Erica Marciniec
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October 3, 2012
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Women's retreat comes to Keystone

CampExperience, a three-day camp for success-oriented women interested in building their careers, connections and personal lives, comes to the Keystone Conference Center Oct. 12-14. Designed to be "a catalyst to positive personal and professional success," the event combines top ideas, resources and supporters into a network of driven, purposeful women.

CampExperience was started by Betsy Wiersma and 15 volunteers who wanted to have fun, be refreshed and make a difference for others.

Now in its seventh year, the event draws a diverse group - from business owners and corporate women to entrepreneurs, business leaders and active moms. Education is a key component, accomplished through presentations by national speakers, social activities, networking sessions, creativity classes and personal services.

"We have amazing women from all over the world coming to Summit County to learn and network with other women in the most beautiful place on earth," Wiersma said.

Among this year's lineup is Marta Gabre-Tsadick, the first female senator of Ethiopia under the late Emperor Haile Selassie. Born and raised in Ethiopia, Gabre-Tsadick tells the story of her family's escape in her book, "Sheltered by the King." She is the founder and chief executive officer of Project Mercy, which provides emergency relief to refugees as well as community development for African people.

Dr. Deb Kern, the internationally acclaimed author of "Everyday Wellness for Women," joins to share her wisdom on mind, body and spirit, with the goal of helping people re-establish their connections with their bodies' messages to prevent stress and "dis-ease."

Speaker Lynn Robinson, M.Ed., who was voted "Best Psychic" by Boston Magazine, is a leading expert on intuition and a recognized motivational speaker offering insights into goals, decisions and strategies. She authored two books in 2012 - "Divine Intuition: Your Guide to Creating a Life You Love" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Psychic Intuition."

Summit County-based leaders include Char Bloom, who will lead the fly-fishing adventures for a seventh year, and Suzanne Greene, who will lead nature hikes.

"We want to encourage women to experience something they've never done before - whether fly fishing or hiking, zumba, or just networking with other women," Wiersma said. "Participants walk away renewed with new ideas and a new network to support them in their dreams."

More than 200 campers are anticipated as the 2012 event, which was held previously at Copper, moves to Keystone to accommodate growth.

Each year's CampExperience supports charity partners, in keeping with its motto, "women who have, helping women who need." Funds are raised through the "Bow-tique" shopping experience - which features gently used clothing and accessories donated by campers and resold to campers - in addition to live auction items, mystery bag sales, services and solicitation. Last year's event raised a record $33,200.

In its lifetime, CampExperience has generated $171,000 and 15,000 pounds of donated goods for women's charities. "We're not only doing good for our guests, but we're doing great for the world," Wiersma said.

The 2012 beneficiaries include Mile High United Way, Dress for Success Denver and Warren Village. Also, new this year is Random Acts of Kindness, a fund supporting preferred charities of camp guests. Campers are eligible to win $500 to be given in their name to the (501c) charity of their choice, with the drawing for 10 winners - who are asked to track and share the impact of the money on a camp blog - to be held Saturday night. The Family Intercultural Resource Center will also benefit from donated goods this year.

"CampExperience is filling up fast and we really hope Summit and Eagle County women don't miss this opportunity to access such fabulous speakers and so much fun - so come for the day or come for the weekend," Wiersma said.


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The Summit Daily Updated Oct 3, 2012 08:54PM Published Oct 3, 2012 08:51PM Copyright 2012 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.