What is Lodged Out and why I started it!

Wilderness Basics workshop at the first Lodged Out, photo by Jenny Johannesson

For those of you who aren’t sure what Lodged Out is or why I started it, well I’ll tell yah!

In 2014 I came to the realization that going to tech / work conferences wasn’t really my jam. They are typically in big cities that make me feel anxious and being an outdoorsy person it’s always hard to find a dirt trail to hike on. Then there’s the hustle and bustle of being constantly on google maps and yelp finding where to go eat, sleep, drink, ‘lyfting’, tweeting etc. I started to brainstorm about how the conference experience could be improved and I realized that my favorite part about them are panels and workshops! During a panel session you never know what you might learn and you get to hear people being authentic and telling stories. In workshops I get to talk with people, make new friends, and who doesn’t prefer hands on learning in small settings! With all that in mind, my vision of unplugged conferences/retreats came when I combined my preference of playing in the dirt over playing on concrete with my fond childhood memories of going to summer camp.

Not too long after that I met some folks from Australia running a series of unstructured summer camp retreats called Rails Camp. Rails Camp is a three day unplugged (no internet or cell) adult summer camp retreat for software engineers and designers. To make a long story short, I started running Rails Camp’s, in the US on the west coast primarily, a month after I met the Aussies and have been running them for four years now!

After getting my feet wet with Rails Camp over the past few years I hadn’t forgotten about my original idea for unplugged retreats with a focus on workshops and inspiring speakers, but that are available to wider audiences and groups of creative people…Lodged Out…!

I launched the first Lodged Out as a private partnered event with a company called Glassbreakers in January of 2016. Unfortunately for their own business reorganization they could no longer be a partner and the event had to be canceled. This was a setback for me as I was far into planning it and had to have some stressful conversations with a venue I loved. For years I had this fear that I needed a partner to launch Lodged Out and build momentum for the brand. Hence why it took me awhile to start it again because I was searching for the “perfect” partner. Then April 2017 my dear friend and career coach Suzan Bond came along and basically said ‘What the hell are you waiting for you don’t need a partner you know exactly what you are doing!’ After that phone call I immediately emailed Camp Four Echoes, a Girl Scout camp I had been wanting to book for forever, went with my gut instinct on an all-lady maker theme for the first event, designed a new logo / brand and fixed up the website and launched it.

So hello this is Lodged Out. Unplugged retreats for makers, doers, adventurers, entrepreneurs and more. I want people to meet me in the woods without their daily distractions to learn from and support one another, share stories, collaborate, and make new genuine friendships. The themes will always change at each retreat but it will always stay an unplugged series in the woods at summer and winter camp lodges throughout the world.

Just a little bedtime story for you 🌲


⋐ engineer and evangelist @square | running unplugged outdoorsy retreats for people i look up to @railscamp_usa + @lodgedout ⋑

⋐ engineer and evangelist @square | running unplugged outdoorsy retreats for people i look up to @railscamp_usa + @lodgedout ⋑