NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Sisters on the Fly is the largest outdoor women's group in the United States. Its goal is to help women get up, get out and become more adventurous.
Participation here in East Texas is rapidly growing. East Texas News found a group spending the weekend in Nacogdoches County where there's never a dull moment.
"It is a women's group that camps. We're all about being outdoors," said Marian Taylor, the Sisters' East Texas wrangler. "There's ladies all over the country. There's over 5,000 members right now."
Taylor is hosting about 50 members this weekend. They're gathered at Camp Tonkawa, north of Nacogdoches. All are camping. Some in vintage camp trailers, which are sort of the rolling trademark of sisterhood.
"I'll give up my man and my dogs, but I'm not giving up my trailer," said Francis Bearden, a Sisters on the Fly member from Athens.
Bearden her 1967's Shasta's hub caps as bright as the silver she brings out for company.
Next door, Lois Johnson of Keller, just north of Fort Worth rescued her family trailer from a cow pasture. She gutted it, decorated it and its home, where she parks it.
"It feels like the bedroom I always wanted, but I came from a large family and you never got your own room," said Lois Johnson, a Sister from Keller.
Sisters on the Fly strives to help members learn how to do for themselves and not feel guilty about leaving the responsibilities of men, kids, and pets behind.
"The Sisters on the Fly has given me a sense of empowerment that I have not found in anything else that I have done," said Pat Doutry, a Sister from Arlington.
Carol McBride of Abilene calls it freedom. Her mentors are her mother and two aunts who are never too far behind.
"And she towed a little trailer like the little vintage ones all the way back from D.C. by herself in her 40s," said Carol McBride, a Sister from Abilene.
In 2015 similar trips are for another purpose.
"We make girls out of women," Taylor said. "Anything that brings happiness is what we're all about."
This afternoon happiness was kayaking at Lake Naconiche. It was old hat for some and new territory for others. But that's all right. A sister is always there to help.
"Hold the paddle," Taylor said.
"Being brave," Bearden said.
"Stepping out of your comfort zone," Taylor said.
It's something sisters tend to get accustomed to doing. Tonight around the camp, they'll learn how to play the ukulele.
It was one busy day for Sisters on the Fly.
Tomorrow Sisters on the Fly will take in the Spring Fling at the Nacogdoches Farmer's Market, downtown shopping and the Azalea Trail.
You can learn all about joining the adventuresome bunch at their website.