History: When I bought this business June 13, 2004, not only did it come with lots of new learning experiences, but it also came with traditions. One of the main traditions happened to be Stitchin’ Camp. Camp had been held ever since the original owner, Marie Cummins, had started in 1983. It was a time set aside for creative ladies to come together and enjoy doing all manner of wonderful projects with a bit of fabric, thread, and a needle. It was a time that everyone looked forward to from one year to the next.
Being somewhat overwhelmed with all my new responsibilities, not to mention the fact that I was homeschooling our two younger children who were nine and eleven when we bought the shop, I announced that we wouldn’t have camp in January 2005. I was told in no uncertain terms that I WOULD have camp because it was tradition, the ladies expected it, and it was my duty as the third keeper-of-the-shop to host it. In other words, owning the shop didn’t mean that I always had say so over the goings on related to it.
Fortunately, I had worked reservations during the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, had worked behind the front desk at Howard Johnson’s and Opryland Hotel (when they grew from 600+ to 1,000 rooms no less), and had been an administrative assistant to the president of a general contracting firm and his three VPs. Those very necessary skills coupled with my degrees in retailing and psychology helped me pull off my first camp with the aid of my husband, children, one employee, and very tolerant campers.
Since then we’ve had camp every year. What started out as one camp per year grew to two camps, then three, and in 2014 we hosted five camps. While each camp is similar they’re equally unique. We have a lot of repeat campers, and we have new campers join us at almost every camp. It never ceases to amaze me just how much our campers get done in a three day time period. While it looks like they’re in constant chatter mode and couldn’t possibly get anything finished, in reality, they get lots of projects finished that range in size from tiny to king size. I’ve joked about joining them one of these days as a camper myself so I could get things done too, but I’d probably still not get near as much done as these ladies who are very focused, whether they appear to be or not. They’re simply amazing!
Pertinent Information: Currently, the cost of camp is $70 and runs Thursday through Saturday when it ends at 8:00 p.m. The building is open by 9:00 a.m. each morning and sometimes by 8:00 a.m. if one of our campers offers to open up for us. An itinerary is posted in two locations at camp so you will know the precise times that the building will be opened and closed each day.
Included in the cost of camp are:
*Three meals – Two suppers and one lunch
*Bottled water on ice
*A Goodie bag – Contains all manner of goodies and retails between $75-$100. Not everything is in the bag on the first day though. We like to stretch out the surprises over all three days.
*A Door prize – Prizes are sometimes donated by the vendors we support but more often than not by the shop itself. Retail value of this prize varies but is never less than $15.
*Shop discount – As a camper, you can shop and save while you’re here for camp. We open the shop at 9:00 on Friday and Saturday so you can shop before you go to camp for that day. You are given the option of paying as you go or running a tab and paying before the shop closes at 4:00 on Saturday.
Camp is held at the Gleghorn Community Center located at 77 Clark Avenue here in Fayetteville. It is well lit, open, and has a full commercial kitchen. We have one 6′ table set up for snacks, both homemade and store bought, which are brought in and shared by campers. Those who bring homemade snacks are encouraged to also bring their recipe to share with their fellow campers. For these three days at least you can forget about dieting.
At present, we try to hold the number of campers to 20 per camp. To secure a seat, payment is required in advance but is held until about three weeks before the first day of camp. While we are happy to put your name on the list, no seat is secured without full payment. Once the 20 seats have been paid for, those who have not paid will be moved to the waiting list. Payment needs to be made no later than fourteen days from the first day of camp. Some exceptions to this will be allowed in the event that all spaces have not been paid for at that time.
Cancellation Policy: Full refund is given if cancellation is made 30 days prior to the first day of camp via phone or in person to avoid any problems with e-mails not being received. You can choose to get your check/cash back or have your deposit moved, one time only, to a future camp. Cancellations made 14 days prior to the first day of camp will receive a 50% refund unless there is a waiting list and a person on that list pays to attend that camp. No refund will be given after this point unless there is a waiting list and a person on that list pays to attend that camp. If you find that you are unable to attend camp at the last minute, you are always welcome to find someone to take your place and work out the money aspect with them. Just be sure to give me their name so I can include them in the drawing for a door prize.
If we do not have a minimum of 16 paid campers 14 days prior to the first day of camp, we reserve the right to cancel camp in its entirety. If we cancel camp you will receive a full refund or have the option of moving your payment to our next scheduled camp.
Extenuating Circumstances: Should you be in a major accident or fall gravely ill suddenly and have to be hospitalized, we will refund your money or move it to the next scheduled camp. Please notify us as soon as possible before the first day of camp.
In the event that a paid camper dies before camp, we will refund their money to their family in full. If there is a death of an immediate family member, i.e. spouse, child, parent, or in-law, we will refund your money or move it to the next scheduled camp when notified before the first day of camp.
In Conclusion: Camp is a great time to get to meet like-minded folks, learn new things from them, be inspired by them, and get a lot of your own projects finished while doing so. It’s a great way to escape the pressures of every day life, be catered to and pampered just a bit, and to indulge yourself and your creative spirit. About the only complaints we’ve heard on a consistent basis is either that camp doesn’t last long enough or we don’t host enough of them during the year. Yes, many of our campers would come every month if we gave them the opportunity to do so.
Once you’ve been a camper, you’re a VIP and get first notification of future camp dates two weeks before anyone else. Because of this, seats for camp fill up quickly with past campers, which is why we started offering multiple camps per year. It’s such a great time of fellowship and getting to reconnect with ladies who you might only be able to visit with while at camp. Everyone brings a different set of skills with them and they’re always more than willing to share and help out those who might be new to quilting. Camp isn’t limited to quilters though. We’ve had ladies bring their cross-stitch project, their knitting and crochet projects, embroidery projects, anything related to needlework is fair game at these events.
How can you pass up such an awesome opportunity? Come on…we’d love to have you join us!