Wild Yonder is like camp for adults but with cocktails

Posted by Andrea Weigl on March 13, 2014 

Raleigh food writer and editor Kaitlyn Goalen is a confessed “lifer” when it comes to summer camp. She grew up attending summer camp in California and worked as a camp counselor until she was 24.

She found kindred spirits in event planner Heather Cook and architect Meredith Pittman. Over drinks one night, Goalen recalls the women were reminiscing about their summer camp experiences and thought: “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that as adults. But how much better it would be with cocktails!”

That was the start of Wild Yonder, a “roving summer camp” for adults. The first day camp event, “Forage, Feast and Fire,” is set for March 29.

From 2-9 p.m., attendees will gather at Beausol Gardens in Pittsboro for a series of activities in the outdoors. The afternoon starts with a trail walk with Sarah Vroom of Bountiful Backyards, followed by a workshop by herbalist Margaret Porter-Daniel, who will show how to make lotions and salves from foraged plants, and then a cocktail class by Durham bartender Scott Richie using herbal ingredients and featuring N.C.-based Covington Vodka.

That evening, dinner will be served in the form of “hobo-packs,” which are meat and vegetables nestled in aluminum foil packets and cooked in a campfire. Compound butters and condiments will be made by chef Matt Kelly of Mateo Tapas and Mike Hacker of Pie Pushers food truck. Beer from Durham’s Fullsteam brewery will be served.

The evening will end around a campfire with skits, songs and storytelling led by Django Haskins of The Old Ceremony.

Tickets cost $100 and can be purchased online: wildyonder.org/tickets

Goalen says the trio’s long-term goal is to have a permanent home for Wild Yonder. But until then, they will continue planning events and gauge the interest in their concept in the Triangle and beyond. The next event is scheduled for the end of June.

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