It is hard to believe that we just finished our 6th Pug Camp. It’s our 5th at Camp Westmont, so in a way the first was kind of a shakedown; year zero as it were. But honestly, every year is a learning experience as we correct the mistakes of the prior events while making brand new ones!
Sorry, I won’t cop to any here. If you didn’t notice, then it didn’t happen.
As you all know, even though we do a number of fundraising events throughout the year, Pug Camp is our big one. It’s personally my favorite because it has the greatest in-person turnout and goes for just the right amount of days. The location is wonderful and we have time to spend with so many campers, friends and new friends alike. Not to mention all of the Pugs and honorary Pugs.
The Bonus Thursday has become a regular thing now and it’s worked out extremely well. It gives us an extra day to get ourselves on the Squad situated and set up. The added day also makes check-ins much easier.
We had some wonderful events throughout the weekend. Board Game Night, Pugcasso Pug Painting where the Pugs did the art…
Campfire S’Mores (always a treat) and Pug Night at the Movies. I have a soft spot for this one mostly because I love recreating the theater experience complete with pre-show theater intros. Generally, I try to entertain myself and hope at least one or two others go along for the ride! Did you catch the “Snort Subjects?” I make myself smile at any rate…
This year,we had a very special event. We had our first human wedding! Regulars Ashley and CJ exchanged vows in front of Campers, family and our furry attendees. This was, personally, my favorite event as I got to officiate! Yes, I became an Ordained Minister for the occasion (authorized to do weddings in Pennsylvania and New York) and it was an honor to start off two such amazing people on their lives together. We had perfect weather that day – all weekend actually – and it went perfectly. We even had a golf cart decked out and had a lot of great pictures taken of the couple by the lake. Truly a Camp to remember.
Beyond that, we had our traditional Olympics where Pugs competed in a variety of events; races, longest tongue and curliest tail. We all enjoyed the Costume Contest and I am always gobsmacked by the amount of imagination and talent that goes into every costume. I think every year gets just a little more elaborate.
Saturday was kicked off with another Doga with Danielle, as she guided humans and their canine companions in a refreshing morning stretch.
Saturday night is the Pug Squad main event and, as always, we kicked it off with Candle Lighting Ceremony. This is always a tough one to get through, this year it was doubly hard as we paid tribute to our own Marianne Angelini who passed away last October.
After that, the mood was lightened considerably with the Mr./Mrs. Pug Camp Pageant. In addition to all of that, we had our raffle and the weekend was peppered with the photo booth, a tie dye crafting event and the silent auction.
Of course, none of this would be nearly as enjoyable without the fabulous Camp Westmont staff. They’ve truly become family and part of the weekend and we can’t thank them enough. Particularly Scott, Bari and, of course, Chef Cathy, who always makes sure we have an amazing menu. Her staff was incredible and even contributed a wedding cake!
We can’t thank our donors and attendees enough either. In a very challenging economy, we still raised an impressive $35K, all of which goes the rescues and Pug Squad, which will help save so many needy Pugs across the country!
Pug Camp 2022 was one of the very best Pug Camp’s we’ve done to date, a true success in every way and all of us in Pug Squad want to express our gratitude. We miss you all and can’t wait for Pug Camp 2023!!!