Bingo and Badges

It’s Wednesday and I’m still recovering from my Camp Hoo Ha experience this weekend. Still recovering…(I had too much fun, stayed up too late and partook in some alcoholic beverages)

Saturday morning I was nervous. It sounds silly but as I packed my car with my pillow, sleeping bag and backpack, I was nervous that I wouldn’t make any friends. I should have known from the previous event I went to, Skivvies, that the women attending these get togethers were like-minded, seeking connections and friendships and that my concerns were unfounded.

As I entered the barn at Heritage Park, warmly greeted by the High Hoo Ha (Mel, the genius creator of this group), listening to the buzz and giggles of the women already there, my worries melted away. The excitement was palpable.

I was quickly paired as a bunk mate with another single, Jessica. She told me that I was the reason that she was at the camp. Turns out she was friends with my cousin who reads my blog. She told Jessica about my Camp Hoo Ha post and after reading it, decided to sign up for the camp. We immediately hit it off.

As part of our welcome package, we all received Here to Hoo Ha t-shirts which we all donned so that we wouldn’t get lost in the masses that would be descending on the first day of the season for Heritage Park. We sipped on coffee and Baileys and munched on a light breakfast of cinnamon rolls. I met some more wonderful ladies and relaxed even more.

Over the course of the morning our tour guide, Lindsey, took us for a train ride and let us loose on the midway. I had worried that the midway portion of the itinerary would be a bummer because I don’t like rides at all. But, bolstered by the energy of my group of gals, and wanting to push myself outside my comfort zone, we climbed aboard the caterpillar ride.

As soon as we started moving, I was overcome with laughter, and it became contagious. The six of us couldn’t stop laughing. Grown women, howling to the point of tears. Giddy. We ended up hopping on a bunch of the other rides.

We met up with everyone else for a quick lunch of hot dogs and fries (true camping style) and then settled in for a couple drinks and some riveting rounds of Bingo. Who knew Bingo could be so much fun when you mix in fabulous women and alcohol?? There was one point where we were laughing so hard, that one of the ladies had to crack out her inhaler which made us laugh even harder. We were definitely the rowdy table.

The rest of the afternoon consisted of wagon rides, meeting the resident animals of the park and chilling in the bunk house, punctuated by laughter and boisterous conversations. After supper and some more drinks we retired to the loft of the barn to learn how to make ice cream and butter from scratch. We sang some old time camp songs and laughed at how awful and weird the lyrics were. Once we were done that we took a ghost tour of the park, led by Zack, an animated soul who kept us both creeped out with his stories and entertained.

To end the night we all changed into our pjs and returned to the loft to partake in more beverages, conversation, dancing and singing. There was one point where it was dangerously past my bedtime that I considered retiring to my bunk but I was having such a great time that I ended up shutting down the party with a handful of other ladies. I slid into my sleeping bag and passed out from a mix of exhaustion and alcohol.

The morning brought with it some dry mouth and immediate sadness that the experience was almost over. I poured some coffee and grabbed a yogurt and wandered outside into the sunshine. Mel was outside with some of the other girls, and I soaked up the conversation, wanting to hold onto every moment I could.

Jessica and I exchanged numbers and I as I said my goodbyes to the others, I found myself smiling ear to ear. I had earned another badge and was already thinking about how to display them. One of the ladies had a jean jacket loaded with badges, maybe I would do that. Or a sash. I liked the thought of a sash.

Unfortunately, I can’t attend the last two events of the year, a golf tournament (sold out) and the June summer camp (poor timing). Camp Hoo Ha takes the summers off to recharge and regroup so I’ll have to wait until the fall to see what they’re cooking up.

I can’t hype up this group enough. It has energized me and filled my bucket more than I ever could have imagined. As I said in previous posts, this is magical, something that every woman should experience at least once. If you’re interested in learning more, click here.

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