SheVentures creates a unique camping experience for women
A group of women in the Chattanooga area have created something unique just for women.
The people behind Sheventures spend a lot of time outdoors. So they started a camp to get more women to join them spending time outside.
A little more than three years ago Jenny Baker started talking to five close friends about an idea.
"I just said hey what if we did this camp where we invited other people into what we do naturally," SheVentures founder, Jenny Baker said. "We're already adventuring outside. We're enjoying the outdoors, and there are a lot of people who don't and they may be intimidated by it. So what would it look like if we invited them to hang out with us, and they all said alright let's try."
And so that small group started to grow. They put together their first camp two years ago as kind of a trial run.
A year ago they opened it up to anyone who wanted to come.
"Last year we had 70 between leaders and campers," Jenny Baker said.
They expect more than 100 this year, and they're coming from all over the country.
"From California to New York, Illinois, Texas," Baker said.
They spend three days and two nights at the camp.
They go rock climbing and paddle boarding. They do yoga.
Kellye Tilford was one of the original six organizers. She says they want to make the whole process easy from the moment you get there.
"If you have your own tent awesome. If you have a hammock great. If you don't have those things REI is an amazing partner, and they provide either hammocks or a tent," Kellye said.
Jenny asked her mom, C. J.,to join them when they needed help organizing.
CJ says when she first heard the idea she didn't quite get what they were trying to do, but after the first weekend she said she couldn't believe the impact this camp had on the women who came here.
"Being in an unknown place with people who don't know your past," C. J. Wilkerson said. "There's something freeing about that, and women can be yourselves. They can say and do things that they've never done before, and they come for adventure and they leave with much more than just a fun weekend. It changes them."
The camp happens the last weekend in July each hear and registration is closed for this years camp. But there is a wait list if you are interested. So if someone can't make it they will offer spots to people on the wait list.
If you want to go next year registration starts in December, but they sell out quickly. This years camp sold out in less than three hours
"Its really humbling because when women sign up for this what they are saying is, I trust you. I trust you enough to take a step of faith with you that I might not have taken before," Jenny Baker said.
The Sheventures campsite is a twenty minute drive from downtown Chattanooga.
They also want to make it clear there are more than just these women behind this work.
There are a lot of volunteers, and Many of the organizer's husbands and friends have done a lot of work on this project such as clearing the land for the campsite and providing supplies during the camp weekend.