Camp is not a word that often comes out of my mouth. You might see me "camp" out at the bar while waiting for my specialty cocktail to be created, but camp, as in campground, not so much.
Then along came Camp Blogaway. No, I'm not making that up. It exists and people drive, fly and carpool from all parts of the world (as far away as Morocco this year!) to congregate in the woods, sleep in bunk beds and learn more about the wonderful world of blogging. You see blogging is a bit of a solitary sport. You sit at your computer after creating, sampling and sipping and publish a post, hoping that someone, somewhere reads it. Anyone?
So the opportunity to be in a room with people who are trying to do the same thing is a really nice experience. It's kind of like having colleagues, and no we're not cut-throat competitive here. We're all rooting for each other, and wanting to learn and share best practices. Patti from Worth the Whisk, the Camp Blogaway Grand Poobah, brings in speakers from all over to further educate us, and luckily some of that education does include wine (thanks Wente!), so it's not all work and no play.
On top of that, my friend Erika from In Erika's Kitchen asked if I'd go represent her wonderful line of Not Ketchup since she wasn't able to attend. You might remember me talking about Not Ketchup here when Erika first released it last year. These are natural fruit ketchups, but they don't actually contain tomatoes, hence the catchy "Not Ketchup" name. They're all paleo friendly, gluten free and made with real whole fruit, demerara sugar (a raw cane sugar), apple cider vinegar, honey or molasses and other seasonings and spices depending on the flavor.
Between learning about SEO, best Pinterest practices and how to actually make money at this blogging thing, me and fellow foodie Rashmi from Yum Kid, introduced campers to all of the Not Ketchup flavors. There was sampling during a burger lunch one day, and then we upped the ante with Cabot Cheese for a nice happy hour tasting. I've always been partial to the zippy Cherry Chipotle, but there must have been something in the camp air because I was in agreement with other campers' favorite flavor of Smoky Date. Yeah, Smoky Date. How good does that sound? Put that on pork chops, salmon, your finger, and you will indeed be one happy camper. The other flavors were close runner-ups - Blueberry white pepper and Spiced Fig. Just throw that on some lamb chops, stick it in the oven, and you look like a genius.
I couldn't end a story about Camp Blogaway without talking about the illustrious Golden Pinecone award. This prestigious pinecone is given to someone who epitomizes outstanding, camper friendly qualities of being a great human being. There are tears after speeches, and this year was no exception with winner Lana from Bibberche taking home the prized award. She's had quite a journey from her native Serbia to where she is today - the Golden Pinecone recipient!
You may not have won the Golden Pinecone, but you can still walk away a winner by taking advantage of a special 10% off discount on Not Ketchup. You just need to use the code "BLOGAWAY" on Amazon before 6/30/15.
I may not be a converted camper, but if I'm going to camp, I can't imagine a finer bunch of people to share bunk beds and mountain air with than food bloggers.
*Not Ketchup Sponsored my Camp Blogaway stay. As always, opinions are always my own.