Girls’ Camping: Thoughts

Two weekends ago, I went on the much-mentioned Annual All Girls Camping Trip. The group is one of these friend-of-a-friend things, wherein one of my girl friends runs it and invited me to try it out. While I had a really fun time, I’m having debate as to whether it’s something I want to do again. I had much fun with the group. I got (literally) fall-down drunk on Saturday night, which is not something I do often. I danced. I flirted. The group of gals was cool, but it’s like…aside from anatomy, I didn’t really find myself having much in common with anyone. I also just…well, I decided I’d give the whole camping thing a try this year, and I enjoyed it, when the primary reason for camping is to *camp*. In this situation, the camping was just basically a cheap hotel. I saw no reason (aside from cost and tradition) that the same thing couldn’t be done in a shared suite or similar.

I guess, it was one thing when we were camping on the Gamers’ Camping trip. That was remote, and we did “natural” activities like kayaking and walking. We played games outside. On the Girls’ trip, the activities were drinking and partying and socializing…and to me, the camping felt silly, because there’s hotels within walking distance along with a restaurant row. It just didn’t feel like it mattered that we were outside, and thus, it’s this whole discomfort/PITA for nothing.

The counter to all of that is that I got some strange enjoyment out of setting up my tent myself and such. It was a feeling of accomplishment. I also enjoyed the “on my own” road trip to get up to Wisconsin Dells. (Aside: Until this trip, I had no idea that Wisconsin Dells was a city as opposed to just a geographic formation that happened to house a mass of water parks. That is, there’s Wisconsin Dells, and then there’s the Dells of the Wisconsin River. I thought when people talked about “the Dells”, they were referencing a tourist trap area that happened to be co-located with the river dells, not a city named after the aforementioned dells which includes a bunch of tourist traps.) It has been months since I did a road trip by myself.

Still, I think my ideal situation would be if I could find a group of gals as nifty as this group is/was, and then just have annual trips together to various places. Scott pointed out that the one advantage of the camp setup is that you have this communal campfire area where everyone hangs out, but the same could be accomplished by renting a B&B or sharing a hotel suite. I don’t know…I guess I just feel like camping should be camping and vacationing should be vacationing and never the twain shall meet.

That having been said, I will probably go again. I’ll probably scale back the “camping” part for me to be bringing my tent and overnight stuff…and just go out to eat most of the time. There were folks doing just that, but I couldn’t join them or go along because I’d brought food with me (falsely anticipating that we’d be somewhat remote). I do like cooking on my camping karma stove, but it seems silly to go to the trouble when there’s an array of other options available.

The group in general was fun, but they smoke, they have done pot in the past, and despite this, they were very easily shocked by things that I barely find shocking at all (e.g., Insteads/Diva Cup/Keeper). Also, they really did a bang-up job of making me feel welcome, which almost began to have the opposite effect after awhile. That is, it just kept reminding me that I was the New Girl. That was something relatively unpleasant, too…the whole “new girl/find niche/fit in/make friends” thing. I suck at it. Schmoozing is the thing I hate most about my current job. Schmoozing is just a business-fueled variant of the “make friends” dance. I can’t explain it, but there are groups that I pop into and it’s like I was born there…and then there are groups where I just struggle so hard to try to mesh into whatever dynamic is there, and I fail miserably at it, which decreases my self-confidence, which decreases my ability to mesh, etc. etc. So, it’s like this big dice roll as to whether I’m going to mesh or not. And, I didn’t feel like I meshed very well. I liked everyone, and I enjoyed the chats and hearing their funny stories from years past…and I don’t feel like there was a distinct attempt to *not* include me or anything…quite the opposite! Still, I was a square peg in a squircular hole…just a smidgen off. That smidgen is small enough that once nerves and newness is subtracted, I might feel more squircly. 🙂 And that’s why I’m leaning toward doing it again in the end. I have this feeling that I can alleviate pretty much every part of it that I didn’t enjoy, with knowledge and experience at my side. The only big question in my mind is whether or not the group enjoyed me, and I think they did….but as with everything else, only time will tell.