I had the opportunity this week to chat with Jill Hinton, owner of Outdoor Book Club about her unique local business. The Outdoor Book Club offers all-women adventure tours and workshops that feature book discussions in the great outdoors. There are a variety of trips and other events to choose from that are great for many different types of women - from the avid outdoorsy woman to the first-time camper. Women are encouraged to read the book the particular adventure is centered around, then they'll take the discussion outside under the moonlight or beside a campfire.
Jill held a corporate job for a lot of years and always knew she wanted to start her own business. One day a friend mentioned that her boss was gone for a week hiking in the Porcupine Mountains and Jill thought that sounded like an amazing adventure. She knew that innovation comes from combining ideas that haven't been put together before, so she decided to combine her love of books with outdoor adventures and start Outdoor Book Club.
Outdoor Book Club offers different workshops and trips every month for a variety of women - even those who would rather sleep in a warm bed instead of a sleeping bag inside a tent. All equipment and food is included for every trip and workshop. Jill takes care of everything. Also, while reading the book before the trip is definitely encouraged, it is not absolutely necessary. Some upcoming OBC events include:
Winter Meditation Retreat with Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn (December 12-14, 2014 Circle Pines Retreat Center): Jill says, "I don't tend to read books over and over again, but this one is brilliant in its simplicity and power." The retreat is designed to give women an understanding of mindfulness tools, and help them to deepen their meditation practice (without being, as Oprah says, too "woo woo").
Starting Your Own Business for Women Entrepreneurs Workshop (March 7, 2015, location TBD): Jill says, "Starting Outdoor Book Club has been a labor of love for me, and I'd love to see more women starting businesses (and doing it successfully!). This workshop uses portions of my favorite entrepreneurship books to create a clear, practical roadmap for women to successfully launch a business."
Jill is also in the early stages of planning two 5-day trips this summer. One where women will read Hemingway in the U.P., sleep in rustic cabins, learn how to flyfish, and hike in some of Papa's old haunts. Another will be backpacking in Isle Royale, while discussing Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat. More future plans for Outdoor Book Club include overseas adventures, like Hemingway in Spain, Eat, Pray, Love in Indonesia, and The Power of One in South Africa.
For more information about Outdoor Book Club, check out the website here and Facebook page here. If you would like to invite a little adventure into your life, sign up for one of the Outdoor Book Club's fantastic events and use promo code "GRBOX" to save $10 off any workshop through December 31st, 2014.