May 18

A Weekend in the Woods—Camp Blogaway May 2010

in News

What do you get when you let 70 food bloggers loose in the woods?

Jenk's Lake

No, that’s not the start of a bad joke, but it was the situation at Camp Blogaway—a food blogging conference held this past weekend at a camp in the San Bernardino mountains here in Southern California.  If you went to Camp Blogaway, the answer to the question would be a weekend of contagious energy and the sharing of an incredible amount of information.  The camp is the brainchild of Patti Londre (founder of The Londre Company and author of the blog Worth The Whisk).

Patti Londre, our fearless leader

The weekend was an incredible one filled with foodie friends—new and old,

Mac and Rachael“Mac” of Michelle’s Artistic Corner and moi

Greg of Sippity SupGreg of Sippity Sup

Marla, Rachael, and JosieMarla of Family Fresh Cooking, moi, and Josie of Daydreamer Desserts

finally getting to meet Chris Garboski from Nestle Kitchens (the woman whose tweet inspired my post about the Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe) and my editor for The Mushroom Channel, Jessi Langsen,

Meeting Chris from Nestle and Jessi from the Mushroom Council

fun activities,

Wilton Decorating WorkshopHands-on Wilton Decorating Workshop given by Nancy Siler

educational presentations by knowledgeable experts,

Camp Blogaway SpeakersArt Ramirez: Photography & Photoshop Workshops, Barbara Ostmann: Recipe Writing Essentials, Copyright & Attribution presentation, Denise Vivaldo: Food Styling Tips & Tricks for Bloggers, and Danny Jauregui: SEO Tips & Tricks

and eye-opening panels given by public relations professionals from a variety of different food-related companies.

PR Panels

Instead of trying to cram everything I learned and did into one post (we’d be here until next year if I did), I’ve decided to share a couple of my weekend favorites.  But don’t worry, you’ll be hearing more.  I’ve already got several recipes in the works inspired by my weekend in the woods!

Favorite pieces of advice/things to think about, learned at Camp Blogaway:

  • Barbara Ostmann: When writing about food, be generous with your descriptions of taste, look, smell, origins of ingredients, etc.
  • Denise Vivaldo: Every picture tells a story.  What is the story that bowl of soup tells?  We need to plan the artwork for our blogs and remember that the camera’s eye is stagnant, therefore small flaws are magnified.

Favorite quotes from the weekend at Camp Blogaway:

  • “Knockers up!” — Patti Londre (For an explanation of this quote, read the post Knockers Up by Casey of Tastestopping.)
  • “When you have ‘bat wings,’ wear 3/4-length sleeves.” — Denise Vivaldo, describing the use of garnishes to hide blemishes from the camera.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

LollyChops May 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I bet that was a blast!! I would love to share an adventure with a bunch of folks who shared the same interests as me! Amazing good time I bet!



Julia May 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I have been waiting for some pics, YEA!!!! Every picture tells a story…I love that! Too bad I am terrible at telling stories. Practice, practice makes perfect!


Marisa @All in Good Food May 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Wow sounds like a really fun and informative weekend. Would love to have been there. Looking forward to hearing more about it.


Stockpiling Moms May 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm

It was such a wonderful weekend that was so empowering! I am glad for the opportunity to attend. This is a great post!

Stockpiling Moms


Mac May 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Wow! A picture of me in your post…you made my day! ;-)
It really was a fun and meaningful weekend. Best part was finally meeting up in person!
Enjoyed your post, and the pictures are fun to see – brings back good memories. What a weekend!


Chef Dennis May 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm

wow..what great pics!!! I wish I could have gone….thanks so much for sharing your experiences!


redkathy May 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Oh it looks like you all had a great time!


Lyndsey May 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm

I love seeing all the photos, and seeing some faces to the bogs and such! I sure wish I was there with everyone. It must of been so inspirational! Thanks you for taking us there!!


Denise May 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Were you at Camp Seeley? Or the UCLA camp? either way, I bet you were just down the street from me!! I hope you enjoyed your time in my mountains? :-)

P.S. Camp Seeley is where the camp scenes from Parent Trap were filmed… except there is not actually a lake there, so those scenes were filmed elsewhere.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) May 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm

@Denise, Nope! Actually we were at one of the camps near Jenks Lake in Angelus Oaks!


TasteStopping May 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Oh, your photos are so beautiful! I love that you captured the highlights of the event as well as some of the quieter moments, just connecting with friends (or making new ones). Camp Blogaway is an experience I will not soon forget, and I am sooooo glad to have had the chance to meet you. After all, now I can say I know the winner of the Golden Pine Cone Award! And many thanks for the link to my post. I figured TasteStopping might be the only site whose readership would forgive a post entitled “Knockers Up!” so I had to do it. :D



bunkycooks May 18, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Love your post! It was so great to meet you and get to know you in person! It was a terrific weekend with so many great people and so much information. I just got in but will be working on a post in the next few days. Lots to catch up on back home

I will get in touch soon to chat!



sippitysup May 18, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Okay. You know I can get mushy. I try to put on a snarky face at SippitySup, but deep inside I am a sentimental fool. I had the greatest weekend at CampBlogaway. I am so glad to have gotten to spend time with you. I know we have met before (in another life??), but the great thing about camp is the length of time we got to spend together. Your award (Miss Pine Cone, or whatever) was well-deserved because you are a special person and you were one of the highlights for the entire weekend. GREG


Daydreamer Desserts May 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm

More toffee… more toffee… just kidding. (NOT) Ok, enough with the silliness. Just wanted to let you know I had a great time at camp this weekend, glad we were able to hang out!


jenjenk May 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm

wait. there was TOFFEE there??? Darn!!!!


Chefdruck (Vanessa) May 18, 2010 at 9:25 pm

What an amazing post! You completely captured the weekend. I am so glad I got to meet you after tweeting with you for so long. Somehow I did not sample the toffee… probably too caught up in the macarons! I can’t wait to dive more into your lovely blog.



notyet100 May 18, 2010 at 10:29 pm

looks like u guys had lotz of fun,,thnks for sharin…


Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro May 18, 2010 at 10:31 pm

It was so lovely to meet you at Camp Blogaway! Lovely, lovely recap.

Look forward to reconnecting soon. :-)



Sara May 19, 2010 at 11:45 am

Love the recap; looks like you had a wonderful time!


Jessica May 19, 2010 at 11:56 am

Looks like a great time!!


chris May 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm

This is such a nice post! I love all your photos – they really tell the story (and show that some of us really needed a shower!). Just speaking for myself of course. :) Great job!


marla {family fresh cooking} May 19, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Rachael, such a fun re-cap post! I am so happy that we got to spend time together this weekend! I always have so much fun with you :) xo


[email protected] May 20, 2010 at 11:58 am

Jealous! But so glad you were there and could share it so vividly with those of us not lucky enough to attend! Thanks for a great and fun recap!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction May 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Sounds like a blast! It was fun living vicariously through you since I wasn’t able to make it!


Jennifer (Savor) May 27, 2010 at 3:44 am

Love that you had an amazing time!! I am looking forward to the enxt time we cna be TravelHeads together….no link to whrrl? to funny!!


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