This article was originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on 7/19/2014 and was written by Bailey Berg.
A flurry of ripped cardboard. Fat markers haphazardly scribbling on sheets of paper. Makeshift hats. Piles of candy. Kazoos.
The Friday gathering at Olbrich Botanical Gardens might sound like a children’s birthday party. But the attendees at this weekend’s sold-out “Escape Adulthood Summit” were all adults.
Bill Thom was one of them. His name tag identified him as a Lego builder, expert napper and Cap’n Crunch fan. What it didn’t say is that he also is the co-creator of a “Device to Save the World” — made up of cardboard boxes — along with more than 60 people on the first day of the two-day event.
The event, created by Madisonians Kim and Jason Kotecki in 2012, is part conference, part retreat, part recess for adults.
“We like to have fun, but we also want to get them talking about what issues they have,” Jason said.
The more than 60 attendees range in ages from 19 to 67 and come from 10 states. Many are married couples, siblings, friends or parents and children. Some are teachers or doctors, others are graphic designers or business owners. One is even a Catholic priest. [Read more...]