Why SNAP is like Girl’s Camp, and why I’ll keep coming back!

I recently went to a creative blog conference, SNAP – it’s actually my third year going – I just can’t get enough.  I wanted to give you a glimpse into the conference by comparing it to something you might have experience with – Girl’s Camp!

When I was a youth (ages 12-15-ish) I went to a girl’s church camp each summer.  Maybe you did the same? something similar?  There are so many relate-able things…

1. DRINK WATER 
- at camp, in the heat of the summer, the leaders told you to drink water or you’d get sick, etc etc.  We were reminded more than once – cause it’s important.
- at SNAP, in the high altitude, Tauni preached to us more than once to be sure to drink lots of water so we didn’t get altitude sickness or headaches.  See – just like camp!  I guzzled water like crazy, and was making more than my share of potty breaks. Which worked out great for #bathroomselfies.

2. SECRET SISTERS
- this is where you have someone’s name (secretly) and you give them a small gift each day as you have gotten to know them behind the scenes.  I had this exactly program at my girl’s camp.  I remember getting a photo album filled with camp things with cute scriptures or quotes to go with each one (like a match and “you are the light of the world” on it’s card).  Thoughtful and cute and clever.
- my secret sister at SNAP ended up being one of my contributors, Shannah – everything I got was so ME, and the clencher was the Sonic giftcard – I knew she knew me way too well :)
3. COMMUNAL LIVING
- living in a tent or cabin with a handful of other girls is crazy – you have to schedule your showers, sleep really close to other people, and of course your piles of junk are everywhere.
- at SNAP you pile in to a hotel room – for fun, and cause it’s cheaper to split the room.  So we had to schedule showers, sleep with people we just met in person, and we even each had a corner for our pile of junk (yes, that’s all mine!  the swag was out of control)


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4. THE OTHERS
-at camp, you had all types of people – - you know, there’s The Crier, who tears up at everything, The Loud Laugher, The Quiet and Reserved One, The Big Personality Girl, the “mom” type, etc etc
-same at SNAP – there are all types of people and it’s so fun to have all that dynamic.
5. CRAFTS
- we had a craft hour each day at Girl’s Camp – it was fun to create and try making something that I might not have tried yet.  You can’t have camp without crafts!
- there were plenty of crafts going on at SNAP – during the parties, at the sponsor booths, and there were even bunches of hands-on classes (I was hooked on the sewing room!).  We never outgrow the need to create!
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6. SERVICE
- growing up, we always had a service project of some sort that we would participate in at camp – I loved the chance to serve with peers and giving back
- this year SNAP had a Charity Build sponsored by Home Depot.  Last year there was a building competition too, but this was so much better.  It was for a family in need, so we really put our effort into it.  I loved that we could work on something as a team for the greater good.  It was one of my favorite parts of the conference. 
7. TEAM BUILDING
- you know those classic team-building activities they have at summer camps, right?
- I feel like the Charity Build was also a team-builder – we had to work together for a common goal.
8. TENT SPIRIT FLAGS
- at camp we were there with several other groups of girls.  Each group would make a flag to decorate their campsite and show the other campsites what they were about, how awesome they were, etc.
- SNAP didn’t have flags, but they did have a Door Decorating Contest, which was basically the same thing. Ours was an 80s Matching Game – match the 80s pic to the current headshot.  It was awesome.
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9. GROUP PARTY
- of course at camp, there’s always a big get-together party.
- SNAP was no exception – big parties mean big fun (and big hair!)

 10. LATE NIGHTS, EARLY MORNINGS
- girl’s camp has a pretty tight schedule, and you have to be up and moving in the mornings.  It seems like the only free time is at night, so you end up staying up way too late being goofy and having fun.
- don’t plan on sleeping while you’re at SNAP – we were up so late (seriously, like 2am each night – I’m too old for that!) but still were up to head to events at 8am.  It was crazy.  And Awesome.  Like Camp.  And like camp, it seems like you can learn TONS just in those late-night sessions, chatting with each other and sharing tips and tricks, all the while giggling over inside jokes.

11. AMAZING LEADERS
- if you’re a leader at Girl’s Camp, I know you’re awesome.  To deal with all the planning and scheduling and on top of that deal with a bunch of teenage girls.  Awesome.
- the SNAP leadership team, as you can guess, Awesome.  Tauni and her crew did an amazing job planning, moderating classes, keeping us in line, making everyone feel welcome, etc etc.

12. MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKERS
- you can’t have a camp without motivational speakers, am I right?!  at girl’s camp I probably didn’t appreciate the messages being shared nearly as much as I should have.
- the speakers at SNAP were great, and I was especially impressed with the Keynote Speakers.  They did an amazing job, really expressed their passions well and inspired you to do the same.  Top notch for sure.

13.  CAMP SHIRTS
- Girl’s Camp had a shirt each year that everyone received.  In addition to that, lots of groups would make their own shirts for fun (think tie dye and sharpie…)
- there weren’t official SNAP tshirts (oooh, but that’s an awesome idea – maybe next year?!) but I did grab a shirt from My Sister’s Tee that is one of my favorites – I love love love it.

14. LANYARDS
- we had to wear nametags at camp, or have something to show which campsite group we were with
- SNAP provides you with a lanyard that you wear at all times to show you’re part of the conference.  I’m sure the other people in the hotel saw them around our neck and tried to avoid us :)

15. FRIENDS
- it’s hard to forget one another after spending a week at camp with them.  I’m still friends with the girls I went to camp with – so fun.
- SNAP has a huge underling theme of friends – you’re all gathered together, and you all love blogging and creating – of course you’ll find a bunch of soulmates.  I love getting to meet in-person friends that I’ve interacted with online.  I love connecting with the friends I made last year.  It’s such a fun side to SNAP.

16. CLASSES
- camp has a tight schedule of classes.  You learn things you didn’t know about before, in a variety of topics.  Some you love, some are just alright.
- this year at SNAP I felt like I kept picking the wrong classes – I’d go to one, but end up wishing I had picked another.  I was able to exchange info from friends and we learned some great tips.  There was a great variety of classes to choose from.

17. COMMEMORATIVE JEWELRY
- there was always a gift at Girl’s Camp from leaders – something to remind us of our time at camp.  Often it was a necklace.
- SNAP had a necklace with the theme of the year stamped onto it – I really love it!  So nice that we were each provided one!  it’s pushing me to embrace gold :)

18. CAMP HIGH
- when you come home from Girl’s Camp, you are pumped up about everything!
- coming home from SNAP, I feel rejuvenated and pumped and ready to tackle my blog with new-found enthusiasm.  After I get over the pure exhaustion :)  I need a recovery week first!

19. UNPACKING
- no one wants to unpack from Girl’s Camp.
- no one wants to unpack from SNAP.  Seriously, I think I still had things in bags 6 months after-the-fact last year.  Meh!

20. LEVELS – EVERY YEAR IS A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE
This is why I’ll keep coming back to SNAP.  I have had a different, positive and gainful, experience each year.  Again, it relates to my camp experience.
- at our camp you were know by your “level” – 1st Years, 2nd Years, 3rd Years, 4th Years.  As a 1st Year, you’re pretty nervous – it’s a new experience and you’re not quite sure what to expect.  Maybe your first time away from family.  I was a diligent 1st Year – went to all the classes, did everything like I was told.  I interacted with new people, but mainly kept to who I had known going into camp.  As a 2nd year I was able to branch out just a little – I still went to classes and was there to learn, but I knew what to expect and knew people from the year before, so I was more comfortable.  The 3rd Year I wasn’t so by-the-book – I really hung out with new friends, and enjoyed the experience.
–SNAP is just like that for me.  
1st Year: My first year I was super nervous – I’d never even met another blogger!  I was going into the conference not knowing anyone – except I was too nervous to go by myself, so I drug my cousin along with me.  I was there for the classes.  And never being exposed to blog-info, I learned a ton!  I soaked it all in.  I met people, but didn’t really make any BFFs.  Instead of going to the closing party, we thought it’d be funner to go out to a movie, and so we did.  It was a good experience.
2nd Year: I was a little less nervous my second year – although I did still room with people I knew.  I was a die-hard on classes again – I was there to learn and I did.  I was able to connect quicker with people I had met the year before, so the connections were easier and more stable.  We had a fun time and really enjoyed the experience.
3rd Year: this year I went into the conference with a different goal – the previous years it was to learn and gain info.  This year I went with a goal to connect with other people and brands.  To have meaningful interactions with people.  And I did!  And I missed a couple of classes, and I was okay with it. I feel like a pretty seasoned blogger (I’ve been at it about 5 years) and so it’s understandable that I might not gain something out of the classes as much as I did the first year.  But I can still gain from the experience.  (and classes too – topics are different each year).   I interacted.  Connected with Brands.  Connect with bloggers.  And it was a great experience.
–I have gone to the same blog conference for 3 years.  And I love it.  And I’ll go again next year.  The experience is what you make of it, and even though it’s the same conference, I have gained different things from it each year.  Every year has been beneficial and awesome.  Bring on 2015!

And a quick shout-out to how it’s NOT like camp….
we’re on our phones constantly (social media is a real thing!) AND we didn’t see the light of day for who knows how long – all the events were in one hotel, so we went from room-to-room, never gracing the outdoors with our presence.

 A huge shout-out to Elmer’s, who sponsored the travel portion of my conference experience.  Elmer’s is AWESOME and it was great working with them and spreading their brand awareness.
If you haven’t tried a Painters yet, what are you waiting for?!  They are amazing, and I use them in crafts all. the. time.

 Next year’s goal: Take More Pictures!!


In case you’re interested…

Trevor’s recap of SNAP 2014

SNAP 2013 Recap

Trevor’s recap of SNAP 2013

SNAP 2012 Recap (I actually went all out and did a recap of each class that first year – but here’s the master list)

and you can find lots of other recaps from this year from lots of other bloggers here:
SNAP 2014 Recap Link Party

Craft Blogger
www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

Thanks for checking out this post from www.SugarBeeCrafts.com – - click on over to read it in its entirety – you’ll love it!

Thanks for Reading

Comments

  1. says

    Great, great post and comparison Mandy! I have been to much smaller local conferences and missed SNAP for Disney this year. But just be warned… I am a hugger! ;) Can’t wait to meet you in person next year ~ you are an inspiration! xo

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