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A Letter from Katie

Dearest Camp Community,
I want to start by saying that I have been holding each of you in my heart with wishes of hope that you're all doing well and your loved ones are healthy.

First, Nine Mountain Retreats has informed me that they are staying closed at least through September, which sadly means we will not hold our August Show Your Glow Summer Camp. Second, I have decided not to hold any weekend or day camps in 2020, and I want to be completely open about why.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, I fully intended to host in-person day camps at the end of the summer, at the very least. I scrambled to put together positive messages for you on Instagram and brainstormed about hosting Lives on social media with inspirational women who were embracing the quarantine, but to be honest, I personally felt inundated by the sheer amount of reflections, concerts, poetry readings, dance-offs, and news that many were already posting and hosting. I considered doing a virtual camp so that we could connect in some way, but ultimately came to two conclusions about this:

  1. Our camp culture—the values on which we are defined—includes intentional disconnection from technology.
  2. By its nature, a screen acts as a barrier between us and also invites distraction.
Physically-distant camps are too complicated to successfully organize and they are potentially unsafe. So much of my life involves listening to my gut, and when considering the mission of Camp Glow It Up, none of these options felt right to me.

And then we learned of George Floyd's murder,
and Breonna Taylor's murder,
and Ahmaud Arbery's,
and Rayshard Brooks's,
and, and, and...

So I stopped. I stopped and listened. I stopped and listened and started learning. Though I am Mexican American, I present to most as white. I was raised in a privileged bubble, attended mostly-white private schools, and have not faced much adversity because of my ethnicity. I am proud of and grateful for who I am, and I am only beginning to comprehend my own biases, complacency, and culpability. It is essential that I do more listening and learning in assuming this new work that many of you have also assumed, the work of being actively anti-racist.

I feel it is of utmost importance to think about how Camp Glow It Up can embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in its mission and execution. In the early development of camp, a friend who is a person of color asked me how I planned to make camp accessible to and inclusive of BIPOC communities. We brainstormed and put some of these ideas into action in 2019. I am very proud of the work we did in the first year as a community (there was some serious glowing going on at all of our camps!), and I also know we can do better.

Over the next several months, I will be exploring the ways in which camp can be a place where all are welcome, all are included, and all will help in the planning of our gatherings. I am in the process of organizing a task force of people from diverse backgrounds in which we figure out how to make camps more accessible for all, but specifically for those who are on the margins. And since Camp Glow It Up is not my only source of income now as once planned, I am looking into restructuring the business allowing for lower costs of camps as well as tax-deductible individual and corporate sponsorships. Please let me know if you are interested in helping in one or more of these endeavors; I am open and eager to listen.

Thank you to everyone who has offered an ear as I and my superstar team navigate this tender space. And thanks to you all for your understanding and support during these trying times. We will be together again eventually, and when that day comes, I have no doubt that we will glow together at super-ultra-max brightness in ways we could have never imagined.

Glowing in vulnerability and exploration,
Katie Lipsmeyer
Founder and Chief Glow Officer

Mission Statement

Camp Glow It Up™ produces multi- and single-day camps in the mountains of Western Massachusetts with an emphasis on fitness to inspire badassery, mindfulness to inspire centeredness, and intentional groups to inspire meaningful relationships in women at various stages in their lives. We offer a strong, specific curriculum and guided introspection designed to focus on mental, emotional, and physical states of our own exceptional identities. We promote inclusivity and empowerment of self and others.

Big and Little Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a national organization working to clear the path to a child's biggest possible future. They work with parents to match each child with a mentor to foster a friendship built on trust, learning and growth.

In partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, a portion of our proceeds will send girls involved in the program to summer camp. We believe in our shared responsibility to invest in the next generation of women leaders, and together, we will forage a path toward empowerment of women and girls.


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