Monday, May 18, 2009

the dreaded campout

so, camping wasn't quite as bad as anticipated -- but i guess we earned a smooth event after all the drama that went on during the planning stages. you'll recall i don't like to blog too much about work stuff but i HAD to talk about this one.

basically, we created this campout to give journalists the chance to see the latest and greatest camping gear [including a brand new camping-sized generator from my lovely client] IN ACTION. most of them were pretty stoked to be there and laughed at me when i said it was my first campout. we partnered with some other companies to give the journalists more bang for their buck (i.e. multiple story ideas in one place), and of course all of them were tough adventurous outdoorsman. let's just say i wasn't with my typical crew -- but that's one of the things i love about my job, being able to meet all sorts of different people who i would most likely nevvvver meet in my regular indoor-girl stationery-loving california life.

jolee and i arrived to find out lake arrowhead campsite looking like this:

and we turned it into this instead:

we flew journalists in from all around the country, let them sleep in RVs [more than one person has informed me this does not constitute actual camping, but whatever -- i only showered once the whole week so i consider it official!] and arranged product demonstrations to let them check everything out.

one morning we orchestrated a breakfast cookoff -- i've never seen so many people so competitive and excited about cooking. we set up a table of supplies like this -- i felt like i was staging my own episode of top chef :)

that was my favorite meal of the campout -- probably because i didn't have to cook it!

here are all our journalists, lined up to present their goods:

one of our partner companies was a camping cookware company, specializing in all sort of camp stoves, grills, etc. the PR rep who attended was an amazing chef and one night he whipped up three different flavors of dutch oven fruit cobblers for us. it was SO delicious -- until a MOTH flew in my cobbler. i totally freaked.

another hazard of camping: bugs. in addition to the moth, i saw a whole bunch of mosquitos and other annoying bugs but utilized a trusty can of bug spray after i got bit the first time. on our last day, one of the co-sponsors found this little guy -- of course, the co-sponsor was fascinated and i was tooootally grossed out:

in addition to the fact that i was totally out of my comfort zone, this event was a little tough just because it was a LOT of work to create a media-friendly campsite in the middle of nowhere. jolee and i worked 17 hour days, three days in a row, making sure everything was set up, media were happy, clients were happy, etc.

BUT, on the last day, while the journalists and staff were involved in product demos and everything was already set up, we got to have a little down time. i sat in my cabela's recliner next to the campfire and ate cookies and caught up on emails -- it was super relaxing and even kind of fun. maybe if you actually get to go camping to relax and enjoy nature, it's not so bad.

thursday morning after dropping the journalists off at the airport and packing up the campsite, i got to go home. a shower has never felt so good! i've been working on catching up on my sleep ever since.

in case you were wondering, b was busy while i was gone as well. he got a $250 ticket for not renewing his train pass; he provided free babysitting; he got a filling and racked up some dentist bills; and he summarized american idol via text messages for me. i was excited to come home and see him.

and as a side note, i actually ended up with some pretty sweet camping gear. b is super excited and already talking about planning a camping trip for this summer to use it -- but i said i need a little while before i'm ready to go out into the wilderness again :)


Jean said...

That's awesome. You totally rocked it. Even if you had RVs and sweet camping gear, I think it's still fair to tell people that you're an outdoorswoman now. :-) And yay for getting to keep some of it!! Woohoo!!

Angela and Mike said...

I am SO impressed. The event looks awesome, I actually want to make camping look fun! I love the picture of the journalists. It's totally a certain type of person that is into the whole camping thing. I am one of those people that loves camping, but only for a day or I'm impressed you did it MULTIPLE days and with only 1 shower. Wow. Seriously though, it looks like it went great. All your effort paid off.

Yes, that bug is nasty.