Public encouraged to get fit in Mountain Challenge’s ‘Camp 4’

Public encouraged to get fit in Mountain Challenge’s ‘Camp 4’

March 15, 2016

To help address obesity and physical inactivity in our community, Mountain Challenge is launching “Camp 4,” an outdoor fitness initiative planned for members of the community, as well as Maryville College faculty, staff and students.

Starting March 23 and continuing every Wednesday afternoon from 3 until 6:30 p.m., the backyard of Maryville College’s Crawford House will be open for fitness activities.

Participants will be able to climb the 55-foot Alpine Tower, boulder in an on-site climbing cave, participate in a group fitness and/or yoga class, and complete an individualized workout using kettlebells and resistance bands. Group fitness classes begin at 4 p.m., with yoga starting at 5:15 p.m. Those one-hour classes are led by certified instructors Wendy Guillaume and Valery Soltis.

Mountain Challenge, a fitness and outdoor company located on the Maryville College campus since 1987, is dedicated to “providing high quality, safe outdoor experiences designed to change the world for the better, one person at a time.”

According to Bruce Guillaume, Mountain Challenge founder and director, the idea for a local Camp 4 was inspired by Yosemite National Park, which traditionally allows climbers and outdoor enthusiasts alike to congregate and stay in the Park’s Camp 4 camping area.

“Not only is this area in Yosemite ideal for staging climbs, it’s ideal for solving bouldering routes and problems,” he said. “Camp 4 also provides opportunities for flexibility and strength training. In fact, Yosemite climbers often train at Camp 4 for overall fitness and to improve their skills.”

Last year, Guillaume met with his student workers and interns to share the Camp 4 idea.

“Bruce has a passion for the outdoors and loves seeing people realize the benefits of leading an active lifestyle,” says Brad Hampton, a Maryville College student and Mountain Challenge intern. “From day one, Bruce has put Camp 4 in the hands of students and given only one requirement: ‘Make it cool. It has to be cool!’”

The cost is $10 for adults (18 and older) and $5 for children (8 to 17 years old) each Wednesday. Kids under 8 years old are free. Loyalty cards will be available March 23 on a first-come, first-served basis. They will provide discounts for multiple visits and bigger groups of people.

In the event of rain, Camp 4 will be cancelled that day and will not be rescheduled.

For more information about Camp 4, please email Brad Hampton at

For more information about Mountain Challenge, email or visit

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2018 semester is 1,154.