Special Announcement: The Campsite Finds New Owners

Back in January 2011 I had a vision: to create an online community that would facilitate discussion about the outdoor lifestyle and the inner journeys we experience there. To give budding writers, or those wanting to hone their skills, a home for their words. To network with the outdoor industry – from longstanding gear companies to grassroots campaigns. To feature high-quality, curated content that would distinguish this outdoor website from a field saturated with outdoor blogs.

Nearly four years later, The Campsite has become just that. It has a loyal community of readers and it has explored the outdoor journey in various forms. It continues to produce highly curated content, and has supported many writers, photographers, organizations and companies along the way. It has nurtured an impressive network. And, finally, in 2014 it was noted for its quality content with a nomination for USA Today/10 Best Readers’ Choice Award for Favourite Hiking and Outdoors Travel Blog – landing in the top ten.

But like many things in life, The Campsite needed new wings to let it evolve. Being a freelance writer, a full-time mom, and a woman with many passion projects, I wanted to see The Campsite thrive, but knew that I would not be the person to take it there. I considered shutting it down, then thought I could bring on someone to help keep it going while I figured out my next steps (thank Helena Artmann for being such an amazing team member!).

The Campsite.

The Campsite.

The Sale

About one month ago, I decided I would list The Campsite for sale using freemarket.com. I used a few websites to get a sense of its value, and took the bold leap to find it new owners. I had no idea what to expect. I had never built and sold a website before. After a quiet first few days, with the odd spark of interest, I got a phone call from a local acquaintance showing a bit more sincerity about taking over The Campsite. After a flurry of text messages, she and her partner were well on their way to putting together an offer for me. I knew instantly that these were the women meant to take over my beloved website. For me, it was about finding the right people to take over and I couldn’t believe these two women had pulled through. To find two other Canadian Rockies souls was a big bonus.

So, I’d like to introduce you to The Campsite‘s new owners as of 2015: Alannah Jensen and Jen Whalen. Alannah, of Lannie Rae Gourmet, and Jen, of Mountain Bound Photography, are teaming up to bring you the next iteration of this outdoor lifestyle blog! They are stoked, to say the least, and I’m equally excited that The Campsite will have the power of these two women behind it. We’ll be sure to give you a proper introduction to these women in the weeks to come.

Of course, I’m a bit sad. It is hard to let go of something you love so much, of something you built and nurtured. But we must let go of things in order to make space for new opportunities. And that’s where my life is leading me right now.

Jen and Alannah, I wish you all the best! And thanks to all of you for your loyal support. You taking the time to read my articles makes it easier to do what I do each day.

Keep Following The Campsite

Thoughts on the Outdoor Blogging Industry and An Award Nomination

Open the Rocky Mountain Outlook on August 28, 2014, and you’ll see this piece written by Lynn Martel. It provides a bit more of the backstory of my blogging career and my perspectives on the outdoor blogging industry.

The articles starts with:

Banff blogger nominated for award

“A Banff outdoor writer and blogger is quite pleased to be among 20 of her peers nominated for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award for Favourite Hiking and Outdoors Travel Blogger.

Meghan J. Ward, a mother, freelance writer and blogger living in Banff, said she was surprised to learn she was among the nominees for her blog, thecampsiteblog.com.

Unfortunately, however, she missed out on the initial announcement because she was at Shadow Lake Lodge in the Wi-Fi-free Banff backcountry with her 16-month-old daughter, Maya, and husband, photographer Paul Zizka, when the news was announced.”

Continue reading here.

 

 

Meghan J. Ward Nominated for Best Hiking and Outdoors Travel Blogger by USA Today and 10Best

I have just emerged from a four-day backcountry trip here in Banff National Park to find out I’ve been nominated for Best Hiking and Outdoors Travel Blogger by USA Today and 10Best (readers to decide the final verdict!). After 3.5 years of work on The Campsite Blog (with the help of an editorial assistant, Helena Artmann and a team of gear reviewers), I am thrilled with this nomination, and stoked to be amongst some friends I admire in the outdoor blogging industry.

USAToday 10Best Hiking and Outdoors Travel Blogger

Here’s how they decided the nominees:

From USA Today/10Best.com: The top hiking and outdoors bloggers have a passion for nature, history, cool gear — and they have the blisters to prove it. It goes with the territory when you’re out and about snapping photos and sharing your tips, maps, gear reviews and expert advice. For them, exploration is a gift to share through beautiful images, vibrant stories, detailed guides and breathtaking video. Voting begins August 4th at noon. Come back each day through September 1st to give your favorite travel and food blogger your support. Winners will be announced on September 3rd.

Please go and vote!

I’m not normally a fan of these popularity contests, and would rather be judged by a panel, but if you like what I do over on The Campsite, please cast your vote! You can vote once per day until September 1st.

Vote here.

Travel Logs from the South Pacific

I’ve been a bit quiet on here the past few months, but that’s because I’ve been island-hopping in the South Pacific with my husband (photographer Paul Zizka) and my now 13-month-old daughter, Mistaya.

Our travels have taken us to New Zealand, Niue, French Polynesia (the islands/atolls of Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Maupiti, Bora Bora, Tikehau and Fakarava), and Hawaii. Throughout the journey, I have been writing about the process of travelling abroad with a baby – the joys, challenges, enriching moments, and the struggles.

You can find all of these blog posts using the South Pacific tag on The Adventures in Parenthood Projecthttp://adventurousparents.com/tag/south-pacific/

Here is the archive:

70 Days in the South Pacific

Finding Our Bearings on the Banks Peninsula

Is Adventure Worth It Even When It’s Miserable? A Baby on Jetlag

Solitude and Separation at Punakaiki Beach

Finding Our Groove in Opunake

Why My Husband Hiked a Volcano in the Middle of the Night

Discovering More Than Meets the Eye in Niue

Paradise, Milestones, and a Reality Check in French Polynesia

6 Awesome Things About Travelling Abroad with a Baby

Thoughts Turning Homeward in Tikehau

Determining Success Amidst the Hardships of Travel

The Reverse Bucket List

At the beginning of this year, as many people were talking about setting resolutions or goals for the year to come, I found myself reflecting a lot on 2013. So, as I planned my next blog post for Women’s Adventure Magazine, I had the idea of bringing a concept to that community that I had benefited so much from in the past: the Reverse Bucket List.

In 5 Tips for Writing a Reverse Bucket List, I walk the readers through the benefits of writing such a list, as well as five ways to make the process easier.

Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Excerpt:

Benefits of Writing a Reverse Bucket List

At first it sounded like a fun, perhaps silly, activity, but the process of writing my reverse list had a profound impact on me. Here are just some of the benefits:

  • It gives you the chance to reflect positively on the past, and acknowledge how important certain milestones were to the direction of your life.
  • It gets you thinking deeply about the events and accomplishments that left you feeling happy and fulfilled.

Read the rest of the post here

Copyblogger’s 11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs

Copyblogger is a fantastic website that I have subscribed to for awhile now, and I highly recommend it to bloggers and writers. They published this infographic recently, and I just had to share! I have now printed off their pdf (see the link at the bottom of the post) and keep it by my desk. Happy blogging!

11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs [Infographic]

Click to download a one-page PDF of these rules, suitable for printing and hanging near your workspace when you need to see it most.

Click to see the full, original post.

2014: A Year of Hopes and Dreams

I originally wrote this post for The Adventures in Parenthood Project, but it could easily belong here as well. In it, I reflect a bit on 2013 and tell you about my hopes and dreams for the upcoming year.

Adventurous Parents

It’s hard to top the birth of your first child when it comes to the highlights of a year, or a lifetime, so 2013 will go down in the history books as a particularly special year. As I reflect on the past 365 days, my heart is filled to the brim with joyful memories of adventure and life-changing moments. On another level, I am left feeling utterly bewildered by the sheer intensity of this past year. We practically crawled to the finish line, exhausted from long weeks balancing work and play, the struggle to keep up with the basics of life, and short nights that come with parenthood. And still, we are smiling and eager for more.

It’s hard to think that any other year could be as intensely emotional and joy-filled or adventurous as this one. But another year lies ahead, and one that I am looking forward to…

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