Now, having read the invitation thoroughly, it came as no surprise to me that Mothers are not expected to bring their children with them for the weekend, as the activities on the agenda suggest that the Camp getaway is intended as a opportunity for Moms to get together, discuss their lives, their successes and disappointments, their challenges and their frustrations and all their methods of coping with the huge responsibility that is Motherhood. It's a chance to let go for a little while, vent and share and even let yourself be pampered for a change, along with other Moms who can understand and support just where you are coming from.
But not everyone came away with the same reading of the situation as I did, and some other bloggers have pointed out that at an event entitled Camp Baby, it seems counter-intuitive that babies and small children cannot be accommodated.
Now, I actually became aware of this controversy through Johnson & Johnson themselves, who realized there was a problem and, to their credit, responded immediately with an email to those of us who had been invited, both explaining and apologizing for any misunderstandings relating to Camp Baby (which, in retrospect, should possibly have been named "Camp Mom").
Here's what J&J's Baby Camp Organizer had to say in her email:
I wanted to personally reach out to you in response to what happened yesterday in the mommy blogosphere. What a learning process it has been for all of us.
...We tried our best to invite as many bloggers as possible...for a first event, we did the best possible job finding you all! And we are so glad we did.
We have done our best to be honest in all our communications to be as equal and fair as possible. As with all events, registration is on a first-come-first-serve basis, and once we reached capacity, we had to stop accepting new people since we wanted the event to feel very intimate (and yes we did go over by 6!) . Additionally, because this is an event created for education and networking, we felt, that you could not take full advantage of the agenda, while caring for your children. This was probably the hardest call we made and certainly have learned a lot through this process. In the future, we will be much more overt about these decisions but we tried to communicate this as questions arose.
I applaud the way Johnson & Johnson has stepped up to the plate over this whole controversy, and I am looking forward to attending Camp Baby and blogging all about for you. You'll be seeing those posts between April 2nd and April 4th, when I will be in New Jersey attending the camp and blogging live from the event.