I never went to sleep away camp as a kid.
As a chronic bed wetter, paranoid sufferer of parental separation anxiety, and general hater of things outside of my comfort zone, I never had the privilege of going to a full fledged summer camp. So naturally, when my girl Brittany Gibbons approached me to be a part of her awesome project called Camp Throwback, I totally nodded as though my camp knowledge extended beyond the Lindsey Lohan version of The Parent Trap (not even the first one, I know I'm lame) and I eagerly said hells yes because let's face it, I'm a sucker for free camp food. Although last year was our first year, this year was really my inaugural year because last year I was busy birthing a human, and I couldn't really make it for much of the time. So this year was my first real Camp. And I embarked on Camp Graham with a car full of junk food and armed with giant pads, because my bed wetting history runs deep. I was ready to enjoy the fruits of our labors.
I began my Camp experience this year doing the shuttle run. Now, being a Dayton Ohio native I knew the lay of the land pretty well, and was able to make it to the airport without a hitch. As I pulled up, I felt the nerves bundled up into my throat. Why was I nervous? I'd like to think that 50% of my fear was based on every Lifetime movie I've ever seen (Internet friends are usually murderers on that channel) and the other 50% was that I was afraid that these online friends wouldn't like me in real life as much as they do behind my curated computer profile. Luckily, upon introductions I knew that everyone had the same concerns...in fact, we all had quite the giggles as we held our breath with each passing silo, because hello...creepy. But those giggles set the tone. We were friends, and we all knew that all along. See mom? Internet friends ARE real!
We did all of the amazing camp activates, trivia night, arts and crafts, archery, field day (drunk of course) topped off with some amazing parties (80's party and Luau, because COCONUT BRAS) but I can honestly say that NONE of that was the best part.
The best part was...
uh oh ...here come the feels
If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting Brittany Gibbons in person than you know that she is just as nice as she is in her writing and she really believes in people. She has the most wonderful heart and she really wants to see people succeed and be their best, even when they can't see it themselves. When people come to camp...myself included, we know that even before we enter the twisty and tree covered roads to Camp Throwback, that this is our safe place to be who we are.
How freaking unreal is that?
And I'm so happy that I could be a small part of that.
So, If all of you Campers were wondering why I was constantly crying and looking at you with loving looks, it isn't because I'm a nutcase looking to skin you and wear you like a coat...it was because I realized that I needed Camp just like everyone else did. I needed to feel like I could throw all caution to the wind, dance to Iggy Azalea and eat enough S'mores to feed a small country. And I didn't even know it.
So thank you to Brittany Herself and Rachel Smith for spray painting a ken doll to look like Tom Selleck thus creating the most coveted of all 80's trivia trophies, and thank you to all of you, for showing me that I can actually make friends in my adult life.
I guess this is the part that I get back to real life and stop freaking out that there are spiders on me.
Want to go to Camp Throwback? Tickets are still available for the August 2016 session and June 15 tickets will go live for June 2017! See you in the woods!
Oh and do me a solid and read FAT GIRL WALKING!You'll thank me later!
EXCLAMATION POINTS HOORAH!