justice to what we experienced. Imagine our SHOCK when we heard that nearly 9,000 had attended in just the first DAY. Friday turned out to be the “slow” day while the next day brought about 18,000 and Sunday around 19,000-20,000.
This seems like an appropriate time to make this confession: I am afraid of people. Humans are unpredictable. They say strange things. And hurt others sometimes. I have just never been that comfortable in groups and especially in large groups. Small, intimate settings are great but when it comes to large gatherings, you’ll generally find me hanging out with the dogs and/or any other animal I can find. So, I must be honest and say that a couple of weeks before the Tiny House Jamboree, I created an elaborate scheme in my head to get out of having to attend. I didn’t follow through with it though and decided to feel the fear (being in large groups) and to go anyway.
For me to say that the Tiny House Jamboree was the most fun large group experience I’ve ever had is an underestimate of epic proportions. Something magical and significant happened for me over those three days. My fear of people turned into not only comfort and ease, but boundless love. Everywhere I turned, there were amazing, awesome people. I was able to hear the most extraordinary stories and to be inspired beyond belief. Turns out, people are AMAZING!!! Having a congregation of that many people sharing a common passion has the potential of creating incredible shifts on many levels.
The kindness that I experienced from the masses was so touching that I stopped several times throughout the weekend to really allow the emotions I was feeling to soak in and to change old patterns of fear. There were degrees of inclusion, enthusiasm, passion, and kindness that I have not seen anywhere else in such a large gathering. Forgive how cliche this sounds but, I honestly felt like I was amongst a family of 40k people. There were instant connections made that I hope will last a lifetime.
The spirit of the Tiny House Jamboree was inclusion and partnership. The amount of effort that it took for the Eco Cabins team to put this together is herculean. I sincerely hope that there will be another one next year and that any of you that weren’t able to attend are able to come to the next one. It’s a not to be missed event. Come for the tiny houses. Come for the vendors. Come for the great food and music. Come for the community experience. It doesn’t matter why. Just do come.
And to all of you that took the time and made the effort to reach out to me during the Jamboree, thank you. Your gestures of kindness were so appreciated and they softened my heart in every possible way.