Summer 365 Camper of the Week: Tamar Wider, Founder of CAMP Collection

12.1.14 by

Creativity + a knack for fashion and design + a life changing camp experience … put ’em all together and whaddaya get? CAMP Collection, a women’s ready-to-wear clothing line designed by Tamar Wider,  Summer 365’s fabulously stylish Camper of the Week. Wider is also the mastermind behind The 2 Bandits jewelry, a bohemian, festival-ready range that launched in 2009. However, this former camper’s creative ambition and her own nostalgic memories of attending camp needed an outlet and influenced her to create this totally campy women’s clothing collection, which launched this past February on shopcamp.com.

The line’s inspiration is pure unadulterated summer camp nostalgia with a simple and beautiful motto: Blaze Your Own Trail.  The collection, made entirely in the US of A, is a spin on what Tamar wore in camp but more refined, with sharper lines, modern constructions, and forward fabrics. Take a walk with Tamar down memory lane, check out her latest looks, and our enjoy our special Summer 365 discount for any campers at heart look looking to sport a comfy cool camp vibe. It might be winter but CAMP (Collection) is just getting started!!

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The Basics

Where did you go to camp, how many years did you attend, how long was your camp session length?

I went to Camp Sabra in Lake of Ozarks, Arkansas. Sessions were 8 weeks, and I went for 10 years.

Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?

I grew up in Dallas and currently live in San Francisco, after a long stint in New York.

What are you currently doing?

I founded and run 2 businesses, CAMP Collection (shopcamp.com / @shopcamp) and The2Bandits (the2bandits.com / @the2bandits). On a great day, I spend most of my time designing.

How has camp influenced what you do/your career path? Specifically how did it translate into CAMP Collection?

Camp encouraged and applauded my individuality, while bringing a group of individuals together. Fashion design rewards uniqueness and risk taking, and I learned that both of these traits were “okay” during my time at camp.

Anyone who went to summer camp and could resonate with that experience, would probably say their camp is the best. There is this crazy sense of loyalty and pride that you develop in this environment. Camp was not only my second home and a place I looked forward to year in and year out, it was a place where I could be myself more than anywhere else, where my creativity was celebrated and truly flourished.

The attire at camp was so casual. I felt the best wearing my camp boyfriend’s pajama pants and a white tank with my hair up in a messy bun. That is the vibe I try to convey: casual chic.

Camp Collection Summer 365

True Life – I Went to Sleepaway Camp

What are your top three essentials that you packed in your trunk?

Bunk bed fan. Sophie’s (shorts). Shaving cream.

What are three words to describe your camp experience?

Best. Time. Ever.

Who was someone at camp that you looked up to?

Always a few of my counselors. Looking back, they seemed so mature and had it all together, but they were probably just teenagers. One of them was the head of the waterfront, and she ran all the swim classes and activities. Another one was my soccer coach, and we spent hours practicing.

camp collection summer 365

Why do you think it is important to go to camp?

It’s your first step toward independence. You learn how to look out for yourself, learn for yourself, socialize, and figure out what you like and don’t like.

What is your favorite/most epic camp memory?

I remember my very last night of camp. There is always a banquet the last night, and then everyone roams around signing the kids’ yearbooks. My friends and I ended up on the waterfront late night with most of the staff and swapped stories. I’ll never forget it.

How has camp affected your adult life? Is there something you learned there that you still do today?

Skills-wise, I learned how to swim, a bunch of sports, and how to clean properly.

Words of wisdom for current and future campers?

Enjoy every minute of it! Take in every day with a positive attitude.

camp collection summer 365

How do you keep in touch with your camp friends? What has kept you close through all of these years?

I’m in touch weekly with emails, calls, texts, and social media, sending funny pics and stories back and forth. We’re all close in age, so we’ve been each other’s support group throughout our lives in the different stages we go through. We have similar core values, and even though we’re in different places, we still value each other’s opinions and support.

Elective Period

What is your favorite camp tradition?

Jumping in the lake after winning Color War!

What was your favorite camp food?

Sunday morning was a “lazy morning” (with no official meal) so you could go and grab donuts from the mess hall.

What is your favorite camp cheer?

We welcome you, to Camp Sabra, we’re mighty glad you’re here! We send the air, reverberating with a mighty cheer, rah-rah! We’ll sing you in, we’ll sing you out, for you, we’ll raise, a mighty shout! Hail, hail, the gang’s all here, and you’re welcome at Camp Sabra!

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What is your favorite movie about camp/that you saw at camp?

‘Johnny Dangerously.’ We watched it more than once. Once. Now a days, my favorite camp move is ‘Wet, Hot American Summer.’ They nailed it.

What did you prefer – pool or lake?

Lake!

Favorite canteen candy?

Red Vines

Favorite / most requested item on visiting day?

More food!

What was your favorite camp activity?

Socials! I was boy crazy back then.

If you had to have something from camp tattooed on you, what would it be?

My camp logo, for sure. I’ve thought about it more than once.

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What is your favorite camp word/expression?

‘Luggage’… Which was a bad thing that you didn’t want to be. If you were a burden, the counselors would call you ‘luggage’ and fake threaten to move your bed into the trunk house.

Favorite camp memento?

They would screenprint a t-shirt for your Color War team every year. I still have all of mine. Some of them are really small!

Did you ever get homesick at camp?  How did you deal with that?

Never! Not even in the first day. I was more “camp-sick” after leaving. I would always cry when my parents took me to leave.

What were the biggest trends/must have items when you went to camp?

Playing mix-tapes in walkmans / boomboxes. Techni-color t-shirts that changed colors when you blew on them. Tevas.

We know what happens at camp stays at camp…but got anything good to share with us?!

Summer 365 DISCLAIMER: Kids don’t try this at camp! The rules have changed…

There was this other camp across the lake, and we liked to raid each other, so one night we canoed over there and messed up a bunch of their stuff. We got in trouble for that one, and had to clean all the next day instead of doing activities.

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