Camper of the Month

June 2018 Kathleen

Congratulations to June’s EmpowerFIT Camper of the Month - Kathleen Villa! Kathleen has been with us for the past 3 years and was introduced to our little family by Jeff Ho. Below, Kathleen shares with us her love of boot camp and why she is a loyal member!

“This summer marks my 3rd year at EmpowerFIT. I was invited by Jeff Ho. Thanks, Jeff! There are many things I enjoy about boot camp! I love working out outside and the fresh air is a great way to start the day. I also enjoy the camaraderie and humor of my fellow campers. How can everyone be in such a good mood so early in the morning?!

"Coach Kelly keeps me motivated with her positive attitude and her fun and ever-changing workouts. I've also been pleased with the noticeable improvement in my own strength and fitness, as well as the increased energy I have throughout the day after a challenging morning workout.”

Thank you Kathleen for your continued membership. If you would like to learn more, please visit to sign up for a free trial.

May 2018 Lisa

Congratulations to May’s Camper of the Month Lisa Cichacki Romersa! Lisa brings the sarcasm and fun to our 5:30am class. She's been a dedicated camper for over 6 years which shows you how much she loves EmpowerFIT (even though she tries to deny it in class). We are so excited to award Lisa Romersa with May camper of the month! Below she shares her reasons for sticking around so long!

“My favorite things about boot camp is being done with my exercise first thing in morning, no chance of missing it or not fitting it in. With two kids and work it would almost never happen if I didn’t do it first thing. Plus, I love being outdoors! Seeing the sunrise or the beautiful moon and stars, it really truly helps me take a moment to enjoy and be thankful for this life before the mad rush of the day begins.

"My motivation is being able to keep up with my children of course but beyond that feeling good about myself and the positive boost, both mentally and physically that stays with me throughout my day. I love the results of being able to see muscle and definition in my arms stomach and legs and feeling strong and flexible when I move. The diversity is the key! Never the same routine!

"The friends I’ve made and the camaraderie and laughter we share while encouraging each other no matter our pace or fitness level, is both a motivation and gift from attending EmpowerFIT Boot Camp as well! I often think how grateful I am for Kelly and this class and I encourage people to join me all the time and will continue to do so because I LOVE it! Yey EmpowerFIT and thanks EmpowerFIT team!"

To learn more or to sign up for a free trial class, visit!

April 2018 Shelley

We are so excited to announce our April Camper Of The Month.....Shelley Pavela!

Shelley has been a camper for over 7 years! Since then she's been very dedicated to coming to class on a regular basis. Shelley is a full time working mom of 2 daughters and a loving wife. The Pavela family is very active and they love to travel. We asked this outdoor crusader to share a bit about her story and experience with EmpowerFIT...

"My friend Debbie raved about boot camp for years but I’d always worked out on my own. I didn’t think I’d enjoy a structured class and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up! Finally, I decided to give EmpowerFIT a try 7 years ago and from the first day, I was hooked. The team welcomed me with open arms on my first day, I was immediately hooked.

My favorite thing about boot camp is getting a great outdoor workout! The variety of equipment and locations in San Mateo Park keeps it interesting and fun and also has improved my overall fitness level tremendously. The workouts are hard, but I can go at my own pace and Kelly always offers alternative exercises if needed.

What keeps me coming back are the friendships. I love my boot camp buddies and however I feel walking into class, I am always happy when we are together. The accountability that our tribe provides is a huge plus." - Shelley P.

March 2018 Natalia

Announcing our Camper Of The Month For March.... Natalia Orozco Guillen​!!!

I was very impressed with how dedicated Natalia was in March. After being gone from class for a few weeks, she came back in full force. Natalia not only came to class 4 days a week, she also jumped into my online "Shamrockin' Accountability Group" with me to focus on her nutrition! She was very consistent with both class and checking in online.

Way to get back into the swing of things girl! You should be proud of yourself for focusing on a balance between nutrition and exercise. Glad to see you are back drinking your superfood shake and in class on a regular basis. Keep going!

February 2018 Ralph

Congrats to Ralph, our February Camper of the Month!

Ralph joined the 5:30am class 2 months ago and since he signed up, he hasn't missed a class! We are so impressed with his dedication right out of the gate. He is a hard worker and no stranger to outdoor boot camp workouts! Ralph has been the perfect addition to EmpowerFIT! He was also one of the winners of our winter attendance challenge.

Ralph has lost over 5lbs since he started and is noticing how much stronger his core is getting because he has less low back pain! Way to go Ralph, a well deserved recognition, thank you for picking EmpowerFIT to be your new fit tribe.

January 2018 Martha Chambers

Let’s give a HUGE shout out to our first EmpowerFIT Camper of the Month for 2018! Martha Chambers has been a source of inspiration and joy to our camp for many, many years! She is the first to introduce and welcome new members, along with encouraging the coaches and subs! Her bright smile and personality are definitely a reason to come and check us out! Read on to learn what Martha loves about our boot camp family.

“There are so many things that I love about boot camp! I have attended for over 11 years and not one time has a workout been repeated. We use equipment such as weights, bands, battle ropes, gliding discs, TRX, agility ladder, rings, and medicine balls all of which keep the circuits different and fun. Our coaches are extremely knowledgeable, demonstrate each exercise and then offer modifications for your fitness level. We get to watch the sunrise each morning out in the fresh air in beautiful Central Park. Finally, the people who show up in the black dark at the crack of dawn are a very special group of individuals. You will never know a nicer bunch of people!”

December 2017 Lisa Milano

Congratulations to December's Camper of the Month - Lisa Milano! Lisa Milano has been selected COTM for December because of her dedication and hard work in class. She attends the 5:30am class 4 days a week on a consistent basis and always has a positive attitude and makes everyone laugh. We asked Lisa to share some of her favorite things about class and what's kept her going for over 4 years. Here's what she said.....

"EmpowerFIT Bootcamp has completely transformed me over the last 4 years. It has brought me both physical and mental wellness, a great Coach and Mentor (Kelly Scott), and a community of bootcamp friends. When I started 4 years ago I had low physical strength in my upper body and core.

Today I have much more definition in my arms and back. I also have more endurance in other activities, like hiking and biking. Each class is always different and I love it when I am SORE in a new place!! The 5:30 a.m. class also Rocks! Thank you EmpowerFit for making we STRONG!"

November 2017 Dave Bartels

Our camper of the month for November is Dave Bartels! Dave has been with EmpowerFIT for over 5 years. His competitive spirit and silly nature is a blast to have in class. We are so proud of Dave for reaching his goal of becoming a firefighter. Dave shared with us a few of his favorite things about boot camp and how EmpowerFIT helped prepare him for the fire academy.....

“I have enjoyed boot camp on-and-off for 5 years! It helped me get back into shape at a time when I had no consistent workout routine. I enjoy boot camp for the community and camaraderie in class, the outdoor setting and challenging workouts. It has also helped me maintain my fitness level through multiple fire academies. My fitness level is often directly correlated to how consistent I have been at boot camp! The accountability of the group make it a fun and effective way to stay in shape. I have no doubt that boot camp will continue to be a component of my workout routine.”

October 2017 Brenna Connolly and Helen

October was such a fantastic month, we have TWO nominations for Camper of the Month - San Carlos Camper Brenna Connolly and Palo Alto Camper Helen!

Our coaches raved about these two, read on to hear what they have to say -

Coach Suzi Campanile shares “Brenna is an amazing person and camper! Not only does Brenna show up ready to go, but she ALWAYS brings her best to each class. Brenna is a wonderful and caring person, who has personality plus, and tackles any exercise sequence thrown her way with seamless ease and ability! I absolutely love having Brenna as part of the EmpowerFIT team!!”

And from Coach Larissa Causi Milano “Helen is an amazing addition to our Palo Alto location. She is extremely dedicated and is always finding ways to push herself to the next level. Over the summer she set a weight loss goal and absolutely killed it by losing 19 lbs! It was over her original goal and I could not be more proud of her. I always know that it is a good workout when I get a "Bloody Hell" from our favorite Brit! Boot camp would not be the same without her!” (Camper requested to not be pictured)

Make sure to congratulate these two strong women for being examples of what EmpowerFIT is all about. If you'd like to come out and give one of our boot camp classes a try, we offer a free 1 day trial on our website. Go to to sign up and see why many of our campers fall in love with our program!

September 2017 Cindy Menzel

Let's congratulate our September Camper of the Month, Cindy Menzel!

Cindy has been a dedicated EmpowerFIT Camper since the beginning, that's over 8 years of attending boot camp! She consistently attends classes each week and always works hard! Cindy is a part of the 6:30am "treat team", she volunteers to bring goodies each month to celebrate birthdays and exciting life events.

Cindy is also dedicated to running and swimming when not in class. This amazing lady participates in a few races a year and can typically be found sporting her EmpowerFIT swag!

Congrats on being our September Camper Of The Month, we love having you a part of our tribe!

If you'd like to come out and give one of our boot camp classes a try, we offer a free 1 day trial on our website. Go to to sign up and see why many of our campers fall in love with our program!

August 2017 Keo Lattasima

The August EmpowerFIT camper of the month goes to...drum roll please....Keo Lattasima in San Carlos!!!

Keo is one of those great people who makes you feel like you've known her your whole life! She arrives at class with an engaging smile on her face-which just so happens to also be her 'game on' face - ready to tackle anything the coaches put down! This girl has some mad skills, too!! Running, shuffling in and out of ladders, cones, agility rings with ease, it's not hard to see why she is a perfect match for her 7th and 8th grade students!!

If that weren't enough, Keo has also been our own EmpowerFIT cheerleader, encouraging another camper to come all five days of the week!!

Congratulations, Keo-- Well Done!!

If you'd like to come out and give one of our boot camp classes a try, we offer a free 1 day trial on our website. Go to to sign up and see why many of our campers fall in love with our program!

July 2017 Kelly M.

We are happy to announce Kelly M. from our Palo Alto location as our July Camper of the Month!!

Kelly has been with bootcamp for over 4 years now and is an awesome part of our bootcamp family. She always comes to class with a smile on her face and knows how to really work hard. I love how she always has a story to tell during boot camp and the ability to make everyone laugh. She has been part of our Spartan Race Team, regular Race Team and is always up for a new challenge. Kelly is moving to the East Bay very soon so we figured this would be the best time to wish her well, tell her how much we love having her in class and how much we are going to miss her. It won't be the same without her and we definitely expect her to drop in from time to time so we can see her!! Congrats Kelly!!

If you'd like to come out and give one of our boot camp classes a try, we offer a free 1 day trial on our website. Go to to sign up and see why many of our campers fall in love with our program!

June 2017

We are excited to announce our June Camper of the month! This lady is from San Mateo and has been with us for over 5 years! She asked to stay anonymous but wanted to share WHY she's enjoyed EmpowerFIT boot camp for so long!

"Waking up at 5 a.m. takes commitment, but I am thoroughly hooked. Working out outdoors is so much more enjoyable than being in a stuffy gym! More importantly, Kelly is a highly-skilled and dedicated coach who always provides a varied, interesting, and challenging workout. The atmosphere is truly fun and supportive, and my fellow campers have become a treasured community.

Kelly always takes care to ensure that new people adapt and feel comfortable and I wholeheartedly encourage anyone who is looking for a great workout to come and check out EmpowerFIT!" - A very happy San Mateo camper

If you'd like to come out and try boot camp, why not sign up for a FREE one day trial? Head over to to sign up and experience for yourself what keeps our campers committed for the long haul!

May 2017 Michele Venneri

We are excited to announce that our MAY CAMPER OF THE MONTH is Michele Venneri in San Carlos. Michele has attended boot camp for just over a month and has made great strides! The early mornings can often deter people from toughing out a workout but Michele didn’t let that stop her. Watch her video to hear what she loves about boot camp and what keeps her coming back.

April 2017 Renee P.

We are happy to announce our APRIL CAMPER OF THE MONTH is Renee in Palo Alto. Renee has been attending boot camp since the middle of September and has made amazing progress. The winter months can be the hardest on our newer campers, especially with all the rain we had this year! But that didn't stop Renee from coming out to class and getting her workout in. She is one tough cookie! Renee always has a smile on her face and is ready to take on any challenge that's thrown her way. Our 5:30am crew wouldn't be the same without her. Congrats Renee on a well deserved recognition!

March 2017 Debbie Thomas

Debbie was selected as the San Mateo 6:30am COTM because she never gives up, no matter what! She has been dealing with plantar fasciitis for the past few months but she has not let that stop her from coming to class 4-5 days a week! Debbie has worked through her injury by doing low impact and I've provided her with modifications for exercises she cannot do until her foot is healed.

Most people would have stopped coming to class and let a frustrating injury like this defeat them, but not this lady!

Check out what Debbie loves so much about EmpowerFIT and why she's been a camper for almost a decade! This should inspire you to never give up and to find a tribe to be a part of that will motivate you through life's ups and downs.

"I started EmpowerFIT 10 years ago this June (back then it was Bay Area Boot Camp). I just turned 50 and I joined to get stronger physically, lose some weight and just be healthy as I got older. I had done another boot camps before and I love working out outside — so much better than the gym.

I love the people the best. Kelly Scott is the best coach I could ever ask for. She and I started at about the same time and I know that she is the reason that I have stayed with boot camp for 10 years. Her workouts are challenging and always different. I have never been bored!! I love the variety of the equipment (except for the gliding discs — lol) and types of exercises that we do. It is great to know that I can get cardio and strength training every day at boot camp. She is also a great motivator and gives good instruction on proper form throughout the class. I also love all of the friends I've made. Some days when it is hard to get motivated, I still come just because I want to see them. Some of them have been coming as long, or longer, than me. They are great people and a wonderful support group.

I have lost weight several times during boot camp and sometimes gained it back because of work stress. But boot camp always helps me with weight loss when I am eating healthy. I am definitely stronger because of boot camp. I was never a good runner and during my years in class I have been able to get up to running distances of about 8 miles! I could never have done that without EmpowerFIT. Maybe one day I will run a half marathon ;-)

My advice for any newcomers is DON'T GIVE UP!! It seems very hard at first and you are very sore, but give it at least a month for your body to adjust and for you to get addicted to it. You will never regret it!

EmpowerFIT boot camp, Coach Kelly and my fellow campers have been a very important part of my life for the past 10 years. Boot camp has really been a constant throughout that time for me as I have gone through job changes, and happy and sad times in my personal life. I also love how we celebrate life events (weddings, babies, birthdays) with our tribe — and help each other through the hard times. It is more than an exercise class — it is family.

10 years later, I am still doing boot camp most days of the week and I feel good. This is especially important to me because my job has been very stressful for the last 5 years, and I know boot camp has helped me to deal with the stress in a more positive way and still maintain some healthy behaviors."

February 2017 Peggy Prendergast

​Congrats to Peggy, our San Carlos February camper of the month!

Peggy started back up with boot camp a little over a month ago in the San Carlos 6:30am class. We are so excited that she has decided to add EmpowerFIT into her workout regimen!

Here is a little bit about why Coach Janel Halteh picked Peggy:

"I have had the pleasure of knowing Peggy for a couple months now. Although our time together was short, I knew we were going to bond right away. Peggy is someone who brings that competitive and hardworking edge to the 6:30am in San Carlos. No matter what we are transitioning from, she makes sure she's constantly moving, which keeps the others accountable. Her smile and funny sense of humor fits right in with the other campers. She is a great addition and asset to this camp."

January 2017 Amy Wagman

Congratulations to our Palo Alto camper Amy Wagman for being awarded camper of the month for January!

Here is a little bit about why Coach Larissa picked Amy:

"I am proud to say that Amy has been with boot camp longer than I have been coaching (over 5 years). She is an amazing asset to our 6:30am class and it wouldn't be the same without her. Amy always pushes through the toughest workouts and does so with a smile. I remember when I first started coaching how Amy would just be in the zone doing her workout. Now she is a total chatterbox and I have loved seeing her progress over the years. She also just completed an amazing challenge! In 2016 she did 15,000 burpees! Definitely one more reason why she deserves to be recognized as camper of the month!"

December 2016 Debbi Becker

Congratulations to our San Mateo 5:30am camper Debbi Becker for being awarded camper of the month for December! Debbi has been an EmpowerFIT camper for over 5 years! She always shows up with a smile on her face and a positive attitude, yes even at 5:25am! I'm always impressed because Debbi drives from Mountain View to make it to class in San Mateo (that's about a 20 minute drive). You can find Debbi in class 4-5 days a week and if she's not there, I always know who because she keeps herself accountable :)

Check out what Debbi has to say about why she loves boot camp and what's kept her motivated for all this time:

"There are a few reasons why I love boot camp: 1. Coach Kelly is the first and most important reason. Her workouts are hard and although she pushes you to do more than you ever realized you could, she is very encouraging and supportive. All of the coaches are! 2. Every workout is different. I've been doing boot camp for years and we have NEVER repeated a workout. Every day is challenging and keeps you on your toes. As well as being outside. There is nothing better than being outside every day, rain or shine. 3. My fellow boot campers are awesome! We laugh and smile, moan and groan, and get through the workouts together. We hold one another accountable and miss one another when we miss boot camp."

November 2016 Yael Campbell

Congratulations to Yael Campbell from our 5:30am class in San Carlos for being selected Camper of the Month! She is also our very own spartan! She participated in a Super Spartan Race this year and killed it.

Yael Campbell is a great addition to our San Carlos camp and no stranger to our program. Yael been a member since 2012, that's some impressive long term dedication to waking up and w orking at at 5:30am! She is someone who is always accepting any challenge thrown at her and won't step away until it's done. Not only does her hard work ethic motivate others around her to push themselves, her contagious laughter keeps us all going through the class. She is very consistent with her attendance and is always the first person to stretch and take care of her body. We are lucky to have someone who brings so much drive and positivity to our camp.

Here are some words from Yael about her experience with EmpowerFIT:

"I love working out outside and watching the sun come up. Even when it rains, it just makes me feel more badass. I also love the people I work out with. We laugh a lot. I'm in the best shape ever right now. I could never have done the Super Spartan race without my training. Coach Janel Halteh is awesome. She pushes hard but also caters to injuries. Our coaches make sure the workouts are always different and they're never boring."

October 2016 Jennifer Cuthill

Coach Larissa selected Jen to win this award in Palo Alto out of over 20 campers! Here is why Larissa felt Jen was the perfect person for this title in October.

"Congratulations to Jen who was awarded Camper of the Month in Palo Alto for her hard work and incredible dedication to boot camp. Since Jen became a camper she has lost 20 lbs, 2 pant sizes and has maintained that weight loss!

Jen has been nothing but a pleasure to have in class. She is always beyond motivated and I know I will see her rain or shine. The dedication that she has to working out is an inspiration to other campers! We all know that 5:30am is not the easiest hour to get that workout in and Jen always show up to class with a smile and gives it her all. The Palo Alto 5:30am class wouldn't be the same without you, Jen!" — Coach Larissa

Here is a little note from Jen on her experience over the last year and a half.

"I have been with EmpowerFIT Boot Camp since June of 2015, and it has made such a huge difference for me! After moving to California, I was at an all time high in my weight and looking for a workout that would get out of my rut, and help me get healthy again. EmpowerFIT was exactly what I needed. I can’t say enough about the coaches, especially Coach Larissa Causi Milano , Coach Kelly Scott and Coach Janel Halteh .They have all had a hand in motivating me, challenging me, and making me realize I am stronger than I gave myself credit for (Box jumps! Burpees! Decline push-ups!). The campers are pretty awesome too! They are such a fun group that it makes you want to get up and meet them every day for a 5:30 am workout! EmpowerFIT has helped me drop 20 lbs, and 2 pants sizes, and become a much more motivated, healthier version of myself!"

September 2016 Shari Elia

Coach Kelly selected Shari to win this award in San Mateo out of over 40 campers! Here is why Kelly felt Shari was the perfect person for this title in September.

"Congratulations to Shari who was awarded Camper of the Month in San Mateo for her hard work and incredible dedication to boot camp. Since Shari became a campers she has lost over 50 lbs and has maintained that weight loss!

This month is bitter sweet for Shari because she is leaving boot camp after 12 years! She's moving to Nevada City to her dream home and will be greatly missed. Shari comes to boot camp 4-5x's a week unless she's traveling. She always pushes herself in each class and has been a pleasure to work with since I started coaching 9 years ago! This Friday 15 of the SM campers and I will be going out to dinner to say goodbye to Shari and wish her luck in her new home and life adventures. We will be so sad to see her leave her tribe, class will not be the same without her." — Coach Kelly

August 2016 Cagdas Tulek

Coach Joanne Parr and Janel Halteh agreed that Cagdas was the perfect person for the title of August Camper of the Month. Here's what Head Coach Joanne has to say as to why he was selected:

"I am excited to announce our San Carlos camper Cadgas is EmpowerFIT's camper of the month for August.

I met Cagdas back in January when I first joined the EmpowerFIT staff as San Carlos head coach. He had been with boot camp for about 6 months then, and he struggled with shin splints, back pain, and had low endurance. I recommended that he foam roll and stretch daily at home, and to not let it discourage him.

Over the months Cagdas never complained about the workout, and not being able to do something. Even when he was in pain, he shows up to camp and gave it his all. He always has a positive attitude, and shows up to class ready to workout.

Although he has had set back, it was great to see him improve each week! I could see Cagdas getting stronger, faster, and giving one of our fittest campers a run for their money. He did his homework and utilized the lovely foam roller, helping him help himself to improve his back pain and shin splints.

Cagdas is an absolute pleasure to have as part of our San Carlos boot camp family. He is putting in the effort to help himself live a fit and healthy life. The sky is the limit, and I look forward to seeing Cagdas get even stronger!"

July 2016 Alison Cormack

EmpowerFIT will now start celebrating a camper in either Palo Alto, San Mateo, or San Carlos each month! This person will be selected by our coaching staff who has shown outstanding dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm in class! We are excited to announce our first CAMPER OF THE MONTH FOR JULY, Alison Cormack from our Palo Alto location!

Alison has been with boot camp since May 2015. "I will always remember her telling me how much she hated working out and how she finally found it tolerable. As a coach that is a huge compliment and an even bigger one was watching her flourish and get stronger. She always has a positive attitude about the workouts and is always seeing her progress, even if it is small, which is sometimes the most important thing. I can't imagine not having Alison out in Palo Alto and I can't wait to see what the rest of this year holds for her. Alison, thank you for being an awesome camper and a joy to have in class!!", Coach Larissa Causi Milano

Here is a little more information on how Alison views her experience out in class: "I’ve always hated exercise and mornings, so there was some serious laughter at our kitchen table when I announced I was going to try boot camp. But I love being outdoors, needed more cardio exercise, and wanted to add in resistance training so boot camp seemed like the right choice. I started slowly, two days a week for the first month, and often used the partial credit approach (when the coach says give me 20, it’s OK if you only get 15 done!). I really enjoy the other campers’ enthusiasm and I love having the coach in charge of the workout. Strength was not a goal for me, but I have noticed mine improving and I can now do a more challenging yoga practice, which I use to counter-balance boot camp days."

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