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As the Downturn Turns

How do you comfort sagging spirits in Silicon Valley? With Recession Camp. Since its first event in early July, about 15 pink-slipped dot-commers have been gathering for the day outings -- long hikes, lingering lunches, rounds of golf, horseback riding, and baseball games -- with fees covering only actual costs.

Recession Camp was founded by Andrew Brenner, downsized from a wireless company in June, and Michael Feldman, CEO of a startup that closed in February. "It always helps when you can see someone else experience the same kind of pain," says local employment coach Caity McCardell. Feldman thinks it may be even more simple. "It does help to find others like you," he says. "But we also don't want to forget the healing power of getting a good tan." By Blair Tindall

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