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Why Camp No Counselors Founder Adam Tichauer Is the Godfather of Adulting

PHOTO COURTESY CAMP NO COUNSELORS

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Adam Tichauer is the dude who will make you want to adult today.

Adam Tichauer, founder of Camp No Counselors.

Remember that wholesome face in case you ever see him out in public. If you happen to, you need to buy him a drink and shake his hand. Here’s why. He’s the founder of Camp No Counselors, a sleep-away camp for grown-ups, which turned a nostalgic adolescent experience into perhaps the most genius startup operation of the decade. Just imagine a remote place in the mountains where sex, bottomless booze, sports, lip-sync battles and late-night partying is not only welcomed, it’s celebrated with a fucking high-five and chest bump. Sounds like heaven, right?

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In just three years, Camp No Counselors has seen breakneck success at such a remarkable rate that Adam boldly turned down an investment offer from Mark Cuban on “Shark Tank.” Almost 10,000 adults experienced Adam’s wonderland of epic fun at more than 40 camps across the USA and Canada — including Better than the Weekend’s staff — and business is only expanding. Camp No Counselors’s recently rang in 2018 with its first-ever New Year’s Eve warm-weather getaway camp in Malibu, complete with a wine-tasting safari ride, surf lessons, goat yoga, and a ton of liquor, duh!

Photo courtesy Camp No Counselors

Photo courtesy Camp No Counselors

Adam told Better than the Weekend his legendary creation happened by accident. It was 2013 and the then 30-year-old was running a music tech company in New York. When the grind consumed him to the point where he realized he hadn’t connected with some of his closest friends in months, he decided to do something gnarly about it.

“I found myself working on July 4th weekend. The Fourth of July is about getting out of the city and barbecuing and having some beers with your friends and just forgetting about work, but I was doing the exact opposite,” Adam said. “So, for the next long weekend, which was Labor Day weekend, I wanted to organize some kind of event where we would get out of the city and I would see my friends and we would barbecue and have some beers and forget about work.”

Adam figured out the perfect outlet to let off some steam — summer camp! Growing up, camp was the time of year he’d look forward to the most. So, he called around and found a camp only a few hours north of Manhattan that would allow him and his closest friends to stay and experience the same fun he had at camp as a kid, with a lot more freedom! The weekend was such a success, that his friends, and there friends, and there friends’ friends, had a winter camp at a ski lodge in Vermont.

“Some fairly influential people in the tech world were there and they asked, ‘Hey, this was the best weekend of our lives. Can you organize one of these in the summer for me and my friends?'” Adam said. “That’s when the lightbulb went off. If cutting-edge people want me to organize one of these for them and their influential friends, then maybe this is a service people really need and they would pay for and value.”

Photo courtesy Camp No Counselors

And people are valuing the lively separation from reality — but you’ll never know what they’re escaping. The only rule that stands strong is to not talk about what you do for a living. (So no need for a disguise.)

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“As a thirty-something, you meet someone at a bar and you say, ‘What do you do?’ And then you think, ‘Okay, I get you. I know who you are because of what you do’,” Adam noted. “I found when you remove your work identity, you are able to become whoever you want to become, and then you can make friends based on your interests like when you were a kid — not your preconceived notion of what an investment banker likes to do on his free time. As a kid, you didn’t do anything for a living, except have fun and make friends based on similar interests.”

I know, that quote has me thinking Adam Tichauer 2020, too.

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Disconnecting from who you are is perhaps more important now than ever.

“Back in the day, when you didn’t have the newspaper in front of you, you didn’t think about what was going on in the world. When you weren’t at work, you didn’t have to think about work,” Adam said. “Now, we’re getting constant real-time notifications of what’s going on in the world, or e-mails from your boss, even if it’s after work hours. There’s very few times you can shut that off and just have space and not have to worry about what real-time, negative notifications are coming through your phone next.”

Thank God, whoever he or she may be, for the godfather of adulting.

Registration for this year’s camps is now open. Just click right here and thank us later!

We’ll see you there! (We just won’t tell you what we do. Too many cups of beer to chug and flip!)

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Let’s help the Scranton PA Fire Dept. build state’s first fallen firefighter memorial

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While Americans are divided about whether or not the government should build a wall around the Mexican border, because, you know, “Americans are dreamers, too,” Scranton, Pennsylvania firefighters seem to have their priorities in check. The brave first responders of the Scranton Fire Department are working overtime to help construct the first-ever memorial in the state of Pennsylvania to honor the professional firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

They recently stopped by Better than the Weekend HQ for a livestreamed interview to share how everyone can help their mission, proving instantly why they’re more than just people who fight fires. They’re also heroes.

Here’s the link (right here) to help out in any way you can. Now share this with everyone you know to help this project reach fruition.

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The art of succeeding as a millennial entrepreneur

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Photo courtesy Jeff Cole

Get familiar with Jeff Cole.

The 28-year-old artist is the co-founder of Ikonick, a canvas art company based out of Los Angeles, and a social media influencer known for his enticing designs on Instagram that crossbreed science fiction with sneakers — think a Velociraptor made out of Jordan’s or a Star Wars stormtrooper morphed into Nike Air Max 90s.

Artwork courtesy of Jeff Cole.

Cole’s art is pure fire, which leads to no surprise that he was featured on BuzzFeed’s list of 11 artists on Instagram who deserve some love.

He’s not only living every artists dream of getting paid to make art; he’s turning his artwork into a social phenomena and money-making empire.

When it comes to the unwinding trend of millennial entrepreneurship, Cole believes today’s generation tries too hard to feel compelled to start their own business without understanding how much hard work precedes a touchdown dance for an entrepreneurial victory.

Jeff Cole signing his artwork for a long line of fans at a sneaker art gallery showcase in collaboration with Adidas.

Sixty percent of millennials consider themselves entrepreneurs — while 90 percent recognize entrepreneurship as a mentality — according to MiLLENNiAL magazine. However, millennial entrepreneurship has falsifiable measurement of entrepreneurship as an actual activity vs. a mentality. According to a report published by The Atlantic, the average age for a successful startup-founder is actually about 40 years old.

Basically, it seems, millennials are starting businesses to adapt to their optimistic views of the workplace — and world — instead of focusing on the framework for success. Getting it right is more than just wanting it. Jeff Cole knows that and he’s sharing his story and tips exclusively with Better than the Weekend, so pay attention.

Cole says he spends at least 14 hours a day on the grind, but having drive is just one factor to achieving success.

“You can’t do it by yourself,” Cole insists. “You need that other part of the business. You need somebody to contrast you, another mind that contrasts yours. If you’re an artist, like me, all you want to do is focus on making your art. Doing it alone can only take you so far.”

For Cole, his partner is Mark Mastrandrea, who handles the marketing and business side of Ikonick. The two met while working in corporate America and bonded over feeling underutilized at their 9 to 5.

Another component to thriving in business is recognizing your strengths.

“A lot of artists get emotional,” Cole explains. “You have to detach yourself from emotion with whatever you put out there. For artists, creating is literally a part of you. It’s bad to have your emotion attached to your art, or product, if you want to make money, because it’s not up to you what works and what doesn’t work. It’s up to the market.” Cole admits it took him a while to figure out that he’d have to compromise his art to appeal to the masses.

Ikonick.com

The Chicago-native notes inspiration has always fueled his art and ambition. The heartbeat of his art is to evoke emotion. Cole says its an artists obligation to push boundaries with their art so far that an emotion is felt.

“With art, if you can think it you can make it. When you’re dealing with that concept that anything could be thought into existence, you almost have that obligation to push boundaries and make people upset and make people happy,” Cole says. “If an artist can create anything, their should be an unlimited amount of emotions it can make you feel.”

Aware that inspirational quotes and images go viral on social media, Cole decided to redevelop the formula with an artistic edge.

“I was trying to brainstorm different ways for people to stop scrolling from their feed and start questioning what they were seeing, so they’d notice my art. It’s all about attention. Everything right now is about attention. I wanted people to question what they just saw. I wanted to stop them from just scrolling and redevelop memes in a more artistic way that wasn’t as disposable.”

From there, Cole’s canvas art company was born in 2016.

Instagram @ikonick

Instagram @ikonick

Cole realized inspirational quotes on social media could only stay with someone for a moment, but wanted to create something that could leave a lasting impression. He wanted art that, with a simple click, could deliver the same inspiration on people’s walls for them to look at and appreciate and remember. Cole put in the work to grow with other companies and minds, and following his time and lessons, and perhaps a little bit of luck, has figured out the art of success.

Follow Cole on Instagram @cole and click here to get inspired by his Ikonick collection.

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Rory Kramer: The Realest Daredevil There Ever Once Was

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Photo courtesy Rory Kramer

Rory Kramer is driving to Venice, California to pick up his Jeep before moving into a new place. The star of MTV’s docu-series “Dare to Live” and personal videographer to some of the most famous artists on the planet, such as Justin Bieber and The Chainsmokers, isn’t moving into his own place, however. Even though he has his own TV show, the 33-year-old is couch surfing at his friend Drew’s for the next month — that’s Drew Taggart from The Chainsmokers.

“I told him a month, but I’m probably going to be there for six months or until he hates me,” Rory jokes during our nearly one-hour phone conversation.

If you’ve yet to be schooled on who Rory is, get familiar now. He’s the ultimate daredevil disguised as a beach bum. Don’t let that optimistic smile fool you, either. Behind his long, untamed hair and beneath a fearless lust for adventure lies a deep, complex, often insecure guy.

Photo courtesy MTV

Rory’s social media posts and YouTube videos capture him through every possible raw emotion people feel when they’re really alive and experience life to its fullest potential — from overcoming fear when swimming with sharks in Hawaii and genuine surprise from jumping up and down on the MTV Video Music Awards red carpet to doubt from feeling creatively blocked at times and depression after news that tearing his ACL will require six months of recovery following surgery.

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Perhaps that’s why some of the most influential celebrities hire him to capture raw moments in their lives; because he’s relatable. Rory is not only the guy everyone wants to be, he’s the guy everyone is — and he’s making his own influence on the world.

I HOPE YOU DIE…ARRHEA

I’m curious about the first time Rory ever ever picked up a camera. He tells me he was inspired by stupid shit he used to do with his friends growing up in his hometown of Tell City, Indiana. Population: 7,323. He’d document their debauchery.

“I made this skateboarding video. We called it ‘Losers, I Hope You Die…arrhea.’ I thought it was the funniest thing ever,” Rory says. “This was back before there weren’t viral videos and social media. That video went viral in my small town, though. Every parent hated me. The teachers didn’t want to be associated with me.”

Today, it’s not considered trouble to archive revelry with your closest friends; it’s normality. For Rory, making videos is about more than just Likes and attention. He shares his life with epic production quality to relate to that kid whose adventurousness was mistaken as delinquency. Sharing his life is his form of expression.

“My videos allow me to say what I want. Sometimes I can be shy and reserved. When I’m making a video, it’s the only time I can say whatever I want and no-one has control over what I am going to do,” Rory explains. “The older I get, the more I realize life isn’t going to be perfect. You’re going to have your ups and downs. Sharing my life is very important to me because whether I’m having an amazing day or I’m going through something, I am able to connect with somebody on the other side of the world and might be able to unlock something in them.”

RUN IT!

Rory eventually followed in the footsteps of what so many others do when their creativity is misunderstood in small towns. He moved to Hollywood with hopes of becoming the next Johnny Depp. When a connection lead him to a temp job that transitioned into a full-time corporate gig, he soon woke up a 30-year-old passionless, depressed corporate zombie, cemented in a grind of clocking in at the same time every day and tracking vacation time. 

Then he met a girl.

“When she moved out [to Los Angeles] all my free time was spent going out, showing her around, adventuring,” Rory says. “I fell back in love with exploring and making videos again.”

Rory tells me he realized he’s better when he’s on the move. So, he quit his job to pursue filmmaking and share his visions with the world. His motto when faced with fear of uncertainty became “Run it!”

“Once I say Run it!, it’s game on,” Rory says. “It’s my way of dealing with fear and being insecure. It can range from asking a girl out to jumping off a cliff to filming on a stage in front of people. Sometimes you get in your head and say you can’t do this. Saying Run it! is a way to mentally remind myself that I could do anything.”

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FEED YOUR SOUL VS. YOUR BANK ACCOUNT

Rory has more than half a million followers across social media who turn to him for motivation to live their best lives.

Some have went as far as to ink his slogan on their skin.

Instagram

A lot of people turn to him for advice on how to take action to pursue their dream.

Rory tells me quitting your job isn’t always the answer.

“Once you start making money off your passion, it becomes your job. I love making videos, but at the end of the day, I have to be very careful about what to accept to do,” Rory says. “I try to accept jobs because it makes my mind question things and inspires me. Whatever you do in life, have it feed your soul versus your bank account.”

Rory says it’s not necessarily a bad thing to not make an income from a hobby, as long as free time is taken advantage of to enjoy a passion.

“Most people work 40 hours a week,” Rory explains. “There’s a lot of other free time — weekends, after work, before work — to create what you love and what you’re passionate about. As soon as work was over, I’d be up in Malibu hiking. When a lot of people leave a job they’re not passionate about at the end of the day, they go home and watch TV or get drinks with friends. I do that, too. But if you want to pursue music or writing or whatever, take the time you’re not at work to put your heart and soul into it.”

The entire first season of “Dare to Live” is available to stream on MTV.com right now.

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