5 Reasons Why I Keep Coming Back To Camp

5 Reasons Why I Keep Coming Back To Camp

"If only the world were more like a camp." - Daniel L. Dustin
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If there's one thing that's truly stayed consistent in my life no matter how old I get, it's summer camp. For me in particular, 4-H camp. Every summer since I was eight years old I've gone to at least one summer camp, first as a camper and now as a counselor and staff member. Of course, when I tell people I'm going to camp I'm constantly met with "Aren't you a little old for that?" or "Really, that's what you wanna do with your summer?". Well, to all of those who are wondering, let me tell you exactly why I still go to camp.

1. To escape the stress of the real world

While you're away at camp it's like you're in your own little bubble and the rest of the world doesn't exist. While I'm at camp I'm not worried about politics, my job or my email, I'm just at camp.

2. To have fun

Believe it or not, even at 21, camp is a freakin' blast! I can't tell you a time when I laugh louder or smile more than I do while I'm there.

3. To gain valuable life skills

Teamwork, public speaking, critical thinking, and self-confidence are just a few of the things I've learned at camp over the years. Not to mention I know how to clean up puke and hello, future parenting necessities.

4. To build lasting friendships

A lot of my closest friends come from summer camp, whether we were campers together or staff. We can go weeks, months, or sometimes even years without seeing one another but that doesn't change a thing. Honestly, I'd be lost without them.

5. To help mold future leaders

If I had to pick just one reason why I come back to camp year after year, it would be this. I can only hope to have a fraction of an impact on my campers that my counselors did on me.

While it may be hard for some people to understand why I keep coming back to camp summer after summer, for me, it's something I don't even have to think about. Of course, there will come a time when life gets too busy for me to run away to my happy place for a few weeks each summer, but until then you'll know exactly where to find me.

Cover Image Credit: Blake Fox

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chaffing. So much chaffing.
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Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming and sunny weather. But if you're a " thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chaffing. So much chaffing

No better feeling than 4 minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's #1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swim suit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chaffing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one size fits all" for plus-sized women. As if there's just one way to be plus-sized. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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45 #Goals For The End-All Be-All College Kid's Summer Bucket List

Running out of ideas of things to do this summer? No, you're not!
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It's finally summertime, or as I'd like to call it, the best time of the year! But every summer I notice that there are tons of things I could be doing than just sitting around doing a whole lot of nothing. Do you run out of ideas of things to do during your summer breaks? Well if so, here are 45 activity ideas that will make your summer adventurous and memorable!

1. Have some nice days to relax on the beach.

I mean... this a summer must, right?

2. Relax by the pool.

3. Take some summer classes.

It never hurts to get some college credits on your time off.

4. Finish a TV series on Netflix.

... or multiple.

5. Take a trip to the aquarium or zoo.

6. Go on a froyo or ice cream date.

7. Go indoor/outdoor skydiving.

It seems like skydiving places are popping up everywhere, nowadays.

8. Visit some museums.

9. Go see a new movie that's being released.

10. Take a road trip with your besties.

Road trips are the best for friendship bonding!

11. Go to your favorite restaurant, but try something NEW!

12. Make a summer Spotify playlist.

Come on now... what is summer without the tunes to go with it?

13. Have a cookout or party with your friends.

14. Take your dog for a walk or to a dog park.

Pets are your friends, too.

15. Go parasailing or tubing.

16. Attend a local sports game.

17. Have mini photo shoots (of people or nature).

This one is for all my photoholics out there.

18. Go on a hike.

19. Get a part-time (or full-time) job.

It's nice to actually have money to do this stuff.

20. Go on a shopping spree.

21. Try out some new recipes.

22. Go to a local fair/festival.

24. Go strawberry picking.

25. Go to an amusement or water park.

26. Donate old clothes.

27. Paint a picture.

28. Go on a boat ride.

29. Catch up on some sleep.

30. If you have a record player, go shopping for used vinyl records.

31. Visit a friend who doesn't live close to you.

They will definitely appreciate having visitors.

32. Redo your bedroom.

33. Have a spa day.

Massages? Mani/Pedis? Doesn't matter, get your relaxation on!

34. Help with chores around the house.

Your parents should appreciate this one, and it's a good way for you to get yourself on their good side.

35. Get tan.

36. Have some lazy days to do nothing.

37. Go fishing.

38. Try out a local coffee shop.

You'll notice that these little local coffee shops literally have the best coffee ever.

39. Go to summer concerts.

40. Go to a drive-in movie.

41. Watch a sunrise/sunset.

42. Help out your community and do some volunteer work.

43. Be a tourist for a day in your own hometown.

It's a lot more interesting to be home when you take in what the tourists do.

44. If you have a Polaroid camera, take lots of pictures.

45. Make a summer scrapbook documenting your unforgettable summer.

It'll definitely be one to remember!

Cover Image Credit: Kelsey Thomas

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