Camp Happiness on display at Anythink Perl Mack

Community members are invited to explore all things happiness – the science, the inspiration, the action – at Camp Happiness, an interactive exhibit on display at Anythink Perl Mack until May 20.

At Camp Happiness, visitors engage with the topic of happiness on an elevated level. Spread throughout the library, the exhibit is a multisensory experience that encourages visitors to learn, reflect and act. Participants learn about the chemical compounds and research studies related to happiness. An aromatherapy station invites everyone to stop and smell the roses – and lavender, pine and peppermint. 

During the development of Camp Happiness, a number of sources concluded that happiness is often successfully achieved through action – helping others through sincere acts of kindness. For that reason, customers are also encouraged to participate in a number of “pay it forward” activities. Adults can choose from specific prompts like offering to help a neighbor or writing a thank you card to a former teacher. Teens are invited to write personalized cards that will be included with local food bank donations. Children can have fun decorating a pencil that will then be given to other kids during school visits. These interactive elements are meant to inspire participants of all ages to continue spreading happiness throughout the community.

Camp Happiness began as a participatory experience in 2013 at Anythink Wright Farms, inspired by an idea from a staff member. A conference room within the library was transformed into a public happiness room, where community members could relax, reflect and practice gratitude. The experience was so successful, Anythink was asked to recreate it for the 2014 Public Library Association conference in Indianapolis. At the conference, Anythink shared Camp Happiness – a spirited recreation of the original concept – with library professionals across the country. Camp Happiness was an opportunity to share a piece of Anythink with the greater library community and speak with library professionals about ways in which they can transform their spaces into participatory experiences for the public. Camp Happiness is now a comprehensive and interactive exhibit that travels throughout the Anythink district.