Episode 005 – Janine Pettit’s Girl Camper movement gives women confidence

Welcome to Episode 5 of the Passionate Purpose podcast where we interview people over 50 who are pursuing new direction for their lives. It’s an opportunity for men and women to tell their stories, their way, in their own words.

Today, I will be speaking with a woman who absolutely loved to camp, but her husband wanted no part of it. That realization was devastating to Janine Pettit because, after raising four children, she envisioned being able to relax and travel with her husband. But, not only didn’t he like to camp, he really was happiest when staying at home.

One day, Janine read a newspaper article about women who liked to use tiny travel trailers to camp without their husbands. They would get together for a weekend of fun, then return to their lives. She started doing that as a hobby.

Janine soon realized that not all women were as fortunate as she was to have grown up camping and having been instructed by her father on how to attach a camper to a car, or how to set up a campsite upon arrival. In fact, she saw women making some very serious mistakes that could have resulted in their injury or even death.

So, Janine started writing a blog that offered tips just for women. It became so popular that she started writing for the RV Industry Association. Soon, she became the Martha Stewart of the camping world.

She founded an organization called Girl Camper to basically teach women how to camp like a girl, meaning she’d instruct them how to properly tow an RV, but also how to camp in style.

Janine is a super enthusiastic, creative idea generator with a heart for helping others. She’s a breath of fresh air in a society that is often divided in many ways. That’s why she has amassed a considerable following of women who joined the Girl Camper movement.

Janine and her fellow Girl Campers guide women as they step out of their comfort zones and attempt things they never thought they could do, like towing an RV by themselves. Once they achieve small successes, they are often ready to tackle more challenges. Their confidence grows with each subsequent success.

Girl Camper also helped women unload some painful baggage that have weighed down their spirits for many years. Over the warm glow of a campfire far from the distractions of life, Janine has witnessed a number of life-giving transformations that work to help women become better mothers, spouses, friends and stronger people in general.

Today, there are 30 Girl Camper chapters scattered across America and each one is planning regular activities for women in their areas. Janine also publishes a beautiful quarterly magazine that appeals to “glampers,” or people who love glamorous camping.

When trying to identify a passion, Janine encourages people to dwell on things they keep thinking about, but never act upon. She described that as their heart and soul sending them a message.

I really appreciated Janine’s advice to people of all ages when she said, “Your dream doesn’t have to be something that’s going to take over your life, and you don’t need to have every detail worked out in advance to begin. You just need to take that first step to move forward.”

You can connect with Janine at www.girlcamper.com or look for the Girl Camper group on Facebook.

If you’d like help in identifying a purpose for your life or to get help planning your next steps, I’m offering a complimentary brainstorming session to members of the Forward From 50 Facebook community. For details, connect with me on Facebook or visit www.forwardfrom50.com.

That’s all for this week’s show. Next week, I’ll be interviewing a man who helps others break the bonds of perfectionism. He helps people get out of their own way and pursue things they’ve only dreamed of doing or spent many years planning, but failed to start because they mistakenly believed they needed everything to be perfect in order to begin. Thanks for joining me for today’s episode of The Passionate Purpose podcast.