Those who know Drew Spooner aren’t likely to forget him anytime soon. Ask them to describe the 23-year-old Fargo native, and the responses vary across the board – brilliant, funny, motivated, mysterious. He’s known by many as a serial club founder, having launched six different clubs as a student at NDSU. These clubs range from a Sandy’s Donut Club to the first NDSU Sailing club.

Tomorrow at 1 Million Cups Fargo, Spooner is talking about one club that is particularly dear to his heart. It’s called the Hammock Initiative.

Spooner NDSU

“I’ve always been a fan of hammocks and generally carry one in my backpack for emergency purposes,” said Spooner, aka Spoondawg. “When I heard there was a National Hammock Day, it just seemed natural to my friends and I to plan an event to celebrate this important occasion.”

Spooner cofounded the club last July with Dane Johnson, Katie Worral and Emily Lesser, with the sole purpose of getting people to chill out. “Because sometimes, you gotta take a step forward by taking a step back,” Spooner said.

Their first event on July 22, 2014, National Hammock Day, was a swayin’ success.

“The support we received from the Fargo community after our first event helped us realize we needed to expand this movement,” Spooner said.

The club quickly established its first collegiate chapter at NDSU, and is now spreading nationally and internationally via self-proclaimed “Hammbassadors.” Cofounder Dane Johnson is currently bringing the sway to Nicaragua. Their sponsors at Misfit Incorporated, a group of traveling artists, promote the sway movement all over the world.

Sway Day

Recently, on May 30, 2015, the Hammock Initiative in Fargo hosted Sway Day 2015, a gathering at Island Park that aimed to break the record for the world’s largest hammock gathering. While they did not break the record of 250 people at one time, over 200 people showed up for “a phenomenal day of collective sway,” as stated on their Facebook page. Watch the Visual Manifesto of Sway, here.

Now, Spooner is telling the story of sway in person, tomorrow at the Stage. We sat down to dig a little deeper into this club-launching guru, while seeking to truly understand the power of sway.

10 Questions with Drew Spooner: A Casual Mystery

Drew Spooner

1. Why do you start so many clubs?

Clubs are a lot of fun and a great way to bring people together and travel.

2. How do you feel the Hammock Initiative can change the world?

The Hammock Initiative is a global chilled-out movement spreading sway through latest hammock technologies. Although its vision is simplistic, it’s important and needed: “We want to see people gathered together for the purpose of relaxing, enjoying each other’s company and, literally, hanging out. This vision may not sound audacious or ambitious, and that’s the point. It’s an opportunity for people to be, not do.”

3. Long-term, what is your BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal – for Hammock Initiative? 

Global relaxation; obtained through a vast network of collegiate branches and international outposts of hammbassadors all across the globe.

4. Short-term, what are the next steps for HI?

We need to keep swaying and continue supporting our existing collegiate branches and international outposts. This month, our HiMinneapolis branch will be hosting our main event for National Hammock Day 2015 on July 22nd.

5. What did/do you want to be when you grow up?

I wanted to be a dentist. But nowadays. I’m not quite sure – but I definitely want to continue being a hammbassador and grow Hi across the globe.

6. Where do you feel most at peace?180degreessouth

Swaying in a hammock in the great outdoors.

7. What is a book that has inspired you?  

180 Degrees South

8. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

Patagonia because I’ve never been there and I hear they have excellent hammocking.

9. In Dane’s Sway Day poem, he has a line that says “Let’s consider the absurdity of our seriousness.” Can you expand on this line? What do you think it means?

Classic Dane. I would say that absurdity is relative. By being intensely serious with whatever you do, you can add meaning to some of the most absurd things.

10. A friend of yours, Liv Stromme, described you as “a casual mystery.” How do you feel about that? Would you say it’s an accurate description?

Classic Liv. I suppose that is an accurate description. Hammocks tend to give off a sense of mystery through the casual demeanor their lifestyle promotes. I can see how my passion for sway can create that impression.hammockinitiative

Thanks for sharing, Drew. Sway on.


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Marisa Jackels