Friends in the Work


An Immersive Program for Young Adults

Camp Caravan
255 South Royalston Road
Royalston, MA

Initial week: Aug 5-13
Extension week: Aug 13-20

Download the Skills-for-Life brochure including full details on registration and fees

Addressing the inner and outer in a practical way

The Skills-for-Life program offered by MREC at Camp Caravan is designed to develop practical skills in dealing with the two principal aspects of our nature—our "outer" and "inner" lives.

In our outer lives we deal with the material world, with Nature, and with other people. In our inner lives we are occupied mainly with ourselves and, perhaps, with our sense of something beyond the realm of our ordinary experience.

It is probably clear to everyone that we need practical outer skills (which might include anything from tying our shoelaces to operating a computer) in order to survive and prosper in the social and material world. What may be less obvious is that our inner life is equally amenable to practical development.

Therefore, if we want to be rounded and useful human beings, we need to learn as much about how our inner world works as we do about the outer world, and how to function in both worlds effectively. The aim of Skills-for-Life is to address both in a practical way.

Bringing coherence to our ordinary reactions

Our current education system is concerned primarily with teaching us how to deal with the external world and how to become adults who can function effectively in our work and, possibly, in our relationships with others. The system is not designed, or even equipped, to teach us how to be effective in our inner life. Yet it is clear, with only a little observation and reflection, that our inner and outer lives are intimately connected, and that they affect each other, even if we don't often take this connection into account.

The Skills-for-Life program introduces practical ways of seeing and working with the inner world. It helps us observe our inner lives while bringing some order and coherence to our ordinary reactions and impulses. Simultaneously, we work on developing outer skills such as cooking, gardening, woodworking and other ordinary life skills.

Working harmoniously

The program offers a communal experience in which we support each other in practical ways, while at the same time learning ways of working harmoniously together, even when we don't particularly like each other. By sharing our observations about particular ideas and practices, we learn from each other, and can verify that our experience is often shared by others.

Please share this opportunity with any young adult who might benefit. In 2017 the MREC offers the Skills-for-Life program of one or two weeks, with the second week building on the basic practices presented the previous week, also open to SFL alumni. For complete details view the website and contact the Skills-for-Life registrar (