Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Women and Children Camping

Our Circle

There is the saying; Girlfriends are sisters we choose for ourselves.  Which is true in my life.  There is the saying; Sisters by Chance, Friends by Choice.  Which is also true in my life.

There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will.Unknown

I came to that point of realizing who matters and who doesn’t.  I got rid of the riff raff and

kept those worth keeping.  I have an amazing group of friends and an amazing sister, who is also a wonderful friend.  We all know that we can lean on each other, be ourselves with each other, and we support each other.

One weekend a year, we take time to spend time.  We set aside this weekend to gather together, just us women and our children, and enjoy the company of our friends.  This weekend is called our Women and Children Camping Excursion.  When this yearly tradition first started, it was two women (my sister and me) and four children (our sons).  That first weekend was fantastic!  After living on the East Coast for years, I had recently moved back to California and was getting to know my sister better.  That weekend I discovered that my sister is a really great lady and someone I wanted to be friends with.  The next year, we decided to invite a few of our respective friends along.  We had a handful of women and all the kids.

Now, we are in the neighborhood of eight years running for this annual tradition.  We haven’t missed a year yet and some years we do it twice.  This year’s event is this weekend.  I am so excited I can hardly stand still!  This year we will have 13 women and 12 children.

We have a rule as to what criterion defines ‘children’.  If the child has moved out of their parent’s home, married, or had a child, they are no longer considered a ‘children’.  All of my children have done one or more of these, so they can no longer attend.  But, that is okay, I take my grandchildren.  My oldest grandson is 9 now, and he has been attending since he was 2.  My youngest grandson is almost 2 now and this will be his first year.

The best part of this weekend excursion is the circle.  The circle of lawn chairs.  We all gather in this circle and chat.  It doesn’t take long before advice is asked and given, before tears are shed, before we laugh so hard liquid runs out of someone’s nose, and before unconditional love is shared.

These women are my friends, my besties.  These women have my back if I ever need.  These women are a part of my soul.

Do me; no, do yourself a favor; take time to spend time with your girlfriends, if only for one weekend a year.  It keeps you young, it keeps you healthy, and it keeps you sane.  Plan your own Women and Children Camping Extravaganza.  If you need help with how to plan one, let me know.  I have this down to a science.  This year is a two night event, dinner for two nights and breakfast for two mornings are included (my sister and I do the cooking because we LOVE IT).  The site fees, cost of food, and any other expenses for the weekend are divided up equally between all attendees over the age of 3.  This year, the cost per attendee worked out to be only $22.00.  $22.00!  Think of it this way, had you met for dinner and drinks it would have cost you more than $22.00 and you would have only had a few hours.  For our $22.00 we have two day and two nights and we don’t have to get dressed up or take a cab home!

And to my friends I say thank you!  Thank you for being true friends; true friends are those who really know you but love you anyway.  (wink)

Female friendships that work are relationships in which women help each other to belong to themselves. - Louise Bernikow

Do not save your loving speeches for your friends till they are dead; Do not write them on their tombstones, speak them rather now instead. - Anna Cummins

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it’s only by this meeting that a new world is born. - Anais Nin

True friends are those who really know you but love you anyway. - Edna Buchanan
Thanks for reading!

Brooke Ryter


  1. What a wonderful adventure and a terrific idea. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    1. Next week I will post some pictures from the weekend.

  2. Aww, Brooke you make me wish I had a sister. I'm afraid I'm not much on bestie's either. There are many women I've known for years and I love some of them dearly, but we don't hang out. I guess I'm just too much of a loner.

    My youngest daughter has relationships like you are enjoying. She is 36 years old and still hangs with her friends from high school plus several that she has worked with for the past 10 years or so.

    I envy both of you somewhat, but the closest I can come is my three daughters and their three daughters. Sadly, they aren't into camping, something I have always enjoyed. Have fun this weekend. I'll be thinking of you.