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  • Writer's pictureTyla Charbonneau

I met my good friend Brett working at kid’s camps and outdoor schools. We introduced ourselves by our camp names, Snow (Brett) and Gecko (me) and developed a friendship based on our love of nature, connection to others, and a curiosity about life. At camp we ran around the forest, we created characters to tell stories about the ecosystem, and we sang silly songs around a campfire. I can honestly say that becoming Gecko taught me about how I want to live my life and the people I wanted to have alongside me as I do.

As we moved away from camp life, Brett and I entered the world of academia and professional careers. We learned about confidence, knowledge, and responsibility. We value these lessons, and we lost touch with the parts of us that are creative, want to play, and make a difference in people’s lives. Recently, we began to check in with each other on a regular basis. We talk about inspiring books, blogs, and people. We share ideas about leadership and entrepreneurship. Most importantly, we remind each other to connect to our playful and creative selves.

It is through these meetings that we launched a social experiment called

Here is what it looks like and feel free to follow and play along:

Hello Friends,

Remember what it felt like to climb a tree with reckless abandon? To paint like no one was watching? To sing at the top of your lungs like no one was listening? To simply enjoy a moment and play?

As we have grown older, and taken on adult jobs, some of us have forgotten to make Play a priority. To say "Yes" to a random adventure, to be reminded to set our phones and worries aside, and to indulge in a moment. We thought that we might have some friends who have ideas on how to combat this affliction, and we thought we'd enlist your help to participate in a small social experiment.

The Idea

Random ideas are tough - but they are often the best. Like tobogganing in your back yard, or building a snowman...

We're going to help out with that process. We'll give you a mission to complete, you provide proof, and the cycle continues (for bonus points you can suggest ideas for future missions).

Bonus points may be awarded for collaborating with other GEPers in the completion of your mission - at the sole discretion of the Instigators.

So why would I want to join this group?

• Because sometimes you need an reminder to go out and play - we're going to be that reminder;

• Because life goes by too fast, and we need photographic evidence to capture that time (Remember when Facebook was fun and not all political);

• Because we don't want to turn 80ish and realize that we haven't seen our friends in 40 years;

• Because who doesn't want an awesome mission to complete at the irregular intervals dictated by the instigators (come on, it's not like you have anything better to do than capture life as it rushes by);

• Because all of your friends are doing it! It's like jumping off a bridge, you should too!

Mission #1

• Find a good friend and go build a snowman. Take a picture to show it happened. If you don’t have snow, get creative!;

◦ Bonus points for creativity (but let's keep this PG). Coffee/Beer/Wine afterwards is optional but strongly encouraged;

• Follow @go_effing_play on Instagram and upload your photo;

• E-mail us back with your Instagram user name, so that we can verify completion of your mission and make sure that you stay on our list;

• Complete the above by 4:00pm on Sunday March 18th.

If you complete the above, we will be in touch with future challenges.

Some Ground Rules (Darn Lawyers! Okay it's not that bad)

• This is not Fight Club - Friends can ask the Instigators to invite friends to the group. Feel free to invite anyone who you think might be interested!

• Play nice - Unruly behavior will not be tolerated;

• The Instigators have final say on the Rules (and we may add more. This is our party. When you start your own group, you can make the rules Neo);

• Cloning of the group is welcome - (though we'd love to hear about it! Have them e-mail us at;

• This is an experiment, if it works fantastic! If it doesn't, well, we still miss you. Let's grab a pint!

Signed lovingly,

The Instigators (Gecko and Snow)

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