The centerpiece of the Campowerment experience is the ropes course, which involves traversing an elevated balance beam and swinging off Tarzan-style when you reach the other side, or climbing a 35-foot telephone poll and jumping off onto a trapeze, AKA the "leap of faith."
"I loved the 'leap of faith,'" Long says. "It was scary, emotional and invigorating. So freeing."
"We've got these hot coaches offering encouragement," Fuller says. "You don't realize you're about to be transformed because you just think, I just have to get across that beam or to the top of that pole. But when you get to the top, all of a sudden, you're raw. You're standing looking at the ocean. You're so proud of yourself and can't believe you did it."
That's when the coaches start asking you questions: What do you love about your life? What do you want to leave behind? What's not working for you? What are you afraid of?
"Who thinks about that?!" Fuller says. "Now you're standing on the top of the world with people on the ground cheering for you. There's something magical that happens from the unconditional support you're getting from people that 48 hours before you never even knew that bonds everybody instantly. Everybody is so happy for each other."
Before Campowerment, I was perfectly content for my thrills with poles to take place at sea level. See, I mistook the "leap of faith" for a physical adventure that I wasn't particularly interested in, but would be mad at myself for skipping.
Instead, it was an unexpected confrontation with -- and then triumph over -- my limiting beliefs. My brain tried every excuse to keep me from reaching the top, all of which basically boiled down to: What if you try and you fail? It's a recurring negative thought that has prevented me from taking other risks in my life. Through sheer force of will that this time be different, and the encouragement from the women below, I reached the top with a new outlook on life: The view is breathtaking, and you're supported even if you fail.
"I did the swing and it was fun and all, but the ladies who did the pole brought me to tears every time," Ryder says. "I felt like I was going through all their emotions with them -- with my feet firmly on the ground -- and fighting for them to overcome whatever challenge they were struggling through."
"The leap of faith was a game changer for me," says Alison Manzardo, a 40-year-old mother of two. "I have never done anything like that before. It was a raw fear that I pushed through. I felt supported and found a courage that I didn't know existed."
Of course, Fuller did.
"We didn't just pull the experts off the street," she says. "I spent months building this team. They're well-heeled in what they do, but more importantly, I've been helped personally by them and I just want to share with people the stuff that's helped me.
"I'm a 53-year-old single mother, workaholic, camp-obsessed person," she says. "I'm every woman. I'm 10 pounds overweight, I'm struggling to juggle my life, I want more in the way of money, I want more love, I want to be able to share and have joy every day, I want to have children who contribute to the planet, I want more out of my life."
Now, at least for one weekend at a time, we can.