Author and TV producer Tammi Fuller shares below the heartwarming and inspirational story of the Miami Bombshells. Want to know how to start a Bombshell Circle of your own? Check out their website and go to “Be a Bombshell” for a complete Bombshell Circle Starter Kit.
On most days, I consider myself a pretty good mom, wife, sister, daughter, employee, friend, volunteer, and 8th and 12th grade project (and costume) designer. But on the rare occasions when the proverbial steam starts to seep from my ears, my family recognizes I’m about to blow, and actually encourages me to leave the house for a few days. Because when I come back, they like me again.
Apparently, I am not the only woman on earth who’s overwhelmed by the constant struggle to juggle. Sleep deprivation is now something women often brag about. Not working out has become something of a status symbol, almost a way of declaring, “I’m way too busy to waste time caring about such narcissistic things as my body.”
What’s going on here?
That’s the question some girlfriends and I kept asking ourselves over the past few years, as we compiled our book of mini-memoirs called Dish and Tell: Life, Love and Secrets. [Read an excerpt from the book right here.] We call ourselves the Miami Bombshells. The book’s underlying theme? That all women, no matter how different they seem, go through similar experiences in life, and just knowing this fact is sometimes enough to make it better.
After the book was published, we were overwhelmed by the response from women readers. Looking for a purpose to their lives, they wanted to run away from home, too (if only for a couple of days). So we created Camp Bombshell. No boys allowed.
Who says you have to be 12 to play kickball and archery and sing around the campfire?
Word of mouth spread quickly. All we did was ask women to “leave the stress, the men, the kids and the makeup at home” and come with us to camp in the Pocono Mountains. We rented out the place where I had spent my childhood summers, and planned a guilt-free weekend of fun and games, complete with lots of wine and chocolate. We were pretty surprised when 75 women, ages 23 to 70, told us they wanted in. We slept in cabins, stomped on grapes to make Bombshell wine, canoed, climbed ropes, had "ultimate nights passion parties" (always a huge hit), and sat in circles, to talk and be listened to. Most women did not know each other, and while we were only there for two days, most cried when it was time to go home. We got so many emails and letters from women who told us the weekend had recharged their batteries that we decided to do it again.
Since then, we’ve put on seven Camp Bombshells, and have three more slated for this fall. Grown women, we’ve found, can’t wait to participate in scavenger hunts and talent shows and sing-alongs by the campfire (with s’mores, of course!), all the things that can help us reclaim the little girl inside us who’s been too busy to come out and play, because we’ve been taking care of everyone but ourselves.
Throughout these Camp Bombshell weekends, women sit together in Bombshell Circles and share some pretty big secrets. They know their secrets are safe. We post our worries on the "Worry Wall" and then torch them in the campfire. Burning them helps us move forward. By the time camp is over, we all go home feeling rested and appreciative for the good things we have in our lives.
Running away from home is much easier now that I have a place to go, and I don’t even have to bring my girlfriends anymore. I make new ones at each new Camp Bombshell. Being back in the camp environment is teaching us we are never too old to play, and that by getting away and letting loose once in awhile, we can actually be better moms, wives, sisters, daughters, employees, friends, and even costume and project designers.
Put yourself first for a change, because if you don’t, who will? And if not now, when?
Tammi Leader Fuller: Is a producer for NBC's The Today Show, Fox TV, Extra, America's Most Wanted, and others.
- Click to buy Dish and Tell: Life, Love and Secrets.