Saying goodbye to our First Official Year!

Hey there Strangers,
Here it is 2019 barreling straight at us, can you believe it? Are you ready?
Before we get into the goals of 2019 I wanted to take a minute to reflect on Camping with Strangers first official year because it’s been a big one!

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How big?

We camped with 42 New Strangers of which 7 were first timers!
We hiked over 110+kms
We spent $395.00 on Trail Mix
We had our largest trip to date where we saw 18 people and 4 dogs walk 18kms in and then out of Algonquin Park and for the second time, we were out camping when the first snow hit.

This year, personally, was challenging and rewarding as I moved right as the season started, adopted Jefferson (The official dog of Camping with Strangers) right before our largest trip and was away almost every weekend of the year camping, trip scouting, training, working my day job and dealing with family loss.

At times it was too much. But remembering the amazing times, the sing-a-longs, the “would you rather’s” and the look on everyone’s faces as they made their way back to the cars after huge accomplishments pushed me on. To all of the Strangers and new friends from this year’s trips, Thank you! Your willingness to jump into something new and throw yourselves at it with such enthusiasm is what Camping With Strangers is all about! I couldn’t imagine a more successful first year and I can’t wait to see what next year holds for Camping with Strangers!

A few special shoutouts because without these people, Camping with Strangers wouldn’t be where it is today:
MEC: Without their support, guidance and grant funding, Camping with Strangers wouldn’t have had the means to purchase group gear, or pay for our first year of marketing supplies. The Outdoor Nation Grant allowed us to grow in ways we wouldn’t have been able to for upwards of 3 years and I am SO thankful to them for their continued support and time.

Matt Moore: You see this incredible website? Matt created it. He also created our logo,  gave me direction on how to keep things organized and looking great and he did it for peanuts. This guy made our logo without being asked and has always been there to offer advice and assistance on all things branding and website… like that one time, I deleted our homepage accidentally! (Whoops!) Thank you so much for your continued support and friendship Matt, you’re the most awesome!

Kelsey and Alyse (And Rhu and Roo too): These two badass ladies have come along on trips, supported and helped photograph and lead trips have been there behind the scenes to bounce ideas off of, listen to me vent, and push me forward. They continue to inspire me to try new things and their honesty is something I appreciate to the moon!  

Trip drivers: Without our drivers, our trips wouldn’t have grown and we would never be able to take the group size we do. It's such a relief when drivers sign up and are willing to share the added load of driving. We know it is an added responsibility on you and I am working out ways to reward drivers!

Trip Photographers: Photographers, it has been such a pleasure working with each of you! The memories you have captured for everyone will last a lifetime. You are all such professionals to work with and have such a creative eye and ability to capture the group vibes. I’m impressed at every turn!


Last but certainly not least: My family. They’ve been there through it all. Helping me find cheap gear, dealing with me not being around all summer, reminding me to eat, sleep and take care of myself, helping me set realistic goals and offering me a hug and a reprieve when needed. Thank you!

For anyone who has been there along the way thank you! You are appreciated and valued! Anyone who has been involved, as a Stranger, a friend of, or a supporter in any way - you are allowing me to go after my dreams, and I will never be able to thank you enough!

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-Kendra Sauder

Founder, Camping with Strangers