Here are answers to questions that have been asked; some only once, some more often.
Why is this called a ‘Camp’? Do I need to bring camping gear?
Why do I have to pay an advance payment?
Why do women pay less? (“Gender Pay Gap Compensation”)
How can I know that I can trust you? Will you not disappear with my advance payment?
What organization is behind the Crazy Camps? Some travel agency?
How is the trip to the Crazy Camp location included or organized?
What kind of people have signed up for the Crazy XYZ Camp? Age, gender, etc.?
What is the group size of a Crazy Camp?
What language(s) is/are spoken at the Crazy Camp?
Why is the exact location not indicated in the info page?
What facilities are in the accommodation?
Can I contact other participants before the trip?
I am vegetarian/vegan/have dietary requirements. Is that a problem?
Is smoking/drinking allowed?
Am I fit enough?
Can I opt out of certain activities if I want?
What type of luggage should I take?
What is this with clothing is optional that is mentioned in the description of some Crazy Camps?
A lottery for allocating the beds?
Can I leave before the end of the Crazy Camp?
Can I sign up for just two or three days?
What about the risks that I run during Crazy Camps? What about liability and insurance?
- Q: Why is this called a ‘Camp’? Do I need to bring camping gear?
A: Crazy Camps are in a building, mostly a hut or chalet. There might be an exeptional Crazy Camp in a tent, but in that case I will provide a group tent and you will still not need to bring your tent. In the description of the individual Crazy Camps it is clearly stated what kind of accommodation is provided.
You do not need to bring camping gear. Well, often you do have to bring a sleeping bag or a sleeping bag liner (Hüttenschlafsack, sac à viande) but if that is the case, it is mentioned in the description of that specific Crazy Camp. You do not need to bring a tent.
So if the Crazy Camps are not about camping, then why are they called Crazy Camps? Well, in our context the word Camp represents the concept of a group of people that is temporarily staying together in a specific place in order to spend time together and do activities together.crazy /ˈkreɪzɪ/ adjective Out of the ordinary; unusual.
camp /kæmp/ noun A group of people that is temporarily gathered in a specific place in order to do specific activities together.
Crazy Camp /ˈkreɪzɪ kæmp/ noun A diverse group of people staying (usually in a house or hut) in the middle of amazing nature, having an incredible time together.
- Q: Why do I have to pay an advance payment?
A: Two reasons. First of all, I have to pay a (way bigger) advance payment when booking accommodation for the Crazy Camp. Second, it is the best way for me to find out if you have a serious intention of joining.
- Q: Why do women pay less? What is this “Gender Pay Gap Compensation”?
A: In most countries of the world women receive a lower per hour payment for the same activities as men. In my opinion this is injustice. In the European Union for example the so called Gender Pay Gap is 15-16%. See this animated infographic for an explanation.
My little protest against this injustice is that I offer female participants the possibility to get 15% reduction on the Crazy Camp participation fee, as a futile compensation for the Gender Pay Gap. If women don’t get paid the same, then why should they pay the same?
- Q: How can I know that I can trust you? Will you not disappear with my advance payment?
A: I will not disappear with your advance payment but technically there is no way that you can know that I will not. You’ll have to trust me. Just as I will have to trust you: will you really show up? Will you not steal things? Will you not be drunk and annoying all the time? If it helps: there have been 17 Crazy Camps so far, the whole Crazy Camp thing is my passion and joy, and there are better ways of making money than to run away with your advance payment. By the way, please read the testimonials of previous Crazy Camp participants and feel free to check out the references that 160 people that met me in real life (in non-Crazy Camp context) wrote about me on Couchsurfing.
- Q: What organization is behind the Crazy Camps? Some travel agency?
A: Originally it started out with no organization at all. Just one private person sharing his passion with you. Basically I organize these trips just for myself and I share time, space, activities and fun with you. In return, you participate in the activities and pay your share in the costs. More info can be found in the About page. However, now that there are more and more Crazy Camps and more and more Crazy Camp participants, it became necessary to create a legal structure. So now I founded a not-for-profit association under Dutch law. When you participate in a Crazy Camp, you become member of this association for the duration of that Crazy Camp.More details about the association and your membership on this page.
- Q: How is the trip to the Crazy Camp location included or organized?
A: It is not. You will have to find your own way of getting to the Camp. I will provide information about the arrival time that you are expected, the nearest train/bus station, the nearest airports, how to get from the bus station to the Crazy Camp location… In the forum you can discuss with the other participants about traveling together etc. Information about the ride share that I am offering myself (normally I go by car to the Crazy Camps) is included in the page about the Crazy Camp itself.
- Q: What kind of people have signed up for the Crazy XYZ Camp? Age, gender, etc.?
A: It doesn’t matter. The Crazy Camps are about inclusion, not selection. So far, every Crazy Camp has been very mixed: different ages from under 20 to over 50, different levels of education, different cultural backgrounds and nationalities. Regrettably, the Crazy Camp locations usually are not suitable for people in a wheelchair. Anyway, to give you a general idea, here’s a cute infographic
- Q: What is the group size of a Crazy Camp?
A: Usually groups are between 7 and 16 people big – or small, depends on how you look at it :-)
- Q: What language(s) is/are spoken at the Crazy Camp?
A: Crazy Camps attract people from all over. In a recent one, out of 9 participants only 2 had the same mother tongue. In general, English is used as the common language. But if you are having a chat with that other participant that has your native language, then no one expects you to have that chat in English. You don’t speak English? For sure you know some 10 or 20 words in English. You will be amazed about how you will still manage to communicate. And I will translate essential things into French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian or Lingala if that helps you.
- Q: Why is the exact location not indicated in the info page?
A: The main reason for this is that I want to make sure that you sign up because the Crazy Camp concept appeals to you, and not for some other reason, such as for example that you really want to go to that specific resort but everything is booked, except for the Crazy Camp, or that you are looking for a cheap holiday, no matter what kind of trip it is.
The information that I give about the resort should be enough information for you to estimate if it will be satisfying for you. If you want to have an idea of the beauty of Crazy Camp locations: there are pictures on some of the ‘past events’ pages, and please check out the blog at crazycampadventures.tumblr.com, where there is a growing collection of pictures of Crazy Camps – as well as at our instagram account. Of course, I do tell you the exact name of the location where we are staying as soon as you have paid the advance payment.
In a way, Crazy Camps are “Blind Breaks”: a holiday you book without knowing the destination. These surprise trips originate from the “experiential travel”: traveling with the goal to get out of your comfort zone.
- Q: What facilities are in the accommodation?
A: This is mentioned in the info page of the Crazy Camp that you are interested in. If something is not mentioned, then don’t presume that it is there… what is obvious for you, might not be obvious for that location. So if you miss something that is important for you in the description, better ask me :-)
- Q: Can I contact other participants before the trip?
A: Before every Crazy Camp we meet virtually, in a private forum. This is usually two or three weeks before departure. In the forum we give a short introduction of ourselves, we discuss ride shares, logistics at arrival, what to bring, what we will eat, etc. If you would like to contact a participant of one of the past Crazy Camps before deciding to sign up, I can establish the contact if I understand that you are seriously considering signing up.
- Q: I am vegetarian/vegan/have dietary requirements. Is that a problem?
A: Vegetarian is no problem at all (I am a vegetarian myself); vegan should be fine also, I guess. We cook and eat together so we’re flexible in keeping the meat apart or making an extra side dish or whatever.
- Q: Is smoking/drinking allowed?
A: Don’t smoke in places where it can bother others: in the house, at the terrace, in the sauna or hot tub, etc.
Crazy Camps are not alcohol free. A glass (or two) of wine or beer is common. Being wasted, however, is not common. Hardcore drinkers should better book some party trip elsewhere. If you don’t drink alcohol at all: no problem, be welcome :-)
The only drug that is common in Crazy Camps is adrenaline – the best drug anyway.
- Q: Am I fit enough?
A: Good question. The Crazy Mountain Camps and Crazy Snow Camps are activity trips (mountain hiking, skiing/snowboarding etc.) so you need a certain stamina for that – especially taking into account that you are at a higher altitude (less oxygen) then your usual location. Of course you can skip the longer hikes or go softly with the skiing. In case of serious overweight (not just ‘chubby’) or never-have-done-sports-before you might want to reconsider your participation. You don’t have to be an athlete though, the activities are recreational and not competitive.
- Q: Can I opt out of certain activities if I want?
A: Yes you can. Crazy Camps are a group thing – if you count spending your evenings quietly in a corner reading Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” then it’s not the right trip for you. But if you have an off day or are exhausted after a long hike, then of course you will skip a night of crazy games. As long as you come to the Crazy Camp with the intention of participating, everything will be cool :-)
One other thing is the following. Crazy Camps are a safe place to try out new things – and an equally safe place to not participate in something if you feel to uncomfortable with it. For example: during a recent Crazy Snow Camp, one evening we had a rice dish for dinner. I suggested that we would all eat with our hands from one big bowl (as is common in many countries on our planet) but for some of the participants this was beyond limits, so they ate from their own individual plates. No problem!
- Q: What type of luggage should I take?
A: Usually Crazy Camp locations can not be reached by normal road. So oftentimes we have to get our stuff to the accommodation skiing/snowboarding or hiking. You’re better off with a backpack than with a suitcase!
- Q: What is this with clothing is optional that is mentioned in the description of some Crazy Camps?
A: Usually the Crazy Camps offer little privacy because of shared bedrooms, shared sanitary facilities etc. If someone likes to sleep naked, he/she will not undress under the bedsheets, right? And the wellness-elements of the Crazy Camps (sauna, hot tub or whatever) are normally used unclothed. ‘Clothing is optional’ means just that: clothing is optional. No one forces you to wear clothes and no one forces you to not wear them. It is not probable that you will be surrounded by naked people all the time at a Crazy Camp. So just relax; nothing to worry about.
- Q: A lottery for allocating the beds?
A: The Crazy Camps usually take place in locations with a mixed bed situation; also mixed in the sense of some double rooms, some twin rooms, some group rooms… So on the first evening we do a lottery. This indeed means that there is a possibility that you end up sharing a double bed with someone that was a complete stranger to you until some hours before… and so what? The beds are for sleeping! So just sleep, it is not relevant who is sleeping next to you. If there is some rational reason to change the outcome of the lottery (for example: a tall person got a small bed and a small person got a big bed) then we change. If you have some weighty emotional reason to not participate in the lottery, then please let me know BEFORE the start of the Crazy Camp.
By the way, this lottery implies also that there is no way to influence who gets the ‘best’ beds (should there be any difference in comfort or quality). We all have equal chances. Ah and one more thing: should there be bed rooms with an attached bathroom, then that bath room will not be the private bathroom of the people in that bed room. All sanitary facilities are there to be shared.
- Q: Can I leave before the end of the Crazy Camp?
A: Of course you can. In all Crazy Camps so far, no one has ever left early for other reasons than personal/medical or logistical (catch the flight home).
- Q: Can I sign up for just two or three days?
A: No, sorry. Crazy Camps are no walk-in walk-out events. We’re in it together :-)
- Q: What about the risks that I run during Crazy Camps? What about liability and insurance?
A: Some activities during the Crazy Camps have a higher risk than sitting on the couch at home. Obviously this goes for sport activities like for example skiing/snowboarding and mountain hiking, but it might go for some group games also and practical things like for example hot wood stoves in the middle of the room. You are always responsible for assessing the risks yourself and you are always responsible for your own do’s and don’ts. You are yourself liable for the consequences of your own decisions. No insurance is provided on behalf of the organiser; please arrange a travel insurance yourself and make sure that it covers the appropriate risks (for example: are winter sports activities covered? This is not always the case).