VIII. Rainbow Wars Start Now
In which we introduced Rainbow Wars and opened our first night of competition with Photobooth, Tug of War, Balloon Tag, Map, Parachute and Auto Story
Riese: Robin kept talking about wanting to do "Color Wars" for camp this time and I kinda knew what she meant from friends who had color wars at their summer camps and Marni had no clue what she meant, because Canada, but Robin sounded really excited about it and the #5 rule of Autostraddle is "if a person you love is that passionate about something, you have say go for it."
Robin: I was so nervous this idea of "Rainbow Wars" wouldn't translate to adult lesbian camp, but it was always such a fun and exciting part of my camp experience growing up, I wanted so badly to try it.
Riese: Basically we were put into color teams — 2 or 3 cabins per team — and there were opportunities all week to win points and whomever wins at the end has good luck for life and won't go to the reaping.
Robin: I'm so glad Marni and Riese allowed me to bring it to A-Camp because Rainbow Wars appeared to bring cabins together while creating a friendly competition between teams! I'm excited to make it even better for May's camp and provide varied opportunities to win points!
Robin: So Carly and I had to create a series of short games for 250 people that'd last fifteen minutes each and involve campers meeting up with / competing against different groups at each station. Carly made a really amazing color-coded chart and we ordered things like a 75 foot-long tug of war rope, which Marni will forever make fun of me for.
Hansen: The rainbow wars station games were hilarious. The Misfits really lived up to their name in these games. I don't think we won a single thing we could win.
Carmen: Despite there being three teams competing max per activity, we came in fifth place each time.
Hansen: This became our theme for camp.
Riese: Alex and I led a game where each cabin had to make up the story of where the name Autostraddle came from, and seriously everybody's story involved women addicted to straddling automobiles and/or every object in her path who one day found a website where she could relate to other compulsive straddlers. You guys are weird.
Carly: I was in charge of tug-of-war while Crystal traveled from station to station with our valiant Thundercats, who definitely should've gotten points for Best Photobomb.
Hansen: We made a plan to win the photobooth station by being really ridiculously good looking, but I'm pretty sure Rachel Walker won photobooth with her photobomb of us. I'll never forgive the red team for this.
Crystal: I secretly felt so proud.
Riese: I became concerned for the Rainbow Wars fate of the Golden Girls when they spent the three minutes of story-building time talking about whatever and for their presentation had Digger stand up and say "fuck me with a strap-on."
Alex: Almost everyone managed to work in "rehab" and "unicorns" (and sometimes robots) into their stories.
Whitney: My cabin, the Neverlanders, ended up putting together a pretty bad-ass Mad Lib involving cats and feelings and Riese and Alex. It was awesome, especially when the fill-in-the-blanks were filled by the other team with words like "dildo" and "harness." Best. Mad Lib. Ever.
Sara Medd: PARACHUTE!!!!! I didn’t expect that to still be as fun as elementary school, but it absolutely was!!!
Carly: The highlight of tug-of-war was probably when I made Mary and Grace face off against Rachel and Geneva, which ended when Stef and a few others crashed the game.
Carrie: The balloon-stomping game was loud and terrifying and hilarious. I would love to meet the sick weirdo who invented that.
Laneia: The Runagays were up against The Avengers in balloon tag, and they were BEASTS! This was honestly the moment when I knew everyone in our cabin was going to mesh. It was super intense, even if Croce was half-dead with the plague.
Rachel: I still have to commend Ashley for her bravery on the front lines during the balloon game, and I am still inspired on a daily basis by my team's performance during tug of war. We bleed purple, etc.
IX. Opening Night Campfire
In which Julie Goldman plays a song, Robin and Marni talk about camp, and all the staff comes on stage so we can all look at each other's faces at the same time.
Riese: Y'all, we made Brandy Howard miss a Fiona Apple concert so she and Julie could be there the first night to emcee the campfire and make Julie sing the Gay Baby Army Song.
Brandy Howard, The Talent: The opening campfire is always electric because it's the first official activity with EVERYONE together. This time around, Carly and Grace strung up some lights around the area and the transformation was intoxicating. It looked like we were all gathered in the woods for a romantic, gay, group wedding. And we kind of were!
Alex: Julie Goldman killed it, as usual.
Brandy: When Julie got up to sing Gay Baby Army- the moment was magical. She's looked so cute in her rainbow Vans with her little cheeks. Gay Baby Army is the anthem of camp and while she sings it, it feels like she knows all the mysterious secrets of gayness, and by the end of camp- we'll all knew them too;-)
Robin: I looked around during Julie's songs at new and old friends singing and waving their hands together, sporting bandanas and A-Camp shirts, and it was once again hard to believe I wasn't dreaming!
Morgan: Can we start a giant Google hangout and sing Gay Baby Army again? I want to sway again while we harmonize on one big queer wavelength.
Carrie: Seeing everyone together at the campfire was magical. Now when I'm at home reading Autostraddle comments I try to imagine I'm at that campfire with everyone and we're just hanging out and talking. This might seem more reasonable in my head though.
Laneia: Will the campers ever know how beautiful and literally amazing they all look at opening campfire?! Probably not. They're just so epic, sitting in that stadium semi-circle.
Crystal: At the Opening Ceremony, the staff were asked to stand on stage in front of everyone - a thing that I find terrifying. Cee noticed how freaked out I was and helped to shield me from view; it was the first of many moments at Camp where a staff member or camper would make a small but significant gesture that made me feel accepted and understood.
Riese: Carly and Grace had found the light — and by that I mean "the outdoor lighting" — so I could see all the faces this time! Last time I was drunk and couldn't see the faces, but it was electric. This time I was soberish and I could see the faces, and that's a different kind of electric.
Carmen: After introductions I left the campfire because there seemed to be some sort of huge pilgrimage to Wolf Lodge occurring, and then I lost all the people I had walked uphill with because they went back to the fire pit but I didn't even know it was all still happening, and met a bunch of new ones outside in the smokers' circle. This was the year of the smokers' circle. I spent the rest of this night in the smokers' circle.
Vikki, Avengers Counselor/Contributor: I relied on the kindness of strangers to provide for me (Hello Alice! Hello Random Woman in Eagle Lodge with Two Bags of Ice!). When left to my own dev-ices (Get it? “Ices”? Yeah, I’m still tired.), I made drinks without ice. I learned a valuable lesson: I will never ever be desperate enough for a social lubricant to drink a warm cocktail.
Riese: We were all so fucking happy at the end of the night — not just because of the energy but because it was so fun! We weren't stressed out and confused all day, like we could actually be part of the fun everybody was having. I think after the campfire I drank whiskey with campers and told all of our secrets to a Wild Runaway in a Cosby sweater.
Alex: Also the refrigerator exploded and I fixed it. I'm just saying, I feel like I should get lots of butch points for that.
Next Re-Camp: LET THE GAMES BEGIN