Little Girl Camper


By Peggy S. Barthel

Camping is in my blood. No, really. I was conceived on a camping trip. My parents took us camping a lot as kids. My grandparents would drive their truck-and-camper from California to Colorado, pick up my sister and me, and we would camp on the trip back to California for the summer. From camper, to travel trailer, to motorhome, we were a camping family.

Once a Camper…

My first husband was the Grand Poobah of the Southern California Beer & Gun Club. Nope, you’ve never heard of it. It was a bunch of like-minded friends who liked to camp in the desert, have a couple of beers, and shoot at the cans. 

Sisters, Girlz, Divas, Queens

So there’s this rage. I want to call it a new rage but frankly, maybe I just haven’t known about it. After all, Becky and Maurrie, two actual sisters, started Sisters on the Fly way back in 1999! Since then, 8,600 women have joined the group, and nearly 4,000 of them today still say “We have more fun than anyone!” My two dear friends gave me my initial membership as a birthday present a couple of years ago. Since then, we’ve joined rallies “wrangled” by other members, and discussed hosting one of our own. These ladies know how to have a good time! 

Last year, I learned of a group called Tow Girlz. One of the friends who introduced me to Sisters on the Fly owns a campground, and loves everything vintage! So when the Tow Girlz asked to have a vintage trailer rally, Lisa jumped at the chance! This year I was able to join the rally. I may not have fit in so well with our 2017 Rockwood MiniLite, but they welcomed me with open arms (and open wine bottles) and we spent the weekend kayaking, touring each other’s trailers, and sitting around a campfire chatting the night away. 

Janine Petit is an adorable Girl Camper and podcaster who encourages us to “go places and do things.” In her podcast, she talks to so many lovely women with fascinating camping and life stories! 

I don’t know if I’ll ever be the ultimate Girl Camper. I mean, I love to attend rallies and “glampouts” with my Girlz, and my Sisters, and - well, my girlfriends! I love hat nights and Greek Goddess nights and boots & tutu nights (OK, let’s face it, I love to dress up). I love to tour other travel trailers and see how those ladies have glamped up their little vintage beauties. But I seem to be missing that gene that can make my trailer a showplace. Yes, we are working on personalizing our Curby, but I’ll ever win the tour circuit. I’ve never been much on presentation. I don’t want to work that hard setting up and packing up; I just want to sit back and relax (yeah, you know I meant drink)!

Camping has changed a lot for me over the years. While I have terrific memories of camping in my younger days, I am so grateful now for the “creature comforts” of running water, electricity, a shower… while still getting the best part of the memorable trips: beers around a campfire, starry nights, and spending quality time with friends.