2nd Annual Camp Pull A Shot, El Capitan Resort Santa Barbara, CA

2 11 2011
 Nestled off the beautiful surf beach of El Capitan is a “glamp-ground”.
(Picture provided by Emma Markland Webster, flickr)
Ruby breasted hummingbirds, bees, deer, owl, gopher, skunk and raccoons commonly share the landscape with the mostly tame, barista.
(Picture provided by Emma Markland Webster, flickr)
(Picture provided by Emma Markland Webster, flickr)
(Picture provided by Emma Markland Webster, flickr)
Knowing one of the major goals in for the event is exposure for the barista to the best tools of the trade La Marzocco is a proud sponsor of all things education supplying a healthy dose of top notch equipment.
Setup began Saturday and picked up again early Sunday morning.    Volunteers & SCAA staff are on hand to facilitate and actuate a total transformation.
Amazing detail is required to setup just under a dozen espresso machines, several water delivery systems, differing brew methods, small wares and several audio systems later camp is setup.  At dawn’s early break barista’s arrive and the fellowship begins again.
In the Long House supporting the BGA Cafe’s the Manual Paddle Strada.  For most it was the first time handling the barista driven design.  Lots of deliciousness coming out of those groups!
(Picture provided by Thoughts of Clouds flickr)
 Moving into the performance area of the Long House & Mesa Yurt,  various stations were setup for break out sessions and BGA Certifications, Level 1 & Level 2.  La Marzocco GB5 & Linea were on hand to aid barista’s in the end goal of grind it, dose it, tamp it….work it!
(Picture provided by Thoughts of Clouds flickr)
Cupping labs were supported by the Marco Eco Boiler  known for its temperature priority delivery system.
Just a week before camp an email shows up introducing you to a group of people you may not know but will be paired up with at the event.  During this feed, we conjured up a team theme, a team name and some team props.  There were 12 teams total who would dine together and compete for the coveted win and an oversized trophy complete with bragging rights for one full year.
Team activities came in many forms.  Tag team style relay races including bobbing for apples, eating a powder donut off a string, dizzying mind spins, hoola hoops and costumes combine with grabbing all the components for preparing a perfect brew.
The Coffee Version of the Price is Right and Jeopardy test your ability to price equipment and an end of the week total team effort of brewing espresso and creating a beautiful cappuccino with just around 12 different hands in the process…sound confusing, it is but you got to be there to appreciate it.
(Picture provided by Thoughts of Clouds flickr)
(Picture provided by Thoughts of Clouds flickr)
Each team also has the opportunity to serve their peers in a morning, afternoon and evening bar shift.  Secret shopped for quality and overall service, these teams are scored points based on these services eventually creating an overall Best in Show result.   Between team competitions and the bar service there is no shortage of coffee shenanigans to participate in.
(Picture provided by Noah Namowicz flickr)
There’s a little for everyone including a 5K race.  Winners trophied at 1st, 2nd & 3rd place with gold, bronze and silver burr necklaces!  This years runners were up at daybreak for a shot at the win.
(Picture provided by Noah Namowicz flickr)
Barista Guild of America offers it’s standardizing language and Level 1 Certification.  The curriculum defines the language a specialty barista should understand.  Curriculum is specific and focused towards empowering strong definition of what we do and why we do it.  Moving into a secondary round of classes, Level 2 courses and certification/tests which define the barista’s “can do” abilities as a leader and all around expertise in preparation and service.
 Attendees are driven to learn and grow in an environment that oozes coffee details, conversations, curriculum, tests and retests.  Customer service, brew classes, cupping/sensory courses and the opportunity to get your paws on some of the most desirable equipment in the industry!

(Picture provided by Thoughts of Clouds flickr)
The hardest part by far, leaving.  Camp Pull A Shot works just as hard as it plays.  We look forward to Camp Pull A Shot East Coast coming summer, 2011!
(Picture provided by Noah Namowicz flickr)
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