Camp ‘for women only’

WATERFORD-More than 80 women took a few days off from their daily routines to attend a “for women only” summer camp this weekend.

The 91st annual Washington-Morgan Counties Women’s Camp was held Friday through Sunday at Camp Hervida near Waterford.

“I’ve been coming to this camp for 27 years now. There’s lots to do, and you can do everything or nothing-it’s just a very relaxing weekend,” said Vicki Pugh of Cutler.

Lynn Stotts, chairwoman of the 2013 Women’s Camp Committee, agreed.

“We don’t cook or do any work during the weekend, we just come here to have fun,” she said. “And it’s open to any woman from anywhere who is 18 or older.”

The annual camp began in 1922-originally as an Ohio State University Extension Service program.

“But a few years ago the extension service had to back out, so now we have a Women’s Camp Committee that sets it up every year,” explained committee member Andrea Adkins.

The main idea is simply to give women time to do something for themselves without worrying about having to take care of household chores, kids and husbands.

“It’s a very reasonable weekend-most campers pay $66, and the camp includes flush toilets as well as hot showers,” said Joy Richardson who has also attended for the last 27 years.

Some activities offered during this year’s three-day camp included archery, pistol-shooting, and self defense classes, as well as courses in making ceramics, jewelry, and tied fleece blankets.

Campers could also learn about massage techniques, Zumba exercises, and Yoga, as well as a host of other activities.

“I read the comments from last year’s campers about what activities they would like to see and added some of those to this year’s events,” Stotts said. “We have a different committee and a different theme every year.”

This year’s theme was “Once Upon a Time” and campers were encouraged to decorate their cabins appropriately. Adkins said the 2014 theme will be “Under the Sea.”

Erica Ralston, 26, now living in Columbus, grew up in the Belpre area and began attending the Women’s Camp when she was 18. Now she returns to the camp every year.

“I have family members who come, too, including my mother-in-law and sister-in-law,” she said. “But Camp Hervida is the real draw. It’s a great place.”

Stacie Crawford, 32, of Bartlett, said this weekend was her first at the Women’s Camp.

“I had been told about it by some of my family and always wanted to come,” she said. “We’ve had a blast. I took a Zumba class, learned some self defense, and shot a pistol. And we had fun just sitting up in the cabin-we laughed all night. It’s a good time and I’ll be back next year.”