Glamp 2019: One Wonderful Weekend


Saying “yes” to Glamp with Girl Scouts of Western Washington may well be one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.

I first attended Glamp, a summer camp-style fundraiser and retreat for women, in 2018 (recapped here), and it’s been one of the most positive experiences I’ve had lately. In fact, I loved attending Glamp so much that I committed myself to returning 2019. Yes, it meant taking time off work and traveling cross-country, but you know what? It was #worthit.

What was my favorite thing about Glamp 2019? I couldn’t possibly pick one.

Spectacular Scenery

Situated in Carnation, Washington, about 40 minutes east of Seattle, Camp River Ranch served as the scenic backdrop for a memorable 48 hours. Set on 435 acres with gorgeous Lake Langlois as its centerpiece and replete with towering evergreen forests, it was the perfect balm for my nature-loving heart. With miles of trails to explore, Camp River Ranch is the conglomeration of so many of the things I love about the Pacific Northwest.

Engaging Activities

As someone who enjoys solitude and time spent outdoors, my highest aspiration for Glamp weekend was to spend as much time as possible lounging near the lake and reading a book. However, the scheduled workshops and activities were too tempting to resist. I took a crafts workshop where I made a set of resin coasters that look like sliced geodes, wandered through the verdant woods on a forest bath nature hike (stumbling upon some slug porn in the process), learned to mix and hand-pour my own scented soy wax candle, braided a leather bracelet, and took a relaxing sound bath. These were just a fraction of the activities offered during the weekend—I could have chosen yoga, horseback riding, ice cream making, succulent terrarium scaping, belly dancing, flower arranging, woodworking, or a ropes course instead. Maybe next year.

Fabulous Food and Drink

We enjoyed so many tasty meals, wines, and cocktails throughout the weekend, but nothing could quite prepare me for the delicious dishes presented by some renowned Seattle culinary artists. It’s safe to say I haven’t eaten so well in a long time, and I’m pretty sure I’ll fantasize forever about the summer melon salad that served as the starter at dinner on Saturday night.

Inspiring Women

I’m always in awe of the diversity of amazing, talented, and inspiring women I meet at Glamp. They’re full-time moms and business owners, doctors and attorneys, event planners and marketers. With so many discrete backgrounds, you’d think it would be challenging to strike up a conversation, but being together at Glamp seems to be an equalizing force. We’re all just women—usually dressed similarly in flannels or sweats, jeans, hiking boots or sneakers, and a raincoat—coming together for a weekend to take time for ourselves and create opportunities for girls who need them most.


Paying It Forward

I shared in my Glamp 2018 recap that my family didn’t have the funds to send me on a summer camp experience when I was a child, so Saturday evening’s dinner was the heart of the weekend for me. Glamp is first and foremost a fundraiser uniting women to support young girls whose families might not have the resources to spend on a summer camp experience, so you can see why it was so meaningful for me. Together, we raised more than $300,000 to invest in young women who could potentially change the world. Hell, yes.


Checking In with Myself

Beyond the opportunity to make a young girl’s summer camp dreams come true, Glamp offered me a weekend in nature to spend time checking in with myself. My love of being active was reignited by the nature walk and all of the trails winding through the landscape, my creativity was reinvigorated, and I was reminded that there’s so much more to me than what I do for a living and who I’m associated with.

With Gratitude

By the end of the weekend, my heart felt so incredibly full, and it should be noted that I still drift on a cloud of euphoria recalling what has to be the best weekend of the year. Glamp will likely be a catalyst for future trips to Washington year after year. I hope you’ll join me and nearly 250 other amazing, inspiring, fun women at Glamp 2020 on September 11-13. Mark your calendars!

I’m so deeply grateful to the dedicated staff, volunteers, and partners who made Glamp 2019 possible, but I also wanted to give a special shout out to the following: Redmond Art Works for the phenomenal geode coaster workshop, Linda Takano of Lulumière for an amazing candle-making class, Kim Parker of Kim Parker Yoga for introducing me to the practice of sound bathing, Tina Loucks-Jaret for an enjoyable nature walk, and Mickie Farris for a finger-twisting braided leather bracelet session, as well as Ethan Stowell Restaurants for a sumptuous happy hour and Tom Douglas Catering for a delicious dinner on Saturday evening. See the full list of Glamp 2019 partners here.

Interested in learning more about Glamp? Ask me your questions in the comments!

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  1. Pingback: For the Record: September 2019 – Marsha Ess

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