I just got back to Portland from the first annual Barista Guild of America Camp Pull-A-Shot ”and what an amazing experience it was!
I do apologize for not being able to blog throughout the event. Maybe lack of internet was annoying, but if that’s the only problem we really encountered during Camp, then can we really complain? It’s absolutely unbelieveable how smooth Camp Pull-A-Shot went: activities were well organized and executed, speakers were engaging and approachable, social activities were original, educational and totally kick-ass fun. In asking the campers ”more than 110, which means the event was a sold-out success ”what they would change about future BGA camps, the overwhelming idea was to make camp one day longer, so there would be more time to absorb all the varied hands-on workshops and the discussions. So as far as complaints go, that’s a pretty good one to have, don’t you think?
One thing I was totally stoked to see was that not only was the winner of the Camp Pull-A-Shot video contest (sponsored by the BGA and hosted on Barista Mag’s blog a few weeks ago, which found 11 baristas submitting videos telling us why they desereved to win a free trip to camp), Sanford Bledsoe, there, but a handful of the other video contest entrants were there, including Sam Brown and Codty Kinart of Alterra Coffee, and Cameron Peterson of the Coffee Ethic, who said their friends, families and coworkers were so inspired by their level of enthusiasm that they made it possible for these guys to attend camp, even if they didn’t win the contest. Pretty great, huh?
Sanford will be writing an article about his camp experience for the next issue of Barista Magazine, so look for more details about all the education and the crazy, barista-style fun that took place at El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara, Calif., this past week.
Until then, here are some photo highlights from Camp Pull-A-Shot…
This Camp would not have been possible ”no, wait, make that: this camp would not have been TOTALLY AMAZING, much less possible, without the hundreds and hundreds, and I’m talking HUNDREDS of hours of work that the members of the Barista Guild of America’s Executive Council volunteered over the last year. So a very special thanks to them, as well as their fearless ally, Marcus Boni of the SCAA.
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.
Word, indeed. I hung on every tweet, every Facebook post, kicking myself that I hadn’t sold a kidney or something to raise the money to attend! Someday, I keep telling myself…
What an amazing event. If any of the other campers come up with a cure for post-camp depression, let me know–I’m seriously bumming that it’s over. Sigh!
well said! word.