Camp Like A Girl

Expert Advice

Camp Like A Girl

We had a great weekend in New Jersey at our first “Camp Like a Girl” event. The idea behind “Camp Like a Girl” was to give the women who read the profiles and follow the groups on social media an opportunity to experience a ‘girl camping’ event without having to be a member of any specific group. Normally to be in the girl campout loops, you need to be a member of a group and search their Meet Up sites for events near you. “Camp Like a Girl” was a ‘no fuss’ version for the tire kickers and we had a great time!  Many of the women who signed up camped as girls and are now in a place in life where they have that precious commodity of “time.” They are looking to go places and do things and they want people to do it with. Our event was but a sampling of the girl camping flavors but we tried to incorporate some of the tried and true things done at girl camping outings.

Kelly, Jeri and Mia on their first girl camping adventure!

On Friday night we planned a potluck dinner and asked each girl camper to bring her favorite appetizer or potluck meal to my site where we planned to gather! Since most people are traveling to get there it is an easy way to make the night fun. I always make something ahead of time and then just plate it up at the last minute.  Keeping it simple makes the whole thing less stressful for everyone. I always love this because I get to sample everyone’s ‘go to’ appetizer and add a few new things to my own list of favorites. While the weather looked good for Saturday and Sunday, we were keeping our eyes on the sky because a line of thunderstorms was going to come through on Friday night. That happened about ten minutes before mealtime and we all scrambled to the pavilion with our crockpots and party trays. We had so much fun chatting and checking out the booty in our Girl Camper swag bags while listening to the driving rain and acorns pelting the roof.  We were safe and sound in the pavilion and no one’s site suffered any serious calamities.

Girl camper schwag bag!

On Saturday morning coffee and breakfast were served courtesy of our New Jersey ‘Camper College’ hosts, Stones Camping World! We needed the caffeine because our Tiaras and Tutus Zumba class was at 9 AM. We donned our festive wear and our instructor Marla came by the campground and taught us a few new moves. If you don’t think Zumba is really a workout, think again!! After that everyone headed out in whatever direction their interests took them. Some went on a hike through the extensive Turkey Swamp hiking trails while others went in search of garage sale and flea market treasure. Others relaxed on the beautiful fall day and worked on creating the perfect pumpkin centerpiece. The whole point of the weekend is to be doing whatever makes you happy and recharges your battery. Nothing is mandatory!

I am not sure if our instructor Marla converted us to Zumba girls or we converted her to a girl camper! Either way, we had a blast!

The girl camping eye candy

At 5 PM we gathered and started our trailer tour. We were in our cowgirl prom gear so we were quite a site as we paraded around the campground. We visited everyone’s site and checked out their girl camping set ups. I always love this part of a camp out. I would need a dozen trailers to employ all the things I see and love in other trailers.

I was the maid of honor helping Carol into her $5 flea market find wedding dress for the cowgirl prom

Sandy only had a few camping children knock on her door and yell trick-or-treat!

Our new New York girl campers made the maiden voyage in their Serro-Scotty trailer purchased on eBay!

I have watched the transformation of this trailer from The start. All I can say is, I like what you’ve done with the place!

Of course along the way we were sampling more food! We finished the tour on the gathering site and a catered entrée was supplemented with side dishes and desserts from the group. We spent a great evening around the fire getting to know new friends and catching up with the old ones. It was great to be in the crisp fall air and to actually need a blanket at night. Fall camping is my favorite!

On Sunday morning we had planned a flea market tour nearby but everyone was having so much fun chatting around the campfire and enjoying a lazy morning with coffee and friends that the flea market trip was nixed. Flexibility is key in enjoying your down time. Of course everyone pitched in helping each other pack up and no one rolled out of the campground before 2 PM!

Stephanie and I refused to pull the plug on the weekend. We were still sitting around on Sunday afternoon Dutch oven cooking.

One of the things I loved observing over the weekend was the process of relaxation. The Friday arrivals were a little tense and the process of getting set up and making introductions seemed ‘formal.’ By the time everyone left on Sunday there were hugs and texting of contact information and calendars being checked for upcoming trips and availability. Friendships were forming. Acquaintances no more, the girl campers were planning their next get together and what girl camping groups they might join and who knew who and when this or that was happening. They were rolling with it, which is what ‘Camp Like a Girl’ is all about. It’s an event designed to jumpstart your girl camping adventures and introduce you to some women who are already doing it and can point you in the right direction. It’s an opportunity to look and see. I am so pleased with how our first ‘Camp Like a Girl’ event went and am looking forward to our next event in “wild, wonderful, almost heaven, West by God, Virginia” on the weekend of May 13-15, 2016. I will keep you posted on that event and hope to see you there!

woman posing

Girl Camper

Janine Pettit

Janine Pettit is a lifelong lover of camping who took a 25 year sabbatical when she married a “resort” type guy! She discovered that camping was still in the cards for her when she stumbled onto an article about a women’s outdoor adventure group that travels around the country in RVs, meeting new friends, checking off bucket list adventures and doing things she had only dreamed of. Janine has become an Ambassador for the Girl Camping movement and encourages women to go places and do things in her blog and podcast.