Camp Kotok: In the Canoe Is Where We Learn

Each year, I head to the woods of Maine for an event called “Camp Kotok.” Over the coming week or so, I’ll be sharing some videos of conversations I had with attendees while there (and also pointing to coverage from other attendees, as well). However, I wanted first to explain why events like this are important, and why you, personally, should care about them.

What Is Camp Kotok?

On paper, Camp Kotok sounds simple enough. Over a two-week period, about 80 folks show up at a remote cabin in the Maine woods. There, they go fishing and have deep, crunchy conversations with each other.

It’s like a typical family reunion. However, three things make Camp Kotok unique:

1. Anchoring: David Kotok’s Vision of “Lives Free From Despair”

For as long as I’ve known David, he’s really had one particular goal, though it isn’t explicitly written anywhere: Help smart people get smarter so they can make better decisions, and help more people lead lives free from despair and poverty.

You get to attend Camp Kotok because David invites you, and David brings together people he finds interesting. The group is phenomenally intellectually and politically diverse. There’s real magic, I think, in an event anchored to a single human being — even more so when that human being is fundamentally good.