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#MicroblogMondays 124: Champing

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I just learned about champing from Atlas Obscura, which is sort of like glamping, but in old churches.  It’s a win-win-win: You get an interesting, dry place to sleep for the night without needing to carry a tent.  The town gets money to help support the upkeep of the church.  And the ghosts in the floor tombs get a new group of people to haunt.


This would have been perfect for 22-year-old Melissa, though 42-year-old Melissa is currently cocking an eyebrow and saying, “I don’t think it’s for me.”  But once upon a time, I liked camping, and I would have jumped at the chance to stay somewhere cool.  Especially a place with floor tombs.

What do you think?  Would you champ?  And if not champing, would you tamp? (I just made up tamping, which is when countries allow you to sleep in famous tourist sites such as pitching a tent in Pompeii.)


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1. Persnickety 14. Unpregnant Chicken 27. Mali (No Kidding)
2. Different Shores 15. 35jupiterdrive 28. Mali (A Separate Life)
3. Daryl 16. the OCD infertile 29. Jenn P
4. Karen (River Run Dry) 17. Shail 30. Cyn K
5. Anamika 18. Traci York, Writer 31. Jess
6. Middle Girl 19. Turia 32. Miranda
7. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) 20. Geochick 33. torth� il
8. Parul Thakur | Happiness & Food 21. Shilpa 34. Cristy
9. Lori@ Laughing IS Conceivable 22. Just Heather 35. Empty Arms, Broken Heart
10. Risa Kerslake 23. Ke Anne 36. Vinitha
11. Isabelle 24. Chandra Lynn (Pics and Posts)
12. Ms. Infertile 25. Amber
13. Ryan 26. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled)


1 Persnickety { 01.09.17 at 6:03 am }

Much younger me would have been thrilled by both. Now, I just think of how hard stone floors are and a moment (over a decade ago) when I realised I was too old/introverted to do hostels anymore

2 Different Shores { 01.09.17 at 6:17 am }

I would definitely have champed pre-30. It sounds like something I’d have loved to do. Now, though, I need total darkness and the exact right conditions to even sleep for a couple of hours, so if I did it, I’d be resigning myself to a night of total wakefulness, and that would take me three weeks to recover from. The joys of middle age know no bounds…

3 Daryl { 01.09.17 at 6:22 am }

Given that my bad back has taken over my life as of late, I think I’ll pass. But, yes, younger (possibly single, as it doesn’t sound like hubby’s cup of tea, either) me would have loved this!

4 Karen { 01.09.17 at 6:54 am }

I’d love to champ, but I’m not sure about tamping. Which is interesting – I suppose I feel like the ghosts that would haunt a church are more at peaceful ghosts that those that would haunt a place like Pompeii or the Colosseum.

Also, the 41 year old Karen would bring her pillow and an air mattress. So really, she’d appreciate an old church-renovated-and-turned-into-a-hotel as well. 🙂

5 Anamika Agnihotri { 01.09.17 at 7:55 am }

I am interested in camping, though I have never done that but I think I cannot go for champing. Champing appears scary to me

6 Middle Girl { 01.09.17 at 8:03 am }

No camping. No champing. No tamping for me (then) and especially me (now.

Not my bag of bones.

7 Parul Thakur { 01.09.17 at 9:44 am }

I would love to do that. Never camped, champed or tamped 🙂 I think it would be adventurous to try that out.

8 Sharon { 01.09.17 at 9:48 am }

I just read about champing yesterday and thought it sounded so cool. I would do it.

9 Lori Shandle-Fox { 01.09.17 at 10:13 am }

The closest I’ve come I think is when I was in college. I used to stay overnight (no sleeping) at the historic NYC synagogue I attended to help with the homeless people who were assigned to that location for the night. I spent most of the night talking with the elderly man who ran the program there. He was an Ethiopian Jew and was so interesting… I’d still vamp, camp, tramp… all of the above. I hate to ever pass up an adventure.

10 Risa Kerslake { 01.09.17 at 10:44 am }

Wow! That would be so interesting. I don’t know if I could do it now, but a part of me would want to take it on for the experience.

11 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 01.09.17 at 11:12 am }

I think it really depends on the situation. I’ve thought of staying in a monastery – something about those stark rooms and the community appeals to me. But just me (or even just two of us) in a big, old, empty, dark building? That seems creepy. But the younger me would’ve probably done it if it better fit my minuscule budget.

I would love to camp at Pompeii or Machu Picchu, though!

12 Ms. Infertile { 01.09.17 at 11:34 am }

Yeah… no. It sounds great on paper but then, I’m probably not their target audience. I’m so used to sleep in a city that every time I’ve been to places like this or isolated, I can’t sleep because it’s too quiet. I bet it’s ridiculously quiet and the echo is amazingly scary.

13 Chris { 01.09.17 at 11:59 am }

No. I camped once. That was enough for me.

14 Bri { 01.09.17 at 12:03 pm }

Not sure about “champing” either ….just like you..22 sure…but now? Not so much…I’ve watched too many movies with haunted churches…I definitely wouldn’t be able to sleep!

15 Ryan { 01.09.17 at 12:10 pm }

I don’t know if I could champ alone, and I don’t think anybody I know would share a night in a spooky old church, but it might be fun if anyone would.

16 35jupiterdrive { 01.09.17 at 12:56 pm }

I knew someone whose house had been a church. It was deconsecrated, had almost been demolished, was a falling down mess. They gutted it, poured money in to it, and turned it into a lovely home, complete with steeple and bell.

I didn’t like it, churches feel like hospitals to me. They hold a lot of emotions, a lot of difficulties, a lot of happiness, and it feels overwhelming.

So I know for sure this is a no.

17 35jupiterdrive { 01.09.17 at 1:01 pm }

ps: there have been aquariums and planetariums and even the occasional museum that have done sleep-overs to raise money and I would do any of those in a minute.

18 Cristy { 01.09.17 at 1:46 pm }

Am I the only one that would do this still? I love camping, particularly in unpopulated areas. Granted I have spooked myself silly after seeing warnings about bears and cougars (it’s it a bad sign I slept better after seeing two other young guys sleeping out in the open and thinking the cougar/bear would be more attracted to them?), but there is something so peaceful about being in spaces most wouldn’t consider. So I would be game. Especially as it benefits the community and would be a cool history lesson.

19 Lavonne @ the OCD infertile { 01.09.17 at 1:46 pm }

I love old churches, and abandoned places, and big old houses out in the middle of nowhere. I’d love to say that yes, I would love to do something like that, but honestly, I am a chicken and would probably only be there about 5 minutes before I decided my King size bed in the middle of town was just fine for me.

20 Traci York { 01.09.17 at 2:08 pm }

When I was a Girl Scout leader, we got to do a sleep-over with our troop at the Boston Museum of Science, and it was a super cool experience. If I were able to go champing (with a decent air mattress for my old, cranky body) I’d be all for it! 🙂

21 Shail { 01.09.17 at 2:08 pm }

Sounds great, but not for me right now. Yes, twenty years back it would have been different though.

22 Ashley { 01.09.17 at 2:16 pm }

I would totally do it! And, in reading the article, it seems like camping cots are offered, which is more comfortable than sleeping on the floor, I’d imagine. Honestly, I think I would do it more out of respect for the history of the buildings (my goodness some of the churches are OLD) and hoping to keep them preserved, than a desire to spend the night with the haunts of such a place. Too bad England is not on our list of potential destinations this year!

23 Turia { 01.09.17 at 2:48 pm }

As an ancient historian, the idea of people being allowed to sleep somewhere like Pompeii is deeply stressful. So many remains to be damaged! But the idea is interesting. I don’t think I could sleep anywhere ancient (including churches)- too active an imagination.

24 Geochick { 01.09.17 at 3:54 pm }

Huh, I don’t know how I’d feel about champing. I’ve never loved camping but did it because I had to. Now with kids I’m trying to get up the resolve to dive back in. Champing sounds creepy, and I wonder if it’s any better than me lying awake in a tent waiting for the nonexistent bear.

25 Amber { 01.09.17 at 5:19 pm }

As long as someone else was staying there with me, I’d totally do it. I love traveling and seeing new places, so if this was a way for me to do it at a cheaper cost, absolutely!

26 Chandra Lynn { 01.09.17 at 5:45 pm }

I wouldn’t camp, glamp, champ, or tamp. I need a soft, comfy bed–or sofa. 😀

27 loribeth { 01.09.17 at 6:36 pm }

I’ve never slept in a church, but I did sleep in the auditorium of a church hall on a band trip when I was in high school… we all brought sleeping bags & I had a thin foam mattress that helped soften the hard wooden floor a little. As several others have already pointed out, though, there’s a big difference between doing something like that when you’re 15 & when you’re 55 (as I am now)…! Also, as Turia pointed out, you would have to worry about the damage to historic sites & artefacts. Still, I know the local Royal Ontario Museum has occasional “sleepovers” with the dinosaurs. I can’t imagine too much sleeping goes on, though, with that many kids together…!

28 Mali { 01.09.17 at 7:23 pm }

Yeah, I’m too old too!

Though glamping is definitely me. I want to do a safari in one of those glamping sites/lodges. (You know, air-conditioning, bathroom, proper bed, and a swimming pool!)

29 Cyn K { 01.09.17 at 9:18 pm }

I’ve never been a fan of camping, but I did enjoy staying in youth hostels in the UK/Europe. Most of the hostels had once been something else – including a church. The one in Dublin turned the confessional into a phone booth.

30 Jess { 01.09.17 at 9:30 pm }

Okay, true confession time: I am terrified of camping. I am scared of the vulnerability of tents. I am scared of bugs and sudden downpours. Maybe glamping would be okay, but it just freaks me out. Champing sounds interesting, because it’s indoors, and growing up I did actually have sleepovers in cathedrals in NYC as part of my church group, so that sounds neat…but the tomb part gives me the heebie jeebies. Bryce is always wanting to do those tours of haunted asylums and stuff and I say no because that stuff seems like it would follow you home. So I think it’s a neat idea, but the scaredy cat in me says hell no.

31 Working mom of 2 { 01.09.17 at 11:52 pm }

No, I’m way too high maintenance when it comes to sleep. I usually don’t sleep well away from home even in nice hotels. Even when I’ve gone camping we always go somewhere with running water and we bring an air mattress, etc. It’s been over 10 years since we last went camping, I suppose in a few years when the kids are older we will try it again. But right now I still wouldn’t put it past my youngest to unzip the tent and walk out into the forest in the middle of the night while we are asleep.

32 Miranda { 01.09.17 at 11:59 pm }

I would definitely do some research and give it a shot! Sounds like a cool adventure and the potential photography and history finds would make it great!

33 torthúil { 01.10.17 at 1:09 am }

Fascinating idea, and probably….not something I’d actually do. 😀 Considering I still can’t bring myself to close my eyes during a church service (or any public ceremonial thing, actually), I really doubt I could fall asleep in a church. The presence of crypts probably wouldn’t help. But, fascinating.

34 Vinitha { 01.10.17 at 5:52 pm }

I camped once and it is not my cup of tea. I enjoyed everything except the sleeping inside the tent part. I am not going to risk it with a champ. 🙂

35 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.10.17 at 10:20 pm }

I could totally be a champer and a tamper. I would want an air mattress and comfy blanket, though.

36 Raven { 01.11.17 at 9:02 am }

I enjoy camping…and the idea of camping in an old church sounds wonderful! Of course, I would want some sort of bed (even an air mattress) but how cool to sleep in the quiet, unfamiliar building. I think I would be afraid of ghosts though…

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