I have spent the weekend with some women friends. We met because we belong to a group of women who like to go camping with vintage or newer campers or trailers and the group are called “sisters”. One of the tag lines I have seen about some of the coordinated official event trips are that they are “making girls out of women”. I would agree because it takes women to the place of childhood camps, where girls got dirty in the best sense. Fishing, camping, kayaking, cooking outside. Most importantly bringing it all back around to the sense of community that we all need, women and men alike.
I have been fortunate. I have enjoyed many different experiences of camaraderie with other female friends. I did go to camp as a kid. I was also a Brownie and Girl Scout member. Later I was i clubs that were girls groups, also a greek sorority in college. As a young mother i had a GNO, “Girls Night Out” group with several other young mothers. Once a month we would meet some place, a restaurant or someone’s house and enjoy visiting, laughing, sharing and commiserating as needed. These times are powerful stuff. I have been fortunate.
I have shared some of these with my best friend of over 23 years, L. We have gone on trips with other women. What I appreciate about our friendship and shared experience in the trips and events is that we have shared the but also gained our own needs for community at whatever point we were at the time. At 51 I see an even larger need for an experience that allows you to be a kid again. This past weekend at L’s family cabin at a small lake, our small group floated in the lake near shore for hours. Laughing and getting sun like we did in our teens or twenties. We were carefree, we were able to check the box of need for community and social right there in the sunshine. Getting our important vitamin D too!.
I have always enjoyed smallish groups of women and again have been fortunate to have been in several over the years. My recent adventures with Sisters On The Fly have given me a renewed sense of spirit and adventure. It’s a group that has counted over 6,000 members worldwide since it was started by two real life sisters who wanted to expand their own fun experiences fly fishing and camping to their friends and beyond. I am sure they had no idea how the idea of women getting to be girls again would catch on in such a large way. They touched a nerve, a need for the kind of fun I first knew in scouts.
For me, with my children off to college and i was living in a new city, Sisters checked the boxes of social, community, project and hobby. i have done things I never in a million years thought i would. I bought a travel trailer camper to”glamp” up (think of it as playhouse on wheels”. I have pulled my own trailer AND backed it up all by myself! Hooking it up at RV sites. Setting off to meet other women at campgrounds. I have met an 80 year old woman who tows her own camper to the events. if that isn’t inspirational and tells you can find at adventure at any age i don’t know what will!
This weekend of fun and fellowship with women I wouldn’t have known if hadn’t been for the sister group, was good thing in that while we could have a good time over good food and good getaways for the weekend for fun, we could also get serious, discuss things that were hard and challenging in our lives away from the floating in the water. Here’s where the value of community, sisterhood and friendship come into play. Knowing that at the end of the day, you have someone to turn to when life gets rough and you need to let off some steam. Someone that will be a shoulder and will try to make you laugh too. At the very least will give you a big hug.
I am grateful for a weekend with strong women who know how to have a good time. They sure make life more interesting and challenge me to be a better person and woman. Along with reminding me that it is ok for the girl to come out to play as well!