We accumulate many friends over the course of all the stages in our lives, but the girls who stick around the longest are, without a doubt, your camp friends.
Unlike the relationships you have with your poorly termed “sorority sisters” or high school BFFs, your camp friendships have been in your life forever.
You don’t grow apart from your camp pals because you’ve been apart most of your lives. And yet, somehow you and your camp friends are closer than the ones you see every day.
They came into your world before the cattiness and girl drama of your teenage years. Before the competition and insecurities of your early twenties. They are the girls who, when they said they’d keep in touch, held true to their word.
There was definitely something in the air during last campfire that made these original bonds of sisterhood everlasting. Here’s why your camp friends are literally your best friends for life.
They appreciate you for the right reasons
Your camp friends have seen you for weeks straight in your most natural state, without makeup or hair products or (to the detriment of everyone around you) sometimes even showering. You became friends based on personality and compatibility — not the clothes you were wearing or the fancy zip code you lived in.
Let’s be fair though, you did befriend the girl who had the best stationary and the one who always had a secret stash of candy. That kind of friendship currency was priceless.
Your camp friends still haven’t shared your 12-year-old secret that you accidentally peed your pants during a social with a boys’ camp. (Oops!) What happens in the Rec Hall stays in the Rec Hall and that’s all we’re going to stay about that.
They know how awkward you are… and love you for it
When you’re a weird 22-year-old with frizzy long hair and funny oafish tendencies, girls go out of their way to avoid you. When you’re a weird 12-year-old with frizzy long hair and funny oafish tendencies, at camp, you are basically the sh*t.
Your camp friends know the full extent of your quirky, borderline invasive personality and while others later on in life may not like it, they are the women who defend you for it. Or, you know, they’ll just play it cool and say things like, “I knew her from camp when she was younger. It’s different.”
Inside jokes still hold true
Every time you hear a camp song on the radio (Elton John, anyone?) you’re reminded of them. Any time you run into your camp crush who took your makeout virginity or that former camper from Bunk 12 who couldn’t finish the remaining two weeks, only your camp friends understand what this all means.
They just get it without you having to explain why comparing your current pedophilic professor to the camp’s Head of Tennis is hilarious.
They were in your life before it got complicated
Before drinking and long-term boyfriends and real life stressors, there were your camp friends, keeping it real and beading you two friendship bracelets that you probably already had plenty of. The biggest arguments you had were over what card game to play and who won the jacks tournament.
Your camp friends were your respite from the pressures of home. You could be whoever you wanted to in front of them, and they would accept it, no questions asked.
They put your needs first
As cheesy as it sounds, camp really taught you how to work well in a group and care about other people. Your camp friends were there when you needed your hair french braided for Team Sing.
They knew how bad you were at swimming, and so they helped you cheat the dreaded Swim Test. Camp friends were the only people there to celebrate your summer birthday and make sure you felt special with a proper sign, song and cake…. even though they were all jealous they weren’t born in July/August.
They know you inside and out, but really
They’ve seen you naked a hundred times (despite learning how to change while sitting in your bunk bed). They know the brand of sandals that you wore for three years straight.
They are familiar with your quirky hidden talents, like being able to whistle with 30 crackers in your mouth. They were right there with you as you both chowed down on delicious dining hall food, and then commiserated about what it’s like to go to a sports camp and gain weight.
You slept in the same room for two months straight for seven-plus years. They know and they’ve seen it all, from the very beginning.
They’ve got your back
Remember when you snuck into the dining hall together to steal brownies from cookout? Your camp friends assisted on all covert operations and never gave up a name.
They were the first girls that you shared your clothes with, often before a social with boys’ camp. Then you accidentally came home with each other’s t-shirts, which you still wear now. They never demanded the clothes back because they genuinely wanted you to have them.
Color war brought you two together
The bonding over your color war team is one that stays with you for life. It’s like the early version of college school spirit. No one back at home understood what it meant to “bleed blue” and for this reason, your school friends kind of lacked in comparison.
You grew up together
Not only did you see all the girly coming of age films together on movie night, but you also lived the real-life version throughout your camp years and beyond. Camp relationships really bring new meaning to having friends for a lifetime.