Camp Jeep®, one of the nation's largest and best attended annual vehicle ownership gatherings, moves to a new, centralized location within one-day's drive of 50 percent of the U.S. population. Camp Jeep 2002 will be held at The White's Bar W Ranch, in the Ozark Mountains, near Branson, Mo., from Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27.
"Camp Jeep has been out West and back East – and this year we're setting up Camp in the Midwest," said Jeff Bell, Vice President of Marketing Communications, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. "With so many more families planning to drive versus fly to their summer vacation destinations this year, Camp Jeep 2002's Midwest location is the perfect spot for Jeep® family members everywhere."
One of the most popular highlights of the event are the Jeep 101 courses, designed to teach owners basic off-highway driving and safety skills, and to demonstrate capabilities of the Jeep Liberty, Grand Cherokee and Wrangler.
Participants are paired with experienced guides as they negotiate steep downhill grades and encounter large rocks, log-crossings, sand and other off-highway obstacles. Once they've mastered the Jeep vehicle's capabilities, they can hit various levels of 4x4 trails in their own vehicles.
Owners can also visit the Engineering Village and participate in roundtable discussions with Jeep engineers, and other Jeep owners to learn more about what distinguishes a Jeep brand vehicle from any other four-wheel vehicle in the world.
"Those who experience Camp Jeep learn more about what their vehicles can do, get a real taste for the past, present and future of the Jeep brand, and, in the process, bond with other owners from all over the country with similar interests and lifestyles," added Lou Bitonti, Senior Manager, Global Corporate Events.
Camp Jeep is one of several owner-loyalty programs created by the Jeep Division of DaimlerChrysler. Jeep Jamborees, which began in the 1950s, are the original off-highway vacation. From the Maine Mountains to the famed Rubicon Trail, approximately 7,000 owners participate in the more than 30 Jamborees held each year. The excellent response to Camp Jeep led to the spin-off of Jeep 101. Jeep 101 driving courses are offered in cities across the nation to provide owners and prospective owners basic skills of safe, yet adventurous off-road driving.
In addition to its breathtaking new locale, Camp Jeep 2002 will highlight new extreme sporting activities, popular lifestyle and family activities and daily live performances by top musicians, including a patriotic concert and fireworks extravaganza. Guests will be among the first to drive the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and experience its extreme off-road capability.
A new hybrid sports arena will be dedicated to extreme sports such as skate boarding, mountain boarding, mountain and BMX biking. Attendees will have a chance to not only participate in extreme sporting activities, but will have the unique opportunity to see live demonstrations and receive guided instruction from professional, well known, Olympic-caliber athletes in each field.
This year, over 10,000 participants are expected to attend Camp Jeep, driving approximately 3,000 Jeep vehicles.
"It's really amazing to see thousands of people come together who share a common passion," said Bitonti. "In fact, many Camp Jeep participants have been coming since the very first event eight years ago and are eager to see us in the Ozarks."
To date, approximately 45,000 people from 48 states have attended Camp Jeep. From 1995-1998, Camp Jeep was held in Camp Hale, Colo. From 1999-2001, Camp Jeep was located at Oak Ridge Estate in Nelson County, Va. Since its inception, participation in the event has expanded from 614 registered vehicles in 1995 to 2,300 in 2001. Each year the event has sold out.
Jeep owners can register for Camp Jeep on the web at www.jeep.com (enter keyword campjeep) or by calling 1-800-789-JEEP. Registration is $295 per Jeep vehicle and includes participation in all Camp Jeep activities.