Friday, July 29, 2011

Yes... finally. Brave Girls Camp...

I was going to be a smart arse and say "It was great." and end it.  But I figured I'd have a mutiny on my hands... and no friends left if I did that.

BUT let it be said that Blogger is being a bugger and is quirky as I type this, so hopefully things go smoothly.

So it started on Monday, when I flew (ALL BY MYSELF) into SLC and met My Donna who flew in from Virginia.  We talked from the moment we laid eyes on each other - the poor guy sitting next to us on the plane from SLC to Boise (remember - there's no Z in Boise) must have been going crazy.

We caught a taxi to Eagle, and stayed at the Hilton.  Lovely room. Nobody called the room to check to see how it was, not Shelley, not nobody.  It did NOT have a funky smell, and there WAS an elevator.

The next morning we strolled and shopped (and shopped some more) and ate and had some fun.  Eagle is adorable.  The weather was amazing... but finally at 2pm we decided to go back to the hotel and wait in the lobby for the rest of the Brave Girls to arrive.  Two of the girls were already there - and one by one more arrived.  By the time the shuttle came, (and that was an unusual little man that gave some of us the izzures) we were all pretty well acquainted.  Our group bonded from the first moment... we were a REALLY good mix of personalities.

Once we were seated on the bus, Jeff from Brave Girls climbed aboard.  He is quite amazing to look at, but sadly he wasn't riding with us.  That was a darn shame.  He had an armload of tote bags, each with our name on it.  And one by one he handed them out to us, knowing who we were without being told.  These Brave Girl people did their homework.

Two and a half hours later, we pulled into a parking lot on the lake.  Well, the lot wasn't on the lake, it was NEXT to the lake.  And waiting there for us was Melody and Kim.  (And Evie, who didn't make the bus and was driven up!!)  Hugs and love  surrounded us, as we exited the bus.  We each had little baggies of birdseed from our tote, and Melody instructed us to make believe the seeds were all our worries that we'd brought along with us... and we were to throw them away!!

Then we got back on the bus and went up the street to Conifer Lodge.  The entire staff plus family members were lined up along the walkway to greet us.  Again, BY name - they knew exactly who we were... it was so amazing.

The sign at the end of the walkway moved all of us...
The inside of the lodge was amazing - the attention to detail was more than anyone could explain or imagine.
Each table, each wall, each window - each had a touch of Brave Girl.

Melody and Kathy.... hard to put into words what they are like.  Warm, beautiful inside and out, approachable, kind, huge hearts... talent beyond talent.  It is obvious that all of their hearts and souls are poured into Brave Girls - it's evident in all the work that goes into this amazing camp.

Here are some pics of the lovely Melody and Kathy, and their families... including Marq - Melody's hubby.  He was the official 'call us in to eat' guy, luggage handler and chip art tips teacher.  He's also not hard on the eyes.  (did I just say that out loud???)

(snagged spraying whipped cream into his mouth)
All of us after we walked down to the lake... and here are some shots of all the lovely ladies I had the great pleasure of spending 4 days with - lifelong friendships were made. 

and you KNOW it's all about the attitude, right?

OH... and the artroom.  We had laughter, tears and singing... and so much product to play with it wasn't even funny...

OH - here's a shot of the group from the balcony - Roxane took it, do you see the ONLY person NOT looking at the camera? Does this surprise any of you???

And the staffers... OMGosh... what an incredible group of ladies... warm, loving, happy... full of fun and answers... I fell in love with each one of them. 

Here are some more shots just because...

Pure love... isn't this shot gorgeous? It speaks to me... I may actually break down and scrap it.  :-)
Saying goodbye to these ladies was hard.  We'd experienced miracles together - and that's not something you can say every day.  We learned lessons, we were taught by the master, we restored our souls and created our dream soul houses... we sent people to the moon and uranus (yes, I'm giggling).  We ate like queens, and were treated like royalty.  We were not allowed to lift a finger.  Whatever we needed was just heaped upon us.  We sang, we danced.  I threw my back out trying to do the booty shake like Angel.  It wasn't a pretty sight.  Much ibuprofen was taken.

At the end, I held onto Melody and Kathy... tears flowed, hugs held... the only thing making it easier was knowing I WOULD see them again - I can't imagine NOT seeing them again.  Whether it's at another Camp, or there as a staffer, I will hug them both again.

I can just see them both reading this, eyes huge with fear - "Dear GOD, we're not done with her YET????" LOL

If I can give you all one piece of advice - from the bottom of my heart, GO to Brave Girls Camp.  It is worth every penny, in fact, the food and lodging ALONE was worth every cent... and then add in amazing women, amazing lessons and amazing art... plus so many goodies to bring home that Donna's luggage came in 8 pounds overweight.  :-)

It is worth saving a few dollars every week... make yourself a Camp Fund Jar... and JUST DO IT.  I promise you, you won't be sorry. 

To my fellow Campers - I love you all - we have a bond that will never be broken.  (Oh dear, more fearful eyes?????)  I told you during the last 'share' - you're all stuck with me.  (insert very evil grin here)


  1. Beautiful post! So proud of you for your bravery to attend :)
    I SWEAR that when I was in high school, I stayed at that lodge for a weekend retreat.. it was all beat up inside and not beautiful like it is now, but the outside is the same.. I am dying to know if it is the same one. :)

  2. This is amazing!! I am so happy for you...this has been a dream of that I was going to get in October 2012...but our business is having a few rough spots and this just isn't the time to go now.

    I am happy though that I get to take Melody's classes and read and see all the goodness from you and others. Your joy spills out into the Blog world and I am grateful!!!

  3. Sandi... so proud of you, and so inspired by you. You are a true light in this world.

  4. I tried not to read too much.... :) I am SO SO SO SO glad I'm going, but it would have been amazing to go with you! <3 Fabulous writeup. So proud. <3

  5. Hi Sandi!

    Thanks so much for sharing this for all of us Brave Girls who can't actually go to Brave Girls Camp (yet). I am so glad you had a wonderful time.

    (PS I found you through Donna on facebook.)

  6. Sandi, you have captured the spirit of camp! It was truly amazing and you my Dear Friend are part of that etched in my mind forever.

    I loved how your kind heart and nature embraced my daughter we both fell in love with you. I was blessed to sit near you to create to watch you was fabulous!!

    I am looking forward to our reunion and our paths will cross once more!!!

    Love you,


  7. Thanks for posting this Sandi, I still waver on going. It's so much money. It'll be a long while before I can make it, and maybe I'll need that long to be brave enough. Love the photos and your account of it. Thanks, again, for sharing!

  8. Sandi…What an amazing journey…Thank you for sharing this lovely experience. I am inspired and thinking about going one of your Brave Girl Camp! ; )

    Melody Ross is AMAZING! ; ) I love her journey! Lucky ladies indeed to have been a part of such an amazing Brave Girls Camp!

    Elizabeth Aviles