Camp Runamok

Summer Camp! A luxury that most people leave behind with childhood… Not according to Lush Life Productions (http://flavors.me/lushlifeproductions#_).

This year Lush Life threw the very first Bartender Summer Camp. Camp Runamok was an opportunity for nationwide bartenders to bunk up, make friends, explore the outdoors, sing around a camp fire, compete in camp style games, learn a little something about themselves, and tour bourbon distilleries. Sounds like a fun filled dream come true, right?  It was! I was fortunate enough to visit the happy campers on the last night of their outdoor adventure and man was it a blast.

The afternoon started off with some givin’ back. The weeklong event was held on the grounds of Lions Camp Crescendo, a camp for the under privileged youth in Louisville Kentucky. When I arrived the bartenders had banded together to fix up the place.  They were stationed along the campgrounds applying new coats of paint to the much needed, unattended areas of the camp. True to form, they were masters of efficiency, worked quickly, and finished up with in the hour.

Next they were on to party on the campgrounds where they enjoyed Vya cocktails, local beer, and a delicious jungle juice prepared by the talented Allison Webbor (@fox_zilla).

After relaxing in the sun, splashing in the pool, playing cards on the deck, and taking shots, the campers headed off to a high stakes game of Capture the Flask. The competition level was high and the Runamok bartenders managed to complete the game in 10 minutes flat.

Then it was off to the mess hall for a buffet style dinner accompanied by Vya.  At the dinner I presented three of our delectable cocktails for the bartenders to enjoy:  the OMG (http://www.vya.com/cocktails.html), Vya Whisper Dry chilled with a lemon twist, and (a personal favorite of mine) the Midnight Manhattan (Bulleit Bourbon, Vya Sweet, Quady Batch 88, and a dash of bitters). They were a hit! For dessert the campers enjoyed Four Roses Bourbon around the campfire and created cocktails for each other at pop-up bars they constructed in their bunks.

Overall it was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience for these campers. A chance to grab back a piece of childhood in ways only adults could master. Can’t wait to Runamok next year!

– Dana Fares

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