Wednesday, June 15, 2016

NE BIRD CAMP | GOTTA GET WITH MY FRIENDS


What to say about NE Bird Camp? Honestly, this moment sums it up for me:

Rec hall, concrete floors, no heat. It’s the last night. It’s dance party night. Someone figures out how to kill the overhead lights and fire up the twinkle lights strung slapdash on the sides and ceiling. And the entire dance floor is women singing at the top of their voices to Spice Girls Wannabe. The speaker keeps cutting out so that 90-ish voices clearly carry the lyrics acapella every 30 seconds or so. And no one is worried about how they sound, or look, or what they have to do the next day. We give 0 effs.


The last time I was on the dance floor at Camp Foss it was the 90s and I think it was my first slow dance. My friends were hugging the wall whispering. I was dancing with some guy I didn’t even want to dance with, but felt too awkward to say no. I was probably beet red. I had a black eye from earlier in the day when I attempted to pass people in the swim section of the running camp triathlon. Needless to say, at 32 singing my favorite song from that year surrounded by amazing vibes and even more amazing women and friends, everything felt like a huge upgrade. Even though life isn’t as clear as that black-eyed kid might have thought it would be.


NE Bird Camp was far and away better than I'd imagined, and my exceptions were high. It was also some of the coldest nights I’ve survived. I wish I could write LOL after that. But A. I’m a cold weather wuss. And B. it was cold AF. But you know what really makes people bond? Minor common miseries. Like cold weather and no heat anywhere when all you packed with spandex shorts and tanks. Honestly I think it helped ease the awkwardness of summer camp flashbacks. Well that and sharing dirt road miles, and Oiselle's woman up mission, and all the great swag, and Shacksbury Cider, and the speakers and demos, and the amazing food…



The entire weekend just had positive, shimmering energy. It was so fun to finally meet some of my favorite humans IRL, and find out that they are just as rad as our online conversations suggested they were. From dancing with sparklers on the dock under a sliver moon to laughing our way through some tough drills with Mike Silva, my face is still sore from smiling. And my abs are sore from laughing. Thanks slow-mo Snapchat and all the women in my cabin.


All I can really can say is thanks. Thanks to everyone who made this weekend possible. Oiselle for creating this team and sending me to camp, Rebecca (Trax) for believing and building this beautiful framework, every sponsor who supported us, Camp Foss for such a wonderful setting and food and shelter, and most of all everyone who showed up with a sleeping bag and an open heart and made that camp come alive. Thanks for creating this space to feel like a kid in the summer again, when all you think about is the moment you're in. Especially if that moment is belting out ....

"If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends! Make it last forever, friendship never ends"




5 comments:

  1. I didn't have the funds this year or time to plan that trip but I will do whatever I can to get there. So awesome (90s term)

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  2. I didn't have the funds this year or time to plan that trip but I will do whatever I can to get there. So awesome (90s term)

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  3. Adult summer camp? That sounds amazing!!

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  4. Mac -- It was so wonderful to meet you and hear from you on Saturday night -- it's always great to find out that people whose writing you find so warm and approachable are that way in real life! Next year we'll all bring our puffers and wazzie wools and it will be in the 90s...

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  5. It was so great meeting you in person! Camp was so much fun and I am counting down the days until next year! And you know we are all going to be prepared for the cold and it's going to be 90 :)

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