Lessons Learned from GIRLCAMP


This weekend was our second annual GIRLCAMP ™ in which we (myself, Laura, and Brooke, plus other guests) are girls and go camping. We learn all kinds of lessons: lessons about camping as well as more Lifetime-movie-style life lessons. This year’s lessons, in no particular order, are:

1) Check the camp map carefully when booking a site. Make sure that it’s not, for example, right next to a busy county highway that motorcyclists will tear up and down all night long.

2) Remember a hatchet. You can use it to break down pieces of wood that are too big, pound in tent stakes, and keep away the murderous hillbillies.

3) Food tastes better cooked over an open fire. (More on food later in the week.)

4) Raccoons are jerks and can smell food on a plate even after the plate has been washed. Everything that has even looked at food in the past 24 hours must be stowed away safely.

5) We’re animals. We all stink. It’s fine. There will be running water when we get home.

6) If a guy on the river offers you a beer, it’s important to find out a) what he wants in exchange (the answer is always “boobs”) and b) what kind of beer he has. It may be PBR. In fact, that’s the best likely option. Your response in this case should be: “<eyeroll>.”

7) Going uphill is easier if you build up a lot of momentum going downhill in high gear right before. (This one is so close to being both a practical fact and a life lesson, but it’s not quite there yet. Brooke needs to work on her guru-ing skills.)

8) Cow are huge and adorable and loud. Some of us can admire them in person and then go eat a cheeseburger later that night and feel not a single pang of guilt. That’s not a thing I’m bragging about, but it’s perfectly true.

9) Having friends who challenge you to do things you didn’t think you could, like go from not riding a bike to doing an 11-plus-mile ride over rolling Wisconsin hills, is the best.

10) Having friends who are totally cool with your weaknesses, including your inability to bike through a long, dark tunnel because you’re afraid of hitting something and wiping out, is a very close second.

What lessons have you learned from traveling?


8 thoughts on “Lessons Learned from GIRLCAMP

  1. That tunnel was scary. I’m pretty sure I saw a troll in there, who would have indubitably tripped us if we had been riding our bikes.

  2. You’re not supposed to bike through the tunnels. You’re supposed to walk your bike. I think it’s even forbidden by the people who manage the trails. There are 3 tunnels on the Elroy-Sparta trail and no one except asshole teenagers ride through them.

    Didn’t you bring a flashlight?

    Why were there hills? Did you take roads instead of the Sugar River Trail?

    • I had a headlamp, but it was still too dark for me to see. Maybe not powerful enough, maybe my eyes suck?

      We took a combo of roads and the trail to get to make a nice loop from the campsite to the tunnel.

      As far as biking through the tunnel, there weren’t any signs saying not to–it seemed like the thing to do. I just didn’t because I didn’t feel safe doing it, which seemed like a perfectly fine reason to me.

      • Ah! Loops are good. Weird their were no signs, I don’t think it would be at all safe to bike through. Good call.

              • There’s 3 tunnels on the Elroy-Sparta trail. I think one is 3/4 mile long and the other 2 are 3/8. One of them drips water on you the whole time you are walking. The ground in the tunnel isn’t level and it slopes down on the side to form ditches running the length of the tunnel. Water flows through the ditches and there are a few little fish in the water. I don’t know how they got in there because there isn’t standing water outside the tunnel, just in the ditches inside.

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