Happy Campers

It’s 5:30 am as a group of women gather at Bernards Township’s Harry Dunham Park for an intense hour of hopping over parking lot rails, hanging from jungle gyms, and assorted calisthenics. This is a story about the New Jersey Adventure Boot Camp.

It’s 5:30 am as a group of women gather at Bernards Township’s Harry Dunham Park for an intense hour of hopping over parking lot rails, hanging from jungle gyms, and assorted calisthenics.

This is the New Jersey Adventure Boot Camp (njbootcamp.com), led by certified personal trainer Valerie Pawlowski, owner of the Body Barn in Peapack. Despite the early hour, each four-week session is packed with upbeat recruits enthusiastically sprinting, squatting, and lifting.

After training with California-based Boot Camp founder John Spencer Ellis, Pawlowski welcomed her first group last August. Each session begins with a nutrition seminar. “We have a full house,” Pawlowski says, “with mothers and daughters, entire wedding parties, sisters, good friends, all targeting personal goals.

It creates camaraderie from a shared endeavor that is grueling and exhilarating at the same time.”

Do her recruits agree? When asked to describe the experience, they respond with the words motivating, inspiring, invigorating, and positively addictive.

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