Over Labor Day 2018, Camp TimeOut and Girls Gone WOD Podcast® held a weekend sleepaway camp in Deckers, Colorado.
See how campers won shoes!Read More
Recently, I got to chat about the business journey of Camp TimeOut on a podcast called Commonwealth Innovation; push play below for some behind the scenes action.
-Christin, Founder Camp TimeOut
"Where do Camp TimeOut campers travel from? How far do they drive/fly to get to camp?"
So far, it's most common for campers to live within 2-4 hours drive of a camp location. Our Massachusetts camp drew campers from Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York; the Virginia camp had majority CrossFit enthusiasts hailing from Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.
However, our upcoming camp collaboration with the Girls Gone WOD Podcast has bucked the trend in a big way. As campers register, I generally take a look at who registered, their CrossFit box (if they have one), and their address. For our Colorado camp registrants, it seemed like every registrant was from a different state, and I wanted to see camper locations on a map. Thanks to the wizards at Google, we can turn spreadsheets into maps with a click of a button - check out where our campers will be traveling from to get to our Colorado camp!
Podcast listeners are quite literally coming from all around the country to attend camp with Joy and Claire of Girls Gone WOD. We're psyched to host everyone, and happy that we aren't the only folks traveling from sea level to camp's high elevation (cue the heavy breathing during workouts....and walking.)
Our campers are more than map dots, and we can't wait to meet each one of you. Cheers to an excellent summer, and click the button below to see the latest information (schedule was recently updated) for our Labor Day Weekend camp collaboration with Girls Gone WOD, August 31-Sept. 2, 2018 in Deckers, CO.
A camp built for CrossFitters? Is the camp full of bros? How fit do you need to be? What's the food like? Do you share a cabin with strangers?
One of the best ways to soothe fears and tell our story here at Camp TimeOut is through the reviews of our campers. So, don't take our word for it....here's what campers said about their experiences at our Virginia camp for the CrossFit community May 4-6, 2018 in Palmyra, Virginia. We've attached photos to the respective reviews.
"Just finished working the camp in Virginia! Had a great weekend and met some incredible people. It was great to have so many people who all share their fitness interest come out and have a blast. It was a ton of activities. The food was great! Can't wait until next year!" - Gino
"Great camping trip to try new things and meet new people. The events throughout each day were both challenging and fun. All the coaches and staff were friendly and welcoming." - Bryan
"What an amazing weekend full of great people, fun times, and delicious food! I've been to two camps so far and can't wait for the next. I highly recommend Camp TimeOut :)" - Doug
Ok, fine. Doug is the Camp TimeOut Videographer, but we have to say....he has great taste.
"Such a wonderful weekend getaway. If you missed out on the summer camp experience as a kid, now's your chance! The days were filled with spirited activities and fitness challenges, and the nights with bonfires and s'mores. Met some amazing folks and the Camp Timeout team was beyond welcoming and fun. I'll be back for the next one." - Kevin
"Great weekend, well organized by all the great hosts and coaches! Great memories made, can’t wait for next year!" - Dana
"Camp TimeOut is the perfect combination of adventure and fun. There are tons of activities to choose from, challenging workouts, great food, and plenty of time to relax. My favorites were the hayride, river tubing, horseback riding, ropes course, the all camp adventure race and SUP Yoga." - Amy
"Camp Timeout is a blast! Lots of fun (and challenging) activities lead by great coaches. Spending the weekend at summer camp really allows you to bring out your inner child. Timeout does a great job of creating and structuring activities so that you mix with and get to meet new people. The adventure race was fantastic, but smores will always be my favorite part." - Mark
"Ah-may-zing! The Charlottesville camp had all the traditional summer camp activities (archery, lake fun, s’mores!) along with fitness activities and with fantastic meals! Little touches like postcards to send to your friends and welcome stickers on your cabin door really made it clear that the peeps running this show wanted you to have a great time. Absolutely loved it!" - Carmen
"I attended the May 4-6 Charlottesville VA camp. This was an amazing experience. The activities definitely met my expectations! The staff are great, get a group together from your box and enjoy a fabulous weekend with other Crossfitters. Don’t miss out on this! I will be back :)." - Justine
"Can't recommend this weekend enough! I honestly could have used a few more days so I could fit it all in. The weekend was so much fun. The food was awesome, the company was terrific and the activities were the perfect balance of challenge, self-care, and educational. We are recommending CTO to all of our friends. Thank you so much Christin and Cara. You two are a dynamic duo and I can't wait to see what other awesome events you plan in the future."- Melissa
"We had an excellent time at Camp Timeout in VA. There were 6 in our party and we stayed in the "night owl" village (read: late night camp fires and some drinking). The WODs were approachable for all skill levels (i.e. my wife is not a CrossFit member and participated). The activities were run well and generally pretty flexible on attendance. Food was good too and options were reasonable for gluten free or vegetarian needs. Everyone was pretty chill overall, no massive egos, bros, harmful cliques - felt like everyone wanted to get along and have fun. I'll do this again, 'nuff said." - Phil
A big thanks to our campers from the May 4-6, 2018 weekend in Virginia for taking the time to write the above reviews - you all were an incredible group.
Want to know what you will be eating at camp?
Spicy chipotle wings, fajita eggrolls, veggie display, chips and southwest white queso, and tres leches cake with citrus crème..that’s just an evening snack at Camp TimeOut’s Virginia location!
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out the menu below to see what will be fueling your play days.
While I think this menu looks wonderful, do you want to know what I am looking forward to most about these meals? I won’t have to cook, clean, meal plan or grocery shop. As a busy mom, the break will be heavenly.
I hope to see you around the picnic table! Registration is closing very soon for this location. Don’t miss out!
Learn basic skills and movements involved in Parkour training. While campers won't be jumping off any buildings or into refrigerator boxes, they’ll learn some of the fundamental skills in Parkour.
Since his introduction to Parkour in London (2002), Mark has produced two television shows, Jump City Seattle (8 episodes) and The World Parkour Championships on CBS Sports. In 2006 Mark opened the world’s first Parkour Gym - Primal Fitness. Primal Fitness is also one of the first CrossFit gyms, Affiliate #55.
Mark has been written about or quoted in The New Yorker, the Washington Post, Time, ESPN Magazine, The New York Times, and many other publications. He has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and MSNBC television and also on BBC and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Recently, Mark has helped bring Parkour to the public school system. In 2017 American Parkour’s program was used in all 28 middle schools in Washington DC, and the program is currently expanding in Maryland. American Parkour is ramping up operations building facilities for Parkour Gyms and camps as well as equipment for gym and home use.
· Jumping and Landing - learning the basic control and coordination needed to later attempt jumping to a railing.
· Rolling, turning the basic front roll into a shoulder roll which makes it suitable for hard surfaces. We'll keep it on grass or sand, but give you the tools needed to take it to the concrete.
· Basic vaults, using a step or "safety" vault, the speed vault, and possibly the Kong vault.
· Basic introduction to the wall-run, and possibly a top-out, one of the essential skills in parkour, which is a muscle-up to get on top of a wall or other object.
· "Open Play" session where you can put your skills together, and depending on group dynamics and time we can play some "Ground is Lava" Tag with obstacles.
To book a workshop with Mark: email@example.com, 202-631-9239
Learn More: http://americanparkour.com/
Overall, the menu at Camp TimeOut is healthy and nourishing as we must fuel our campers for non-stop activities. However, camp isn't camp without gazing at a beautiful golden marshmallow roasting over a dancing fire 😊. Since we are all adults here, I think it’s time we elevate how we enjoy our s’mores. We will have lots of SMASHMALLOW gourmet marshmallows for you to try at every campfire this year (cinnamon churro, cookie dough, mint chocolate chip, strawberry, toasted coconut and lemon poppyseed). Wouldn't it be fun to create a signature s’more (with the help of our campers) for each of our camp weekends? We have a signature cocktail for each camp, why not a signature s’more?
I've been on Pinterest looking at s'more creations to get some ideas:
We don’t have to use plain graham crackers. We can sandwich our marshmallows between chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, cinnamon grahams, waffles, crispy rice treats....all cookies are possible!
While Hershey’s chocolate is always a great complement to a marshmallow, we can add Nutella, cookie butter, lemon curd, jams, peanut butter or caramel in addition to or instead of the chocolate. Additional toppings like fresh strawberries and bananas are also options.
Since Camp TimeOut Virginia is happening Cinco De Mayo weekend, it only seems right that the signature s’more should use the cinnamon churro SMASHMALLOW.
I want to leverage YOUR creativity. Please help us by creating a s’more recipe for the cinnamon churro marshmallow for our VA camp. Send your recipe to us via Facebook, Instagram, or email us through the Camp TimeOut website, and we will choose our favorite recipe to be the signature Camp TimeOut Virginia s'more! We will give you ALL the credit for the ooh’s, ahh’s and mmmm’s from our happy campers, feature you and your recipe on our social media pages...but above all, you get naming privileges. You create it - You get to name it. Submit recipe by Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 11pm EST to be considered.
Below is your muse. Bonus points if you make a sample and send us a pic of your creation!
I wanted to know how I could build an experience that would add to the CrossFit community. I thought that if I could understand the NEED or DEFICIT that affiliate owners had, then I could build a relevant experience. What problem were owners facing that my business could help to solve?
I spent time thinking about how to elicit authentic responses about pain points – remember, some of these CrossFit affiliate owners I knew, but most were strangers. I asked each CrossFit affiliate owner a series of questions, but the following question was the most useful:
I’m glad I asked.
I thought gym owners would get into the nitty-gritty of social media marketing, of formalizing HR policies, of hammering out partner agreements. I was wrong. More than 50% of the CrossFit affiliate owners answered with the following:
“I’d spend more quality time with my athletes.”
Versions of this answer included:
For me, the most important part of the interview was when I asked affiliate owners, why….
Why that answer? Why spend more time with athletes?
I was floored. It is an intuitive answer, but not what I expected. I thought I was going to hear about Groupon offers, and conversion rates, and content creation, but it was more simple than that. Be authentic. Form relationships. The viability and profitability of a CrossFit box is often a reflection of the vibrancy, health, and organic growth of its community.
Therein, we found our charge for Camp TimeOut. Build an incredible experience that helps CrossFit athletes to get to know one another, their coaches, and owners. Build a camp experience where athletes can get to know one another, connecting with nature and the people around them. Ultimately, doing so helps CrossFit athletes to thrive personally, and CrossFit owners to thrive financially.
I had the pleasure of going to Vegas for a dear friend’s bachelorette trip when I was in my twenties. It was an absolute blast! I slept 4 hours in a 48-hour period, danced with some of my favorite gal pals at the two hottest new clubs, shopped, lounged by a beautiful pool, and left $20 richer than I had arrived because of some luck at roulette. I sat in the airport at 6am on a Monday morning after sleeping ZERO hours in the past 24, alternately pressing an ice-cold water bottle against my neck and wrists to keep from passing out from sheer exhaustion before my plane arrived. Obviously, I enjoyed myself, and I have nothing but good memories of Vegas. HOWEVER, now that I am in my 30’s, my idea of a perfect bachelorette weekend has changed….just slightly 😊.
When my sister, and Camp TimeOut founder, Christin, got engaged, she wanted an alternative to the typical “stay in a hotel and go to bars” bachelorette vacation. She’s an outdoor girl. She loves to have days packed with activity, and then relax with friends and have a few drinks in the evening. Together, we planned a weekend of her dreams in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
On the first day, we took an 8-hour hike to the summit of Mount Washington, and a few of us wore boas for our picture. We kept it “bacheloretty!”
On day 2, we (or at least I) could hardly walk, so we tubed down a river (wearing wetsuits, because it was about 65 degrees and raining). The owner of the tubing company thought we were a little nutty, but was happy to take our money on a chilly day😊
In the evenings we grilled out, did a little yoga in the backyard, had a few drinks, played the “Heads Up” game as seen on Ellen, and watched Sweet Home Alabama. The weekend was full of activity, but also there was time built in for the group to relax and connect with each other.
I think Christin’s bachelorette adventure was the perfect balance of activity and rest. She and I strive to have that balance on all the vacations we plan, and we especially strive for that perfect balance at Camp TimeOut.
1. Maid of Honor/Best Man doesn’t have to lift a finger to plan. It is SO HARD to make a vacation for a large group run seamlessly (I would know!). We fully program Camp TimeOut weekends for non-stop fun from sunrise to well after sunset. You don’t have to think about what to eat, where to sleep, or how to fill your days.
This could be your room for the weekend.
You could be relaxing in an Adirondack chair rather than making dinner reservations and scheduling Ubers.
2. There is WAY more to our camp weekends than alcohol. While we have an open bar, it is not the focus of camp. The bar opens at 6pm, after most of the activities are finished. You won’t have to worry about one of your friends getting sloppy and ruining the party. The bar closes after 4 hours. You might enjoy drinks around the bonfire, on a sunset hayride, during evening arts and crafts, or while watching a dodgeball tournament. It is the perfect way to end a day full of activity.
3. You will have QUALITY bonding time with your bachelor party or bachelorette crew! It’s hard to connect in a bar/club or even a restaurant with loud music thumping. Not a problem at camp. The background noises are tree frogs, birds, crackling fires and the laughter of happy/relaxed campers. It’s hard not to feel close to your friends after a day of activities like an adventure relay race or a group polar plunge (this pic was taken at our October camp in Massachusetts…Brrrr😊)
4. You won’t get sick of each other. Ever been to an awkward bachelor/bachelorette party where you end up super annoyed by one of the guys/girls? All of our camps have plenty of space, constant activities and lots of nice folks to help distract you if necessary.
5. You will feel MORE fit at the end of a weekend! Fitness is what we do best. We have yoga, fitness challenges and hikes on the schedule. (but we’ll make sure your couch potato friends feel welcomed, included, and have plenty of activity options as well!)
We think you’ll also get lots of exercise from many of our other activities without even noticing.
6. Camp TimeOut is a bargain compared to a Vegas style Bachelor/Bachelorette weekend. (Again, I would know!) When you add up 2 nights in hotel, 3 meals out a day, drinks, and cab rides (not even including what can happen to your bank account at a Vegas casino), Camp TimeOut looks like a real steal. Camp is all-inclusive, so the only time you need your wallet is when you show your ID at registration!
7. Want to relive your past before getting hitched? Great! Let’s take you back to early childhood, NOT college. Everyone is better off😊
Send us an email if you are considering Camp TimeOut for a Bachelor or Bachelorette weekend. We’ll answer any questions, and make sure it’s a stress-free weekend to remember!
Are you addicted to your smartphone? I am. My friends are. I wish it weren’t the case.
I fill almost every “in between” moment scrolling on my phone, and it makes me crazy. I do my loop (Instagram, Email, Facebook Business Page, LinkedIn…repeat) when I get into the car, when the car stops at the destination, while standing in line at the grocery store, as soon as I walk into my house.
Too much time checking my smartphone makes me feel “gross”; a mix of guilt as well as stale from time spent immobile. For me, it takes a conscious effort to break from the screen, look up from the phone, and give my brain the space necessary to have an original thought, to drift idly, to consider others.
Some tactics I’ve employed (with varying degrees of success):
*banish the phone from my bedroom
*while standing in line, don’t look at the phone
*limit phone use to certain hours (e.g. no phones after 8:30pm)
One magical space that is the exception from the endless cell phone loop? Summer camp weekends at Camp TimeOut. At many of our camp properties (like our western Massachusetts camp pictured below), the location is so remote that phones don't get service, and campers are forced to UNPLUG. For camps where cell service is possible, we are working diligently to setup systems to encourage campers to break from their phones.
For the first 2-3 hours after arrival, campers tend to “freak out” from smartphone withdrawal. However, just wait for a few hours. By the time the campfire is lit on Friday night, campers begin reporting an incredible lightness, freedom, and relaxation - they are free from checking their devices.
Registering for Camp TimeOut is more than a weekend of fitness and fun; it’s an opportunity to connect to others, to consider your goals, and to get a break from technology. For me, the reset has a positive, lasting effect and helps me to notice negative, compulsive behavior. So, stop scrolling! Register for a camp, then put your phone away and join us for a weekend in the woods.
Has anyone tried to use their devices less? What tactics have you employed? When was the last time you spent a significant period away from electronics? Comments On if you'd like to offer any tips of tricks that have worked for you. (I'm all ears!)
-Christin, Founder Camp TimeOut
This is my Family. Brad (forever age 29), Bennett (8), and Blythe (4). I'm Cara. Mid-Atlantic Director at Camp TimeOut. Truly, this is the most coordinated our outfits have ever been. We also have a dog named Barnabus (age 2) and our cat is Bogart (age 70 in cat years). They will show up later in this post.
I have lots of company in my office (aka playroom) except for Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings for 2 hours when Blythe and Bennett are BOTH in school. (Yes, there is a bag of chocolate chips, foam sword, and a dryer sheet on my desk. “non-Pinterest life”)
Blythe’s favorite spot to play is right behind me in my chair. I’ve learned to make it work. She keeps me warm, provides lumbar support, and ensures that my multi-tasking abilities are on point! Bogart and Barnabus are usually nearby, too.
This is what my work break looks like
Sometimes I put Blythe to work.
There is always a mess or house chore that is calling to me, but I am learning to push that to the side for the sake of the business😊 Sorry, Brad.
The crockpot has become my most important appliance. (Vegetable Korma from this week is pictured…not my best recipe)
Both my parents and Brad’s parents make it possible for me to travel. They take turns watching our kids so that I can help run or scout camps. They drive from North Carolina and Tennessee to Maryland, so it is no easy feat for them. This picture was taken while I was away at our October camp. I had to miss Bennett’s birthday, but thanks to Brad and my in-laws, Bennett had an amazing cowboy celebration and a pile of Maryland crabs for his birthday dinner.
When my parents (and Christin’s) aren’t watching my kids during camp…they come to camp!! They help make everyone feel welcome, sweep floors, keep the coffee supply fresh and anything else they see that’s needed. Kudos to my Dad for waking up before everyone to make sure we had a roaring fire in the giant stone fireplace before sunrise each day. (Yoga, in front of a fire, as the sun rises, with a view of the lake…is just as magical as it sounds) Thanks, Dad! I have a family tribe of support that makes it possible for me to work on this passion project.
One hard part of the job is the rejection that comes with working on a start-up. Some people just don’t get/care/want what we are offering, and Christin and I have had to learn not to get discouraged. At the beginning of last year, I would get one answer for every 10-15 emails I sent requesting meetings with gym owners. Gym visits were (and still are) awkward at times. Camp registrations were slower than we projected for last year. The tide is changing now, and word of camp is spreading. There have been so many little victories lately, and each one feels like Christmas. It's so fun when we connect with gym owners who are really excited about camp, or when we find a great sponsor who will thrill our campers with fun product (most recently SMASHMALLOW! Gourmet s’mores anyone??)
The other hard part is finding balance. I love working on all things camp, and I love taking care of my family. There is always some way to be working on building Camp TimeOut, but there is always a little face (with or without whiskers) that needs me. The crockpot, grocery list, laundry pile, animals, vacuum, and gym all vie for my attention. Each day I make a “to do” list of priorities and go from there. Everyday, I feel a little guilty for not giving enough attention to the business, my kids, to the running of my house or to exercise (exercise is really getting the shaft these days).
The awesome part of this job is collaborating with Christin. She is inspiring. Entrepreneurship is her calling. She creates a solution for every roadblock, and constantly generates innovative ideas. She acts quickly. She finds people who are good at what they do and allows them the freedom to be creative. She is humble, accepts feedback, adopts clever ideas if suggested, and manages to always remain true to her vision. She is also funny and random😊 This picture is from our scouting trip in Colorado. She saw a sign for a “mining museum” and thought it would make a perfect pit stop. She dressed up like this for Bennett’s benefit (besides cowboys, he’s into the gold rush era) While she is serious about her business, she doesn’t take herself too seriously!!
Camp scouting is another awesome part of the job. We get to meet great camp directors, spend time in beautiful natural environments, and dream about the camp weekends we could create at these properties.
However, the best part of the job is spending camp weekends with our awesome team, and delighting our campers!
So what’s it like to work on a start-up and be a stay- at- home mom? Totally awesome, sometimes really hard, occasionally very exciting, definitely stressful and always very messy…but I feel really fortunate that I get to do what I love while around the people I love.
Special thanks to Brad, who quietly supports me through it all.
It's been an incredible ride so far - with spectacular highs and incredible lows. To the team: Devon, Doug, Tom, and Cara, I can't thank you enough for the time spent on strategy, design, marketing, and production. But more than that, thanks for pouring time and energy into a passion project.
To the coaches and staff, you bring the warmth, fun, and....heavy kettlebell swings to camp; thank you for vouching for Camp TimeOut and showing up ready and positive.
BEHIND THE SCENES, REAL-TALK LIST OF 11 BEST MOMENTS:
11. Biking Manhattan - 20 affiliates in 24 hours.
Showing up unannounced with a backpack full of flyers was met with far more warmth than anticipated. Thanks to Rhys Probyn for navigating on the bike in front. We survived road biking on slicks...during rush hour....in the rain....barely.
10. The First Camp Photo Shoot
It's difficult to promote a camp when you haven't yet run a camp. What to do? Schedule a photo shoot! Thanks to Sarah Kenyon at Studio Route 7 for capturing iconic images, and to the "models" who made the trip.
9. The 1st Ever Burpee Mile
Is a burpee mile too difficult to complete as an individual? Can teams complete a burpee mile as a relay? We needed to do a test event before we made the burpee mile a signature part of Camp TimeOut. Thanks to the crew (mainly non-CrossFitters!) who were bribed with beer and completed a burpee mile on the Shining Sea Bike Path last January. Big shout out to Undercurrent Productions for a beautifully produced video.
8. The Business Accelerator Win
We got the grand prize from the business accelerator program, Entrepreneurship for All. To us, the win was a resounding vote of confidence from the business community. We pitched camp to a panel of business-minded judges, they gave us a vote of confidence and the grand prize. Thanks to the EForAll staff and to the cohort of entrepreneurs for the push to build quickly.
7. Camp's 1st Registrant
Thanks, Jason. #1 camper hailing from CrossFit Hyannis! Jason's at 100% attendance to Camp TimeOut weekends...can he keep a perfect record :)?
6. Sponsorships and Giving Back
Partnering with our Board Chair and Designer, we recently finalized our sponsorship packet and policies, opening the door for brands to get involved with Camp TimeOut. Current efforts are concentrated on selecting a platinum sponsor who will donate back to the campership funds at the locations where we host events. We'll keep you posted!
5. Our First Shoutout from The Morning Chalk Up
As a Google Analytics nerd, I like to keep tabs on the number of people on the camp website on any given day. One day, the website #s spiked, and we had a 1200% increase in visitors. I couldn't figure out what happened until Katie Falkowski tipped me off that we'd been picked up and linked by the Morning Chalk Up. If you aren't signed up for their daily blog, you should be.
4. Successful Stalking of Girls Gone WOD®
Sometimes you have an idea, and everything falls into place. I'd become a fan of the Girls Gone WOD podcast and thought "camp seems like a great fit for Girls Gone WOD, I wonder if they'd partner with us to run a trip for their listeners?"
After a couple of emails and texts, we decided to meetup at the CrossFit® Games in Madison, Wisconsin. Cell reception was poor, so we weren't connecting, but I spotted Joy and Claire in the VIP area of the FitAid tent, I talked my way into the VIP area, met hosts Joy and Claire, and from there, we've developed a wonderful partnership.
East Coast folks: we're running a shuttle between Denver airport and the Girls Gone WOD camp weekend August 31-Sept. 2 in Deckers, Colorado, so we've made it easy on you if you want to fly over.
Thanks to Joy and Claire for being authentic, incredible people. Traditionally, you can't use the word "stalk" when describing a business partnership, but we've already mutually established that that's what happened.
3. Tom Henell as Board Chair
Sorry LinkedIn - I thought you were worthless, then I checked my notifications, and I had a month-old message from, WHO? A VP of Spartan Race? WHAT?
Tom's credentials are incredible, and more importantly, he has experience growing his own business from startup stage to highly successful exit. Tom continues to make introductions that we'd never get without his help. Big picture thinking with actionable ideas - thanks for your help this year, Tom. (Anybody who got a s'mores box this holiday season? Yeah, that was Tom's idea).
2. The First Expansion - Virginia!
Our goal is to build camps for the CrossFit® community. CrossFit affiliates are located all over the world, and we want our camps to be accessible to enthusiasts everywhere. Which means...geographic expansion. This past summer, we locked in May 4-6, 2018 in Palmyra, Virginia - this will be our first camp outside of New England. We hope you'll join us for Cinco de Mayo. This camp boasts horses and ponies, hayrides, river tubing + all of the traditional camp activities you've come to love at our Massachusetts weekends.
Thanks to Mid-Atlantic Director, Cara Cowden for the leg-work in the D.C./Maryland area. She's been forming partnerships with incredible people in the CrossFit community in the mid-Atlantic. Special thanks for the support from CrossFit 757 in Norfolk, VA.
1. The Rebrand
If you've been following along, you saw that we had to change our name. Brutal. Long story short, we thought that we could get the trademark for Camp Wild Child, but 6 months in, found out we couldn't....Bye Camp Wild Child...
To me, this is the crowning moment of 2017; it was painful, but we got the rebrand done in a matter of 3 weeks. Big shout out to our October campers, who generated over 100 name ideas, and set us up for success. A new domain, logo, Facebook page, Instagram handle, and trademark filing later...we're Camp TimeOut™! Thanks to our designer, Devon Clark for hours of design creation and bringing TimeOut to life.
Why Build Camp TimeOut™?
Put simply? I looked around, and didn’t find an event for CrossFit® athletes that embodied all that I love about my own affiliate community (shout out to CrossFit Cape Cod!). In fact, most functional fitness events felt downright foreign. Sure, there were familiar movements, but as I sat in the stands and watched athletes completing thrusters, muscle ups, and box jumps, I felt like an outsider. With the sport removed from the affiliate community, the components were reframed: neon booty shorts, elite athletes competing, and the majority of folks on the sidelines.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully support some awesome, neon booty shoots. What bothers me is the sitting on the sidelines. Which gave me the thought…what if I could build an experience for CrossFitters that felt participatory and included what I love about my own affiliate community? Also, what did other CrossFit enthusiasts love about their own experiences at their affiliates?
First step: survey 100 CrossFitters. Most of the questions were quantitative, but one was open-ended: "Why do you love CrossFit?" Take a second, and answer the question for yourself. Why do YOU love CrossFit? Now, scroll down…..
Is your answer on this list? 100% of survey respondents answered with one or more of the following:
1. VARIETY – (not getting bored working out)
2. OPPORTUNITY FOR COMPETITION
3. PHYSICAL CHALLENGE
4. FITNESS PROGRAMMING BY A COACH
5. PHYSICAL RESULTS
6. THE COMMUNITY/SOCIAL ASPECT
Therein we found our mission: build an experience that embodies each of the 6 reasons above. At Camp TimeOut, we still consider ourselves as a startup, so we constantly seek to improve what we’ve built. However, I would argue that we’ve done an excellent job taking what you love about CrossFit, and packaging it into a weekend getaway at camp. Here’s how:
1. Variety? CHECK. Waterskiing, trail runs, drinking coffee on the porch, fishing, stand up paddleboarding, roasting s’mores over the bonfire, burpee miles, adventure races, mobility workshops, sunrise yoga, pumpkin carving, and on and on and on. Camp is choose your own adventure, and each camper gets to curate their own, best experience.
2. Opportunity for Competition? CHECK. Let’s face it. With this many CrossFit athletes in one space, even fire building gets competitive.
3. Physical Challenge? CHECK. Circling back to variety, camp is ‘choose your own adventure,’ so each camper is able select as much challenge as they wish to take on. While some folks spend the Saturday of camp completing a burpee mile followed by 2 workouts later in the day, others take more time for nature walks, yoga, and arts + crafts.
4. Fitness programming by a Coach? CHECK. This is where we shine, people. Not only is your fitness programmed, but your entire getaway weekend. Your job is to show up at camp, and we take it from there. Know that feeling of going on vacation with your buddies, and everyone is exhausted, and no one can decide on a restaurant…? Yeah, that doesn’t ever happen at camp. Even your mealtime is programmed and effortless.
5. Physical Results? CHECK. Warning: we have LOTS of snacks available to campers (Sour Patch Kids! Ice Cream Sandwiches!), but the awesome campy junk food available is balanced by FOMO (fear of missing out) of camp activities. Don’t want to miss the opportunity to shoot bb guns? Well, you better start walking across camp to get to the range! There’s a workout happening 20 steps away, guess you better go check it out, too. Oh man, sailing? Better run down to the waterfront, and hop in a boat. At camp, you don’t run the risk of going from consumption opportunity to consumption opportunity – chances are that you’ll be insanely active.
6. THE COMMUNITY? CHECK. Don’t take my word for it. Here are reviews from our 2017 campers:
“I loved camping out with such a welcoming group of people that had similar interests and lifestyles. The opportunity to have fun with a new group of friends, play outside, hike, start the day out with yoga, do a three legged race, paint and draw, dance and end the day around a campfire, what's not to like?”
-Dena, Western Mass Camper, June 2017
"…..Workouts and camp activities during the day (ropes course, yoga, wake boarding, etc.) and hanging out by the campfire with a few drinks at night. I highly recommend trying this if you are looking for a fun weekend away with some like-minded people."
-Dave, CrossFit Hyannis, Western Mass Camper, June and October 2017
"…..But maybe the best part was the people - an amazing group of chill, like minded people. I felt welcomed right away. I can't wait to go back next year!"
-Jen, Crush It CrossFit, Western Mass Camper, October 2017
"As a kid I went to summer camp and was thrilled that Camp TimeOut brings this experience back to adults. The weekend was a perfect mix of physical activities and relaxing fun. The activity options were endless...Yoga, workouts, archery, BB guns, climbing wall, art, hikes, boating, campfire, movies...and, lot's and lot's of food. Plus, we met some very cool new friends. Bottom line, there's something for everyone. I can't wait for the next camp!"
-Tom, Western Mass Camper, October 2017
As I age, I'm finding that it gets more difficult to be true to myself, forge meaningful friendships, and be vulnerable enough to try (and fail at) something new. The beauty of camp is that it's an excellent opportunity for adults to let their guards down, enjoy being a novice (horseback riding! watercolor painting! archery!), meet new people, and leave feeling invigorated and refreshed.
Really? A Camp for the CrossFIt® community?
CrossFitters® are a diverse group with many common interests, but there are relatively few opportunities outside of individual affiliates to celebrate our community, play together, and form friendships. Sure, you get a chance to get to know athletes at your own box, but what about other potential friends who are members at other boxes?
If I were a dog, I'd be a shepherd mix. I love rounding up friends and potential friends, and I herd them all into one place. That instinct is at the heart of what we're building at Camp TimeOut. We're creating an affordable all-inclusive opportunity, where masses of CrossFitters and their friends can getaway to play together.
That said, everybody is welcome, and I promise you'll enjoy camp. Our strongest theme is definitely activity/fitness, but if folks want to spend the weekend posted up in an Adirondack chair, more power to them.
So, what's the point of rounding up adults and having them play at camp for a weekend?
The answer is as diverse as each individual. For some, the takeaway is a fitness challenge, for others, it's an opportunity to be challenged socially (roommates?! bunk beds?!). Almost everyone finds a reason to be intimidated about camp, but the sense of achievement after having attended only makes the camp experience sweeter (disclaimer: campers inevitably report that the experience is far more approachable than anticipated).
I don't want to overstate what camp means to individuals. I'm not interested in building the weekend where campers "transform" in 48 hours into bright, shiny, new humans. However, reflecting on the first year, it was amazing to watch what happens when a diverse set of adults put away their phones, connect with new friends, chat around a campfire, and peel off stress.
Have I convinced you to try a camp weekend? I'll keep working on it!