“Camaraderie”: A Word with Many Definitions at AdventureWomen

In June, at the beginning of the summer season, we want to give a big shout out for camaraderie. AdventureWomen, where would we be without it?

Without your supportive friends, really, where would you be? They laugh with you when you need it most. They encourage you when the going gets tough and they hug you when it gets even tougher. They insist you can do whatever you aspire to if you just keep telling yourself you can. But mostly, they are just fun to be around, and you always feel better after you’ve been around them. Even if it has been, well, 10 years since you last saw them!

We decided to ask a few of our Ambassadors what they have seen vis-à-vis examples of camaraderie on our trips over the years. Here’s what stuck in their minds…

From Ambassador Leslie Stolz

“What strikes me, over and over again, is that camaraderie is everywhere on these trips. Women encouraging each other to try new things; women sharing similar experiences and offering hope, women just laughing together.

A good example is what happens on our Yellowstone in Winter trips. On the last day of the trip, we dogsled on the Jack Creek Divide.  The morning includes learning about the dogs and harnessing them for the journey.  Each sled has two women or possibly two women and a professional driver.  Sometimes our women are not that confident about driving the dogsleds, but almost always, each woman who is reluctant is given encouragement to try driving from the others!  By the end of the day, most of them have driven and have LOVED it…. It’s one of the favorite experiences of their lives some say.”

From Ambassador Stacey Bengston

“It isn’t one trip that comes to mind when I think of camaraderie among the women on AdventureWomen. It seems to happen all the time. It is a special thing traveling with like-minded women who seem to start caring for each other very soon on the trip. It does not take long for the group to come together and what a great feeling when it does!

From Ambassador Annie Childs

One of the constants on an AdventureWomen trip is the happy susurration of voices, whether at the dinner table after an incredible day of exploring or on a bus or a train, or walking through meadows or hiking on mountain trails.

I am just back from the Switzerland AdventureWomen trip and very early on our last morning in Appenzell, we all heard it…the inimitable sounds of many Trychlen, the large large Swiss cowbells! We all hoped this might happen, that we could see the May Alpaufzug, the walking of the goats and cows through town on their way to the high pastures in the mountains.  We were made no promises that we would be able to experience this wonderful tradition as no one at the hotel knew exactly which day the farmers would decide to take the cows and goats to the mountains.  Thus, every one of us leapt out of bed to pull on whatever clothes were closest at hand, so we could get downstairs and outside our hotel to witness this rare, just after dawn, event! Breakfast that morning was spirited to say the least with everyone sharing her first thought when the sound of the cowbells’ clappers was heard.

None of us will ever forget the wonderful sight of the children leading the goats, the herd of cows following close behind, and the farmers and their dogs guiding the procession over the bridge and through town. Amazing!

From Ambassador Megan Murphy

It’s amazing. It just takes one small thing in common to begin building a bond.

“You’re from Southern CA? We were just there on vacation last year!”

“You were an elementary teacher before retirement? My boys are in second grade.”

“You speak Spanish so well! My daughter studied abroad in Spain last year.”

These tidbits of information that are essential to who we are break the ice and lead to many more conversations, laughs and sharing. Family, relationships, careers, health, hobbies, current events. I love to share and learn about my fellow travelers. The first step towards naturally building that camaraderie is always a single, simple piece of information.

What’s your best memory about friendships which blossomed for you on an AdventureWomen trip (or in another situation)? Email it in and we’ll share it (with your permission of course!).