I loved summer camp! From the time I was seven years old I spent at least a week and as many as 8 at summer camp. I even spent a summer before college serving as a camp counselor.
My whole kid-year revolved around camp. I thought about it and planned for it all year long. I would spend weeks prior to camp perusing the isles of CVS stocking up on travel sized toiletries to fill up my Caboodle, gathering Archie Comics and Teen Beat and collecting candy to hide in my suitcase. (Twizzlers and Atomic Fireballs were my favorite!) I spent hours each night listening to my favorite radio station (Q106) waiting for the best songs to come on so I could hit record on my cassette player and make an epic mix tape that I would play on my “against-camp-rules” walkman that I would sneak in in my pillow case.
I learned how to shave for the first time from one of the “cool” older girls at camp. I met my future college roommate and one of my bridesmaids at summer camp. I fell in love countless times and even wound up engaged (which was later broken-off…thank goodness!) to a guy from camp. But most importantly I formed some wonderful friendships and created some wonderful memories to last a lifetime.
But…I’ll let you in on a secret…going to camp was REALLY HARD for me. I loved it but I was also very nervous about it. In fact, I was so nervous about camp that I honest-to-goodness believe that I threw up EVERY MORNING of EVERY DAY that I ever stepped foot on the grounds of Ganderbrook Christian Camp. True story!
My maiden name was Bulissa. I was known as Julie BARFLISSA for my entire camp career. Even now, if I bump into someone from my old camp days and they don’t remember me I just say “Barflissa” and they start howling with laughter and memory. I would wake up so jittery that I was pretty much useless all morning. I couldn’t even go near the lodge/mess hall until well after breakfast was over as the smell alone would have me retching. By 9am I was a-okay and ready to go for the day.
Weird? Yes. But weird is my M.O.
Anyway…my point is that sometimes things are difficult but those same things can sometimes have the biggest impact on who we are as people. Camp really helped mold me and form me into the person I am today. A lot of who I am was shaped in those early years in the woods of Maine.
One of our goals with Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged is to provide that “summer camp” kind of feel. We will learn some great things from some talented people, we will form bonds with other like minded women and we may even do some arts and crafts! (Morning calisthenics will be optional! HAHA!) You are not expected to have 5000 facebook fans or to get 30,000 daily hits on your blog. Even if you DON’T HAVE A BLOG we want you to join us! If your blog has been sorely neglected for the last 4 years, we want you there. If you have no desire to monetize your blog, we want you there.
Coming to a conference is really stepping out of your comfort zone for a lot of people. Myself included! It is scary and that’s okay. I totally get that. But we want to welcome you with open arms! So please don’t let fear, jitters, or whatever you want to call it be the reason you don’t attend #AWBU! You can barf every morning if you want to because at the end of the day it will all be okay!
Learn more about the conference & REGISTER (early bird rate ends on July 31!)
Want to learn more? Follow @ARWomenBloggers and #AWBU on Twitter and register for our Twitter Party on Tuesday, July 24 at 8p CST to interact with other attendees and get the details!