Meet Our Crew
Carmen was born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta, but moved to the Edmonton area at the age of 18.
Having successfully raised 6 children, Carmen’s intuitiveness, creative ways and drive for success has created a path to becoming a Campground operator and developing a Society to support social and economic development in local communities.
Carmen began her career in 2000 after graduating from Grant MacEwan College with a Child and Youth Care Diploma with Honours.
In 2008 Carmen returned to Grant MacEwan University for a degree in Human Services Administration Management which she graduated in 2010 with distinction.
Over the next 2 decades Carmen spent her career in various Children’s Services and Community and Social Services positions focussing on high risk vulnerable individuals and leadership.
Having a career in a fast paced, crisis driven field, Carmen learned early on that family and work-life balance would be the key to her success. A way for Carmen to re-focus was to go camping with the family.
There was something very restful and rejuvenating about falling in love with the outdoors again.
In 2008, Carmen married her life partner Jason who has always supported her goals and aspirations. He has watched her success in her career over the years in the Human Services sector and always had a desire to find a project that they could work together on.
After spending a season camping at Willey West Campground, the opportunity came up for Carmen and her husband Jason to operate the campground, hence Elevated Experience Camping Inc. was created.
This was the opportunity for Carmen to utilize all her networking, creativeness and leadership strengths and channel them into a new career path that allowed her to continue to stay grounded in her public service roots.
Camping is a time of relaxation and rebooting for Carmen, so what better place to channel and more elevated experience for people.
Having first hand experience in the challenge’s campgrounds face to be current, she wanted to create a business to help people fall in love with the outdoors without sacrificing amenities.
Carmen being forward driven and staying close to her roots serving the public sector, she has also created a Society entity as part of the company to help support social and economical development.
Partnering with her husband Jason was a dream made into reality. Now they are a dynamic team that is fully committed to transforming camping of all levels everywhere.
Jason has had several trades’ and Customer Service related jobs over his career but he has always had a desire to own his own business.
Over the past 2019 camping season, was employed as the Caretaker for Willey West Campground. He was able to hone in on his Customer Service skills and support his wife’s passion to be in the outdoors.
In Jason’s spare time, he enjoys learning magic, building arcades and woodworking. His passions show his ability to be both personable and creative which are assets in a hospitality business.
In 2014, Jason Roberts-Kowalchuk opened his own Photobooth company that catered to making memorable events. During his ownership, he received excellent reviews, was known for his customer service and ensured every event was a success for all guests and clients.
This experience allowed Jason and Carmen to develop skills in brand development, marketing, human resources practices, business development, strategic planning and inventory and revenue sales.
Jason decided to sell the business in 2018 for a profit as annual research was indicating the market had become saturated and increased profits annually were unpredictable.
Since the sale of the Photobooth Company, Carmen and Jason have been looking for another opportunity to work together and use their learnings and skill development to create and develop a new business venture that will be successful for years to come.
Elevated Experience Camping has become that business and Jason cannot wait to show all customers new and old an elevated experience.
Harley & Nin – Camp Security
Harley is a 15 year old rescued Miniature Pinscher that loves car rides and cuddling with her Mom. at only 9lbs, she is small for her breed, but her personality makes up for it. She is very smart and a good listener. She loves to be vocal and make funny noises and sits on her bum versus hind legs like a typical dig. She loves to give kisses once she feels comfortable with you and enjoys watching TV in bed. Harley is part of the security team with Elevated Experience Camping as she is extremely loyal and has a natural instinct to guard people and objects.
Nin is a 3 year old rescued Chihuahua that loves to cuddle and be under blankets. During the winter, you can find her on any running floor vent sleeping and enjoying the heat. At only4lbs, she may be tiny, but she will capture your heart with her eyes and very even-tempered personality. Nin loves to explore and has a playful puppy-like personality that makes her a great addition to the security team with Elevated Experience Camping.
Camp Security – New Recruit!
We are happy to introduce our newest member to the security team at Elevated Experience Campground. This is Rage. She is a registered teacup chihuahua that has brought in the 2021 year with a bang. She may be little, but her name says it all. She is feisty, playful, and fearless. She can hardly wait for what new adventures wait for her and the rest of the security team for 2021.
Dee Zilke began her yoga practice journey in 2011, seeking an alternative to high
impact-contact sports and activity. As an individual practice, it became imperative
to connect with a yoga teacher to provide a safe, supportive space to individualize
a yoga student’s practice and not compete or compare themselves to others in the
room, including their own previous practice, as we are an improvement of
ourselves every time we step on our mat.
Dee’s yoga philosophy is providing yoga & wellness for every body; uniting one’s
practice to their body-mind-soul to ensure that all yoga students are provided with
the guidance, consistency with attention to detail, unique yoga classes and the
ability to create a safe space where students not only want to learn more, they want
to improve on what they already have learned to deepen their practice.
Dee Zilke is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) of 200 teacher training hours with
Yoga Alliance, which acknowledges the completion of a yoga teacher training with
a Registered Yoga School (RYS) as an RYT-200.
*Completed 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training as a 1-month intensive August
18, 2017 with Prana Yoga Studio in the style of Ahkanda Yoga
*Completed 27 hours with Rainbow Kids Yoga training November 05, 2017
*Completed Level 3 Reiki Practitioner with Sacred Awakenings March 10,
*25-hour Meditation Teacher Training will be completed on May 31, 2020
*Currently in training Sacred Seed Yoga in the style of Ayurveda Yoga for
the 300-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training to completed RYT-500
experience, training & education.
Dee is also a strong advocate for pet rescue and is a proud mom to many fur
Janet loves the outdoors and the camping experience. She enjoys helping customers and meeting new people. Janet enjoys volunteering at local events and gardening in the summer months. She is very excited at testing her green thumb in our community gardens/ greenhouse at Elevated Experience Camping. She can’t wait to see all the kids down at the campground trying out all the new amenities.
We are so excited that Janet is returning for the 2021 camping season. Janet is paramount to our success in the office and store. Her dedication to our customers is something we all strive to duplicate every day.
“My name is Leigha, I’m a farm girl and lover of all things in nature (except snakes, I hate snakes!). When I’m not at work I can be found hiking, foraging for plants & mushrooms and at home with my husband and daughter. As a family we love to camp, play board games and hang out on our acreage. Some of my favourite things are: John Candy movies, my moms home cooking, epic naps and any time I get to spend with my loved ones”
We are so excited to let everyone know that Leigha is our new maintenance Supervisor for the 2021 camping season. She has been such an asset for the campground and her dedication to the cleanliness and vision of the campground. Make sure to stop and say “hello” when you visit us this season.
I grew up in Drayton. I’m still in high school but plan to go to university to be an orthodontist. I play hockey and snowboard, I love to spend time with friends and family. I love to be outside and enjoy the sunshine.
I had so much fun last year at Elevated Experience Camping, that I am returning for the 2021 camping season. I cannot wait to offer more “WOW” moments to lour campers and guests.
Previously, Julian Bennett operated a SCUBA store and was a professional SCUBA Instructor for over 20 years. Various weekend training excursions for students, deep shipwreck and adventure diving in the great lakes for clients, were all part of his great outdoor adventures. Julian has traveled to various areas of the Caribbean for shark dives, cenotes, and reef diving.
In recent times he traded shark dives and camping on a boat, for hunting, fishing and traveling in a land-based recreational motorhome. Enjoying nature in the forest with the comforts of home during travels across Canada from South Western Ontario to right here in Alberta.
He now enjoys life with his family in Drayton Valley and looks forward to being part of the Elevated Experience Camping team assisting you with your adventures.