The Backstory on Camp Blogaway Bootcamp for Food Bloggers

Camp Blogaway

Here is how this blogger conference came to be. My food career began at 16: counter girl at KFC. Since then, with the exception of one Christmas selling men’s suits (zzzzz), my every job has been in food. College degree, also food. Now, after decades in food public relations, I’ve also joined the blogging community. What I like about this is it’s so NEW. With so much to learn! It takes more than sitting at this computer, and as I met other food bloggers, I discovered most were grappling with the confusing intricacies of this new craft…

The fact that I own Camp GetAway for Mothers & Others plays into this… it’s my hobby putting on weekends for hundreds of adults to enjoy a wickedly wacky grownup version of a kids’ summer camp. Mountains, cabins, archery, canoeing, crafts, hikes, sing-along’s, s’mores.

This past summer it struck me, there are plenty of blogging conferences out there, but none offered the specific focus of deconstructing food blogs and teaching how to better each important element, Food Blogging University of sorts.

My thought process: (1) learning ins and outs of successful blogging is frustrating and complicated, (2) I’m a PR person who knows how to put on events, (3) I also know how to put on camps, (4) food bloggers tell me they want to better their blogs. And I am OLD, I know lots of people, which resulted in: (5) instructors and sponsors I contacted were EXCITED to be a part of the convergence of #1-4.

Banner 685 by 125Checking the calendar, May 14-16 doesn’t bump into Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day, school, summer vacation, or other conferences. Ad copywriter pal, Andrea Giambrone (she wrote all those Kahlua ads forever) hit on the name. My number-one graphics choice, Double Vision, created the logo (they also did Worth The Whisk for me).

The mountain camp facility is just a 2-hour drive from my house in Westwood, even shorter from OC, SD and points in between. Convenient. Ontario International Airport is also convenient, and smaller than LAX or John Wayne. Just as important: the camp kitchen cooks hearty, adult-pleasing meals. Alcohol OK. Coffee, freshly brewed 24/7. Cabins are heated with indoor baths, HOT private showers.

So… Camp Blogaway was becoming a GOOD IDEA. Now, about sessions. I consulted a team of experts and we agreed: TEACH SKILLS and SHARE KNOWLEDGE. The result is a jam-packed agenda with instructors who are experts in their professional fields. Food writing (awesome Barbara Gibbs Ostmann). Food Styling (yea! Denise Vivaldo). Cameras. Photography. Search Engine Optimization.

Then, because I’m a PR person who knows why “we” want to work with bloggers, TWO panels of PR pros were added. They work for big food companies. Very important.

On top, every available extra minute was squished with more enlightenment. Tastestopping’s exciting slideshow food photography – CLICK HERE to add your work to Casey Benedict’s show. Casey will also produce the ALL TIME BEST S’MORE EXPERIENCE OF YOUR BLOGGING LIFE. Danny Jauregui of Food Bloggers Unite will tell his secret to generating 20,000+ views of ONE post – in a single day! To wrap heads around “monetizing:” in-depth roundtable discussions. More, more, more…

Once sponsorships SOLD OUT (see the fabulous list below), even more companies joined to totally stuff the goodie bag. You see, they want bloggers to try their products, learn about their industries, enter their contests.

Wait, still stuck on “WHY a mountain camp?” To deliver fun. Real fun. Mountain fun. Relaxing fun. Belly laugh fun. Youthful fun. Adult fun. Exhausting fun. Rejuvenating fun. (We also build a spa with the very best massage therapists; treat yourself).

If you are a food blogger, please join us. Bring your camera. Bring your brain. Register. $325 includes two nights lodging, all meals, activities, workbook, goodie bag, and everything above. Just get yourself to camp. And leave a Much Better Blogger.


WiltonLogo8For 80 years, Wilton has been the industry leader in cake decorating, quality bakeware and food crafting. At camp, you will learn more about making celebrations special with Wilton cakes, cookies, cupcakes and candy.


Zespri KiwifruitZESPRI International is the world’s largest marketer of GREEN and GOLD Kiwifruit and ZESPRI is the brand for all kiwifruit grown in New Zealand. ZESPRI’s 2700 growers have perfected the way they grow, cultivate, store and ship their kiwifruit to guarantee consistently delicious tart-sweet GREEN and tropical-sweet GOLD Kiwifruit from May through October. provides food bloggers with a recipe for success. Our online cookbook is an engaging space where you can showcase your favorite recipes. The community discussion forum is the place to network with like-minded bloggers and food lovers. A listing in our blog directory is a simple way to get an inbound link and drive more traffic to your site. So, whether you’re looking for new recipes, new connections or new levels of success, is the place for you.

Lindsay OlivesLindsay Olives provides a full line of olives, ranging from the delicious, savory California black and green ripe olives to more exotic imported varieties, like stuffed Spanish Queens and Greek Kalamatas. For wonderful recipes and serving suggestions, please visit

National Onion AssociationThe National Onion Association (NOA) is the official organization representing growers, shippers, brokers, and commercial representatives of the U.S. onion industry.  Since 1984, the NOA has dedicated their themselves to educating consumers about onions and their many uses. We’re excited to be part of camp and look forward to sharing layers of information, flavor, and fun with other foodies.

Sur La TableThe first Sur La Table store opened in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1972 selling hard-to-find kitchenware imported from France. Since then the company has expanded to more than 75 stores nationwide, a direct-mail business distributing millions of catalogs each year, an e-commerce site, a gift registry, and a cooking class program. Sur La Table continues to carry many of the same products from France that it carried when it opened, but now offers tools from around the world to prepare any cuisine. Sur La Table remains committed to its roots by continuing to provide exceptional customer service and a broad assortment of premium-quality products. Sur La Table headquarters are located in Seattle, Washington.

Mad Housewife WinesMad Housewife Wines. Above all else, wine should be fun, relaxing, and something you can afford to look forward to at the end of each and every day. This is your time. Time to enjoy a moment to yourself. A moment without the madness.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marje Bennetts March 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm

NIce – and so Patti — I am excited for you. Dames are getting into it too so hopefully you will get a few. Need to connect soon — but good luck with this. Marje B.

2 February 12, 2010 at 6:37 pm

The more I hear about this event the more I am intrigues. Speaking of events I am so excited to see you next weekend at StirIt28. Yay! That “private residence” it’s being held at is my house. It’s going to be fun! Come one come all… GREG

3 Casey February 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Patti, I was excited about this camp from the moment I heard about it last summer. It only gets better for me that I can bring an awesome visual presentation as well as gourmet s’mores to share with all the participants. Thank you so much for including me (and TasteStopping). Can’t wait to go camping with you soon!


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