A Snyder In The Sun

A Snyder In The Sun

It's Like Camp Anawanna...But Totally Better!

It's been a week since I left the comfort of my bed to venture off to Ohio to go camping and my liver is still destroyed.  I can hear it ever-so-faintly crying inside me and I'm still begging it for forgiveness.  Sorry buddy but it was totally worthsies!  Sorry, not sorry?  Tehehehe.

Going back to Camp Throwback was like going home again.  I've kept up with a group of people I met last year and now consider family and I was shitting my pants with excitement and anticipation to see them again.  I won't front, I was nervous.  Would everyone be as warm and hilarious as I remembered?  Facebook humor is one thing, but would I be laughing in person or would I be fake laughing?  I despise fake laughing.  I equate it to small talk.  No thanks.  Sure it's polite, but it's also soul sucking.

Driving up the long driveway to Camp Graham (the actual name of the camp) was scary.  I don't often get butterflies in my belly, unless of course a new season of a great show is coming on or I'm about to go out without my kids to party my ass off, but I had legit butterflies.  I was so excited I could've seizured.  I should note that the feeling in my stomach could have easily been the White Castle cheesburgers I consumed on the way to camp.  You guys, it FINALLY happened.  I ATE ACTUAL WHITE CASTLE BURGERS!  And can I just say they were so good I should have had sex with one.  Tiny onion babies for all!

I'm so happy to report that everyone was EXACTLY how I remembered them: sweet, huggable, HILARIOUS, and loving.  In a word, family.  I was home and totally ready to go balls to the walls.  It was time to bust out the vodka and Redbull and pray I didn't get alcohol poisoning.

The first night we were welcomed with love by our host Brittany Gibbons.  You may have heard of her? She's an amazing body advocate, feminist, and recently had her first book published.  It's called Fat Girl Walking.  Go buy it, it will give you all the feels.  So she welcomed us, we ate, and then there was a surprise for me.  My lovely camp family, headed by my seeeester, bought me a cake and decorated it for my Dirty 30.  And then 100 plus people sang Happy Birthday to me, plain Jane Justine Snyder from Somewhere, Florida.  I almost died.  I was shocked and happy and emotional with ALL the feelings.  After my sweet serenade, it was time to play Cabin Vs. Cabin Trivia.  Spoiler, my cabin didn't win.  In our defense, there was a lot of drunken screaming coming from everyone and it was hard to tell who had the answer first.  I ended my night at 3:00 AM after sitting on a gravel path for what felt like hours with a few amazing people.

I woke up at 7:30 AM still drunk and ready to go.  I met a few cabin mates at a picnic table and proceeded to pound 700 cups of mimosas.  Drunkey poo magoo.  Nothing says camp like being wasted by 9:00 AM.  Mission accomplished.  And the day went on like that.  I stayed drunk all day, laughed like I have never laughed in my life, played tetherball which was terrifying, ate delicious camp food, and got semi-dressed for the 80's party that night.  I was a little lame this year and didn't go under the pavilion with all the loud music and crazy lights.  I'm 30 now and officially can't take too much stimuli.  But an awesome group of us camped on the outside and still danced and partied like fools.  I went to bed around the same time as the night before.

Saturday morning was a bit of a shit show.  I woke up sober, which was a HUGE mistake.  It was rough.  I immediately wanted to go back to sleep but couldn't because my stomach was all BITCH, YOU DONE FUCKED UP LAST NIGHT! It was a struggle to get dressed, but I did it.  I ventured into the sunlight and wanted to die.  When did the sun get so fiery anyway?   Ugh.  I walked (READ: dragged) myself to the same picnic table as the previous morning to meet my ride or die bunkmates.  There they were sipping mimosas like bosses.  I took one and milked it for about an hour.  The struggle was so real that I couldn't even enjoy Chili Dan's signature Bloody Mary.  (Speaking of Chili Dan, click here to buy some sauce.  I'm not joking, you won't regret it.  It's like the best party you've ever been to, in your mouth.)  It also took me approximately 47 hours to finish two bottles of water.  Hangovers are the worst.

It seemed that everyone was feeling worse for the wear on Saturday, which was coincidentally Field Day.  Think of The Walking Dead and that's what we looked like.  No, not sexy Daryl Dixon or kick ass I Wish I Was Her, Michone.  We were more like the grossest Walker out there just a rotting in a field.  With booze in our hands, obviously.

There was Dodgeball.  I'm pretty sure I was the first one out on our team.  I can't be positive because I barrel-rolled that shit and probably got a concussion.  We had the Three-Legged Race again.  My sister and I rocked that shit out!  Well everything but the part where we had to take a shot of piss warm something or other.  I was too hungover and probably would have puked on the spot and seester is pregnant, so...no.  There was the Slip and Flip, part slip and slide, part flip cup.  I only watched this event as I'm pretty sure I would have broken every single rib in my fragile, nutrient-depleted body.  Those who did participate were amazing and kept the whole crowd laughing and cheering.  Finally there was the Watermelon Eating contest.  I did this last year but skipped this year.  It was too cold on my teeth, guys.  I'm a sensi.

Around 3:00 I had my first drink of the day and started to feel like a human being again.  Oh sweet vodka, how you heal me.  From that moment on, I was ready to go.  And by that I mean dance.  Because once that delicious elixir gets in me, my legs just can't help but go all crazy like.  I also thrust a lot, which could be uncomfortable to some, but not to my camp family.  They encourage my thrusts. Because love.  The bonus to the dancing?  Exercise.  Boom. The downside?  Insane shin splints and all around horrible body aches.  Again, totally worthsies.

Saturday night there was a luau.  I threw on my new gay best friend Evan's fantastic crocheted shorts, a flowery tank top, and some 80's sunglasses. Guys, I was drunk.  Leave me alone.  Oh, and a lei.  Can't forget that.  Cabin 8 (that was us!) made our way up to the pavilion and hung out for a while before everyone gathered to take the obligatory family camp photo.  I stood on a cooler and prayed all the camp carbs wouldn't send me careening through the lid into some ice cold Pabst Blue Ribbon water.  The cooler held, thank you jeezus.

And then there was more dancing, more hugs, and the realization that the night was coming to an end and we were all going to be saying goodbye in a few hours.  There were tears and laughter and more drinking to numb it all.  Goodbyes aren't my thing, drinking to make the goodbyes go away is.

I never went to bed on the last night.  As the sun was coming up I knew it was the end.  I packed up my bag, stuffed my sleeping bag into a camping chair bag and fastened it with a belt (don't ask), and prayed I wouldn't die on the way to the airport.  I was sad to leave but still too drunk to fully accept that it was happening.  I STILL haven't accepted it a week later.

So what did I take away from my second year of Camp Throwback?  A failing liver, possible glaucoma due to not taking my contacts out for 3 days, multiple leg bruises, the plague (yes, AGAIN), chiseled abs from laughing harder than I ever have in my entire life (which my husband took as an insult.  Sorry love), a spider in my carry-on, a left behind pair of sweet 80's shades that are now in the custody of one of my most favoritest people on the planet, more inside jokes than I can count, an even stronger bond with my camp family, the ability to drink most under the table, an insane tolerance to inhale sunscreen and bug spray (no, not on purpose. I'm not Allison from Intervention), an iron tank stomach that digests carbs like a motherfucker,  blisters from Chuck Taylors, a new gay best friend, squeezies from my seester, a deeper love for sitting on a blanket in the shade of a tree, and more friends than I knew possible.

#WINNING or as our group likes to say, #GWENING!

(All photo cred goes to my beautiful seester and her fancy schmancy camera)


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