Marketing and Development Director Sandi Weindling was hosting a fundraising dinner for the Dunes Learning Center in Chesterton, Indiana, featuring the usual live music, awards and a silent auction when she took notice of the people in attendance, all well dressed for a formal event, which stood in stark contrast to the usual attire at the environmental learning center, where employees dressed casually, spending their days as Sandi puts it, “covered in mosquito bites and mud.” She pointed this out to her Event Committee, and together they combined the two, thereby creating a brand new kind of fundraiser they call, “The Ultimate Glamping Package,” an assemblage of all the things a beginner or serious glamper would need in a single purchase.
It was designed by her friend, interior designer Robert Northington who himself was bitten by the glamping bug after reading an article in Town & Country magazine about a safari in Africa. “The campers were from England, and it was a higher end safari, and I just remember looking at the images of the tents with oriental carpets and actual lamps, and their dinner area was set with china and napkins and I was really impressed and I thought wow, if camping is like this then I can have friends who are totally against sleeping on the ground come with me and experience nature in a different way!”
Potential buyers of The Ultimate Glamping Package will be enticed by luxurious furnishings and some items unique to glamping such as a pair of stainless steel martini glasses and a copy of Martinis & Marshmallows, a Guide to Luxury Camping. The centerpiece is a Wenzel Grandview tent, which is said to sleep two “very comfortably.” The winning bidder will also receive a consultation and $150 gift certificate with which to customize their package, courtesy of Robert Northington Interiors, located in Valparaiso, Indiana.
The fundraiser seeks to raise money to give inner city children who have never camped or been in a green space the opportunity to camp. Those who wish to bid on the package can find it on Ebay by searching for The Ultimate Glamping Package. The winner will be announced at the organization’s annual fundraising and awards dinner on September 13.
Robert is enthusiastic about this unique fundraiser as well as the future of glamping. “It’s improving your overall sensory experience, having nice linens with a higher thread count inside of your sleeping bag or bringing a pillow that you love or having lanterns or electricity, or enjoying wine out of a nice glass, having your meal with some silverware and linen napkin, it increases the sensory experience of camping.”