Blading Camp: Josh Glowicki explains his dream
If you knew what you wanted to do, would you have the guts to go for it? Josh Glowicki does, and that’s how he ended up poised to launch the second year of his Blading Camp programming. Designed around experiences learned during years of teaching skatepark camps throughout Europe and South America, Josh designed Blading Camp to pack all that fun into an action-packed week of “real blading” that takes the action sports camping experience to new heights. From sight-seeing outings to visiting several skateparks per day, there’s no one better equipped to explain it all than Josh, so read on to hear about this dude from Texas parlayed his blading into a dream come true.
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Josh, hey — looks like you had a busy summer! Awesome! Tell us when you had the idea to try your own BLADING CAMP.
The idea for the Blading Camp has always been in the back on my mind, but it’s always been a dream. In the end I really got tired of trying to organize camps through different shops and skateparks, which in turn added one more person to the equation. Working with people is great, and I’ve done camps for a lot of great people and in great places, but the way of life now with our super digital lifestyles — communication through Facebook messenger or WhatsApp — created a solution to one of the struggles of making a camp. So it was like I had a few different signs/pushes from the universe telling me that now, if ever, was the moment to drop the bomb.
“If it don’t kill ya it just makes you realer”
Who all was instrumental in making it happen?
I am so blessed to be surrounded by great people! Juan Suarez, the OG Malagueña, gave me the push I needed to get the camps going. He’s the local Spanish G who basically tied up all the loose ends as far as creating a proper business here in Spain. He is also our main designer. My idea was to completely drop the gypsy lifestyle which no longer served me and go full-on proper. Hire a lawyer, pay our employees proper salaries, pay taxes, and make the business official.
Aritz Ortega was also crucial to the success of the project! The Bladies Camp was actually his idea. I remember the day he suggested it — it gave me goose bumps… I knew it was a huge risk for our first camp, but that it was going to work out perfect. I had faith in the universe. Aritz, Juan and I made the organization a trio.
Melissa Brown had a huge huge role in making the first Bladies Camp happen. I don’t think it would of been anywhere near as successful as it was without her. She helped pay for some of the girl’s flights and camp fees! She’s great, and Blading Camps (and me personally) is going to support her in whatever she does in the future. I think we all should, because she’s working her butt off to grow the ladies side, which in turn grows the entire industry! Mery Muñoz also worked hard to get other bladies to take a risk on the dream! And of course I can’t forget Manon, Richie, Quinny and Montre who’s presence helped the industry trust in the dream too. Thank you to each and everyone one of ya’ll!
What were the goals you had in mind as you started to get the project together?
The goals were simple.
1) To create a proper business from the dream of inline skating that would organically grow and provide me the economic freedom I want to create a family and live from for years to come.
2) To use my previous eight years of experience traveling the world on skates to create something super special that’s never been done before.
3) To give back to the industry that gave me my life by uniting the people and help grow the sport organically and responsibly.
4) To give people of all ages the best experience of their lives.
5) Economically supporting my heroes, who are my best friends.
You’ve been traveling hard for years now and doing some camps along the way — what experiences had you had previously that made you believe you could pull this off?
The first and maybe most powerful inspiration came from my trip to be a coach in Siberia, Russia in 2016! The organizer told me the craziest story about how bringing Richie, Fred and me to Siberia to teach and learn from us had been her dream since we had all met back in 2013 in Latvia during the Ghetto Games. At that moment we had just started the Gypsy Camps but we started with a bang dropping the original Gypsy Project at 016 skatepark.
The SIBSUB family is absolutely next level in every way. They are crystal clear in their words and in their actions. I have never worked for a better organization in my life. I was clueless that Irene, the organizer, was plotting for years to find the funds and means to bring us to Russia. My hat goes off to Irene and Igor and the entire SIBSUB crew for the professionalism they bring to the table. After seeing what they do, how they treat people, and how they organized everything, I realized that it was exactly what my dream has always been to do — create a paradise style camp where people from all ages could come from all over the world to share their common passions. After SIBSUB I realized I could do it too.
From SIBSUB the next huge push was Jojo from Winterclash inviting us (Montre, Quinn dog, Richie and myself) to make a “Pre-Winterclash training camp: Flight School.” At this point I was about dropping the word “Gypsy” because it caused a lot of controversy all over the world. Depending on the country, the word “gypsy” can be compared to dropping the “N” word here in USA… and all these years we had no idea. We originally just used it as a word to describe our form of traveling around the globe making different camps in different locations… like “Gypsying around.”
It was a dream come true to work with Jojo! He’s been one of my biggest heroes since I first met him back in 2009 at Winterclash. Personally I’m so happy to know and have Jojo as a close friend. Truth be told, I have learned so much from my friendship with Jojo it’s insane to think about. JE, we met that moment too!! For the Winterclash Camp we used the OG name of “Flight School” since the students who had participated in our camps know and love our activity of “Flight School” where we literally teach the riders how to fly (how to launch a box or pop on transition).
At Winterclash we had an overwhelmingly successful Flight School with 20 campers from all over the world. Obviously they came for Winterclash but at the moment I had created stickers and little flyers for “something big happening in Malaga this summer.” A camp “reunion.” At ‘Clash I was able to bounce the idea around with our previous campers and talk with the parents whom I’ve become good friends with over the years of teaching. So I gave out these stickers and got instant feedback on the dream.
The universe was telling me to do it.
Before ‘Clash I spent a month traveling Spain with my girlfriend. We unexpectedly arrived to Malaga to see some of our friends. I had lived here already for more than two years, and my girlfriend had been in Spain for more than four. I went to see some old friends, some true Malagueños, and talk life when Juani (Málagas finest) hit me with some design bombs for what we now know as “Blading Camps.” At that moment ,while sitting in a tiny Venezuelan restaurant, we all agreed to go for it. We bought the website. I put together all the original Gypsy Camp photos and video, then we built the website and rented the house. We pulled the trigger.
How many months of planning/work did it take before the first camper walked through the door?
This took about four months of planning starting a little before the Witnerclash this year. What took the most time was the things related to the formation of a Spanish company, like getting a lawyer and becoming responsible for taxes, then localizing all the car rentals and the house where we’d base the campers. The coolest story about the Blading Camp manson is that last August I met and fell in love with my now girlfriend. She had invited to me a fiend’s birthday party which ended up being one of our first dates together. Anyway, as everything is connected, we went to a party outside Malaga in the mountains in this manson! I had one of the best nights in my life, then a year later I was looking for a place to house 20 people and that’s when this place came to mind. So I contacted the owner, told him that I had been in the house the year before for a party and loved it and wanted to rent it for the camps. I gave him all the details about what we were doing and he immediately was on board to help us! Crazy how that worked out…
Backing up a bit, tell us more about the camp! When is it? Where is it? How do people get involved? Why do they want to get involved?
For now at least, the camps are going to be every summer here in Malaga. The summer camps are held during the months of June and July, for people of all ages. Our focus is to unify the community by bringing skaters together in a cool environment where they can get to know one another and share powerful experiences. We’re not just skating here, it’s a full life experience! We’re building a family from the bottom up. Eventually, we’ll do winter camps, because when it’s cold and rainy in most of the world, we have great weather here in Malaga!
Where is Malaga? It’s a city on the southern coast of Andalusia, Spain. This summer’s camps were five nights and four days. Every day we’d go to two different skateparks, as well as a daily adventure to different beaches, plus an unforgettable hike up the legendary Camino de Reyes or the Lakes of Ardales where we were able to cliff jump.
To keep it simple, the camps are 100% all-inclusive, so after paying the camp rate we take care of the rest. One price, that’s it. Shuttle service, one-on-one personal coaching and our on-site #bladingchefs are all included.
People can get involved by joining one of our camps or by contacting me personally to see what we can do together! Blading Camp is going all around the world, so if anyone wants to talk about making something in your home town, just let me know! Blading Camp Colombia is being planned now.
We have had such great feedback from our campers, some campers loved the July camp so much that they returned three weeks later for the August camp! That’s the Blading Camp experience right there.
I think people would like to be involved with Blading Camps because this is a grassroots organization. This is not a corporation with big sponsors. Actually, there are zero sponsors. We did this all on our own and that was very important for me at this point in the game. I wanted to build a strong foundation without sponsors. In this way I don’t owe anything to anyone, and down the road if sponsors want to get involved, well, then we’ll talk. This is my dream to give something back to the community that gave me so much.
So how did your first year go — any stand out highlights or challenges?
Well, all things considered, the first year was laced. I mean, looking back and considering the risk involved in renting all the vans and hiring people and the logistics of picking 20+ people up from the airport and dropping them off all and moving all around together, I’m happy. We didn’t loose any kids!
We had a total of 65 campers from 22 different countries including America, South America, Canada and Australia.
Our youngest campers were 10 years old — a girl from Norway and a boy from Holland — and our oldest was 38 years old! From all skill levels! From super beginners to mega advanced riders.
We had 27 female campers and 38 male campers. The entire camp staff was outstanding. We had a staff of seven people who were all skaters! All the drivers and chefs and photographers were skaters. Karsten Boysen from Cayenne Project came down in August to film our camp. He had a blast and we can’t wait to drop this bomb on the world.
Each camp had its different highlights. One super crazy thing twas that we sold out the Bladies Camp. 21 girls from 15 different countries met in Malaga. And for a lot of the girls it was their first time ever skating with other girls! Think about that! That’s awesome. I’m so happy we were able to do it!
What did you learn from this year that will improve future sessions?
August is too hot for a camp! No more August camps in Malaga.
Learned from the logistics side that I’m going to rent a giant bus next time.
Campers wanted to be in the city center more. So I will include that more in the plans for this summer.
I learned that it’s really complicated and almost impossible to run a legitimate business here in Spain. I tried to follow all the rules and play the game but ended up loosing my ass completely. Going to have to rethink this one.
Tell us what pros came to hang out and be part of camp life?
We were blessed to have Montre Livingston, Manon Derrien, Mery Muñoz, Richie Eisler, and Scott Quinn. I think this list is only going to grow! If there are people out there who wanna join us, send me a message! I have a big dream for the coaches of next summer. Keep a watch for the coolness. I hope to involve Sizemore and Julio and Broskow in the next projects, so keep your fingers crossed.
Share a story about how traveling and being outside your comfort zone has improved your life or led to unique experiences you could never plan.
Funny and awesome question. I have become a fan of leaving my comfort zone once per day. This pushes you to grow exponentially faster! If it scares you, you should do it. I’m lucky to have been able to travel so much. This has put me in so many situations I normally would never have been in. Like, I’ve had to learn to speak new languages and learn to communicate even without words! I’ve learned that beneath the spoken language of words there is a language of the body and of the eyes. That language actually reflects the person much better than his or her choice of words. Deeper than that is the root of all languages, of all beings, and that is simply the language of LOVE.
My life has improved a million times because I’m from an environment where a lot of people truly believe that the world is a dangerous place! The TV says so! It must be true! I have lived experiences that prove the total opposite. The world IS what you make it. Traveling has taught me this over and over. If you believe that it’s dangerous to travel to lets say, Brazil or Poland or South America, when you arrive your beliefs will show through. You will experience your belief entirely and will have a “dangerous experience.” If you believe the world is safe and people genuinely want to help you, than no matter where you arrive in the world that is what you’ll get! It may sound very basic and almost a bit naive, but that’s what my experiences have proven to be true.
I know of course there is some sort of balance in all this, and of course crazy shit happens to everyone in any place, but I do believe that we live in the world that we think about. 100%. And there is energy in your words. More than we can see or realize. Thoughts are material too and just require a little time to manifest. So be careful what you say and what you think.
What’s in store for Blading Camp 2018?
The same Blading Camp legendary services that we’ve become known for, but this time we’ve raised the bar big time.
I sent questionnaires to the campers and have taken all their feedback into consideration to build a new plan for 2018. New daily adventures to ancient castles and megalithic ruins, as well as more new skateparks and new city routes added. I will extend the camp to six days, adding one more day to the plan! And we’ll move from the mountains to the heart of the city center! I have already secured the place for this coming summer. We have our own completely renovated building with a movie theatre, individual rooms with bathrooms, and each camper now has their own room keys to be able to come and go as they please! Freedom. I also built a p-rail and because we are going to be based in the city center we will do nightly plaza p-rail sessions! Malaga has so many beautifully lit plazas for blading at night! Also…we’re going to Gibraltar, a British Colony in Spain. There we will meet the famous Gibraltar monkeys and skate three different, awesome skate parks! So make sure to bring your passports! And one big bus this time instead of four vans! #bladingbus
Bladies Camp 2018 — this time we’re going for 30+ spots. We will release the date and open registration in January!
Anything else we forgot to touch on?
I would like to say a big “Thank You” to you, Justin, for giving Blading Camp a voice to the world! Thank you for your time and also for all you do for the community!
I would also like to thank each and every person who’s taken the time to read this! I hope it leaves you with a smile or two. Big thanks to all the campers that took a risk on this dream of mine. Together we absolutely laced it! Can’t wait to see you all back in 2018 for an even greater experience!
Thank you to the whole industry for believing in my dream and helping to achieve it. To everyone who shared a photo or liked what we did, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I put everything I had into the Blading Camps. All my time, my energy, my entire heart, as well as my life savings. Thank you to the love of my love, my girlfriend Maria, for being there to believe in me and motivate me to accomplish this crazy dream. Thank you also for being involved in this project. It’s a dream come true to have an amazing partner, as well as to be able to work together to create our future together.
Thank you to SibSub Siberia inline Camps!
Thank you to Ivo at This Is Soul Skate camps for believing in me!
Thank you Nils Jansons and Inline Skola Straume!
Thank you Miro at Hedonskate for supporting always.
Thank you Karsten Boysen for the breathtaking August camp video.
Together we’re creating a healthy industry that can sustain itself.
Subimos! Hasta infinito!