Camp Bonfire: From a Dream of Summer Camp for Adults to a Thriving Business…

Camp Bonfire Campers Canoeing

Jacob Winterstein and his partner founded Camp Bonfire ( ) in 2015 to provide affordable adult summer camps enabling grownups to relax wholesomely with nature.

Before committing to the business, Jacob wrote his business plan in The Wharton Small Business Development Center’s Strategic Business Planning (SBP) workshop with Instructor John McAdam in late 2014.  Equipped with a conservative plan, Jacob and his partner were very successful, profitable and able to pay themselves in their first summer camp season. Regarding their business start, Camp Bonfire started after SBP in 2014 and was profitable in their first year.  Jacob told us, “We hired over a dozen independent contractors, plus the host camp had over a dozen staff on site during camp weekend.” Sales and Income projections are on track in 2016.  Therefore, Jacob and his partner plan to work full time in this business in Year 3 (2017).

“SBP spurred us to invest more in advertising and publicity so that we could widen our reach beyond our current networks and make the case that our camp is worth the price tag.” “We had customers from over 10 states. We brought money into a Philadelphia-based business. The summer camp we rent is in Pennsylvania and owned by a family in Philadelphia. My partner and I have created more financially stable lives for ourselves. We’re building jobs around our passions to the point where we can work for ourselves rather than for someone else.  We started small (as our Instructor John McAdam advises), with our own savings. The Wharton SBDC made our success more likely and helped us keep our families more financially secure. The Wharton SBDC’s Strategic Business Planning course gave us the foundation on which to build what we hope will become a national company that will always be based in Philadelphia.”

Do you want to relax like a kid again? There is still time to register at  We’re certainly tempted.


Comments are closed.