Monday, June 1, 2015

This one time… at grown-up camp…

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, it’s no secret that I have been somewhere weird this week.  I was at grown-up summer camp. 

Not adult summer camp, because if you call it adult summer camp, everyone assumes it’s an orgy.  People still kind of half think it’s an orgy even if you call it grown-up summer camp, but less so. 

Camp Throwback isn’t an orgy.  It’s like kid summer camp, but with booze and with me as an empowered adult rather than me as a painfully shy, socially awkward, trying-to-fit-in tween.  Also, there’s booze.  Did I mention the booze?

If you’re like, uh, where do I sign up?  You sign up here.  You won’t regret it.

Back in my Burning Man days, when you would drive up, the greeters would ask if it was your first time.  If you said you had been before, they often said, “Welcome home.”  This was my first time at Camp Throwback (the second time it’s been held), but I immediately felt like it was home. 

Some of my people at the luau.  
Home.  The place where you can be completely yourself.

Or no.  Home.  The PEOPLE where you can be completely yourself.

The people.

I’m in a community of women online, and some of these women I count among my best friends in the world, even though I had never (and in some cases, still haven’t) been in the same room or even time zone with them in person.  Anyone who says online friendships aren’t real friendships is full of it.  That shit is real.   

I finally got to hug one of my people in the world, this beauty.
I got to be with some of my online friends, and one who is just one of my people in the world.  I have a handful of people who are my people.  The ones I know will be in my life forever no matter what.  And there she was.  In the stunningly beautiful flesh.  Available to hug and be hugged.  It made me so unbelievably happy.

Some other friends were new, and a surprise.  I road tripped to camp with my sister, which was fabulous in and of itself.  She and I rarely get to spend time together without having to juggle children.  To just be for days at a time was rejuvenating.  And we met a third sister! I mean, not really.  Not, like, a secret love child or whatever.  But a woman who is just one of us.  And another woman who I didn’t know online at all, whose smile is like sunshine and whose face I can now think of when I’m sad, and it will make me feel better. 

Me and my sis on 80s night!
Me and my sister from another mister at the luau.  

Buy this book.
Oh, also?  I got to meet Brittany Gibbons.  If you don’t know who that is, you should.  She’s the effing bomb.  Body activist, blogger, TED talker, and now bad-ass authorHer book came out a few weeks ago, and it’s extraordinary.  And that’s not praise I use lightly.  She showed all of her insides on the page, while still managing to be laugh-out-loud funny.  She is changing lives.  For real.  Changing the way women see their bodies.  Changing the way we support each other.  Challenging the zero-sum game of beauty.  She is a powerhouse game changer, and I got to, like, hug her and touch her hair and stuff, and then also get to know her and just hang out.

I was so intimidated, I literally couldn’t meet her eye when I first walked in.  It took me two fizzy sangrias to say hello.  By the last day, we were hugging and laughing and I have another friend in the world, a totally bad-ass one.

A Brittany photobomb!!!

She made this camp for us, not knowing if people would come.  We came.  And now it’s our home. Our place.  Our people. 

The discarded bra pile.
Because comfort.
I got to be ludicrously excited over popping balloons with a bow and arrow.  I got to day drink and swear as much as I wanted and make dirty comments without a filter.  I got to wear costumes that were too elaborate for social convention, because costuming is one of my favorite things to do.  I got to take off my bra and only wear one if I felt like it.  I got to wear a bikini and feel zero anything about it, because it’s just my body.  I got to sing 80s songs until I lost my voice, and dance like no one was watching. I got to get my nerdy crafting on with tie dye and friendship bracelets and a field day t-shirt with puffy paint pasties on it.

Cabin 1 baby!  All about the boob adornment! Predictably, no bra for me.
Most of us go through the world wearing masks.  Pretending to be other than what we are.  Camp Throwback is a vacation from that.  I got to be me.  All that I am.  Nothing that I’m not. 

I can’t wait to go home again.  Back to camp.

80s night!

Just call me Katniss.

My beautiful sister, letting loose!

Hangover remedies.  My classic Gatorade plus Chili Dan's Bloody Marys!

Home. This is my home.


  1. I hope to go next year and meet you and hug you and Rebecca! I lived vicariously through you gals this last weekend! xoxo

  2. Dued!.......Mrs Pam you are gorgeous! I mean it.I'm like not so good looking myself, But its all kool!!!! Your super hot :)

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  4. Sorry Mrs. Pam, but yeah, everybody is trying to "HIT IT" SO I'm here but won't be for long.

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