Introducing Camp Autostraddle 4.0

Once upon a time we had a dream. It involved a couple hundred of you, 35 of us, a group retreat site in the San Bernardino Mountains and a weekend packed with workshops, panels, classes, meet-ups, activities and performances designed to inspire, educate, entertain and/or make you laugh — basically, it was the spirit of this website manifested in three entire dimensions mixed with a dash of old-fashioned Summer Camp goodness. We wanted to create a special (and affordable!) space where you could be yourself, enhance your relationships within the international queer community, support Autostraddle, be a kid again and make new friends forever.

It was a dream called A-Camp, and it was a dream that came true the last weekend of April, 2012 and again in September 2012 and again in May 2013.

Obviously, we’re doing it again — and this time, we have a website! That’s where you can find the FAQ, our camp blog, the talent/staff we’ve got on board so far and register the fuck out of your unit.

 

Details

 

When:

Wednesday October 9th – Sunday October 13th

A-Camp-Logo-October-2013-Regonline-2

Where:

Alpine Meadows Retreat Center in Angelus Oaks, California. It’s two hours from Los Angeles, 2.5 hours from San Diego, four hours from Las Vegas, five hours from Phoenix and eight hours from San Francisco. We’ll be running shuttles from LAX to the campsite from 11 AM to 2PM on October 9th and shuttles back to LAX at 11AM on October 13th.

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Who:

You weirdos! In May, our campers ranged in age from 18 to 50 and came from all over the world, including lots of Canadians and quite a few Australians and Europeans. Half our campers were over 25 and half were under. At least 60% of campers are brand new!

Also: us. We’ll be rolling out the staff roster and additional talent gradually over at A-Camp.org and making announcements here as events warrant.

Lodging:

You’ll be having the bestest biggest surprise slumber party of your life in fully insulated, carpeted & heated cabins with private bathroom/showers/baths and generously-sized bunk beds. You’ll be sharing these cabins with somewhere between 12 and 18 others, led by two counsellors from Team Autostraddle. Cabin groups are designed with your happiness in mind.

How

Tuition is $465 and is all-inclusive.

Just $75 down reserves your spot!

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Your tuition includes:

  • Four nights lodging (linens included)
  • Three meals a day with snacks – we now work with the chef to design a menu and options catered specifically for our group, with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options as well as meals for people with food allergies.
  • Full access to a variety of activities, workshops, panels, sports, discussion groups, classes and arts & crafts. You’ll also have the option to get fun one-on-one stuff like an Alternative Lifestyle Haircut, One-on-One Career Mentoring or an Individual Style Consultation, all included!
  • Crazy-fun evening entertainment from comedian DeAnne Smith and from our musical talent including the prolific rock star Somer Bingham and esteemed vocalist Haviland Stillwell. 
  • Tote bag packed with awesome swag including your A-Camp T-Shirt.

 

What the hell goes on at A-Camp?

For more information about what goes on at A-Camp, you can check out our recaps from April and September and May’s camp  and testimonies from campers about the joy of the experience. (Keep in mind that this time around, things will be even more awesome.) But A-Camp is whatever you make of it: every camper writes their own story. Come with your heart wide open and do whatever you want.

Camp September 2012 212

 

A-Camp Daytime

Days at A-Camp are spent participating in a variety of programming options offered by the Autostraddle Team and Guest Facilitators — last camp’s activities included Mind The Generation Gap, Hip-Hop Dance, Safer Sex Q&A, Nerdcraft, Swagger 101, Kickass Heroines in Popular Sci-Fi/Fantasy, DIY Body Scrubs, Real Talk: Your Relationship Doesn’t Have To Suck, Erotica Writing, Car Repair, Music Trivia, T-Shirt Cutting/Stenciling and the Bisexual/Sexual Fluidity Panel. You’re welcome to attend as many or as few activities as you like and make your own path in the world. This camp we’re really excited to host the first-ever A-Camp Carnivalfestival.

A-Camp May 201310

 

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A-Camp After Dark

We open A-Camp with an all-camp campfire, but the rest of our evening entertainment changes every time.  In past camps, we’ve enjoyed wet/riotous games of Faggity Feud With Julie & Brandy, hosted Staff Readings, laughed our asses off for DeAnne Smith and put on musical performances like Lilith Flair. What will happen in October? The best way to find out is to come to camp. Or check our A-Camp blog for updates.

Camp September 2012 213


We’ve Got Talent:

We’ll be rolling out our staff and talent gradually, you can check out the website for that. But here’s who we’ve got on board right now:

deanne_smithDeAnne Smith: DeAnne blogs for Autostraddle, but mostly she’s known for her hilarious stand-up and prolific career as a comic. DeAnne has appeared on teevee sets all over the universe including appearances on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, Good News Week, Canada’s The Comedy Network and HBO Canada. She’s won and been nominated for heaps of awards all over the world, such as the Sydney Comedy Festival’s Time Out Best Newcomer and the Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. DeAnne Smith NAILS IT.

Grace_Bonney

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Grace Bonney:

Grace Bonney is the founder & CEO of Design*Sponge, which The New York Times declared “Martha Stewart Living for Millenials.” Founded nine years ago, Design*Sponge is now a cornerstone of the design and craft community, recently publishing Bonney’s Design*Sponge At Home. Grace has worked for publications such as Domino, In Style, New York Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Everyday With Rachel Ray and House & Garden as well as being a featured guest on Good Morning America and The Martha Stewart Show. She runs meetups for women running design-based businesses, founded the anual Design*Sponge scholarship to support up-and-coming art and design students, and came out two weeks ago!

Somer Bingham

somerSomer Bingham almost won Intern of the Year in a self-started possibly-rigged election at A-Camp May 2013 despite not being an actual intern. Also, she’s a rock star you may recognize from the esteemed television situation The Real L Word, where she appeared along with her then-band Hunter Valentine. Somer hosted Somer Fridays on Showtime and is currently one-half of ‘Electro-grunge unicorn-riding badasses from a landy of whiskey waterfalls,’ Clinical Trials.

 

 

 


 

How Is This Camp Not Like All Other Camps?

If you’ve been to camp before, rest assured that in October 2013 we’ll have plenty of new innovative stuff going on, including the first ever A-Camp Carnival/Festival Situation which will undoubtedly blow your mind. We’re especially excited about the addition of Grace Bonney to our A-Camp Team because she’s gonna take our programming to a whole new level. We’re amped to see what everybody comes up with and the guest facilitators we can rope in! The sky’s the limit. Just kidding! The limit does not exist.

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Okay, I’m in. What Now?

If you wanna get on the saddle and trot on over to A-Camp with us this fall, here’s what you’ve gotta do:

1. For the low low price of a $75 non-refundable deposit, you can snag your spot for the fall festivities. Please read the instructions at the top of each registration interface page if anything seems remotely complicated. Your full tuition is due August 15th, but just contact us if you need an extension.

2. If registration fills up, you can put yourself on the waitlist. Be sure to put an e-mail address you check regularly and often, so you don’t miss our note if you’re up! We’ll also be doing a raffle on July 15th to let in ten people off the waitlist.

3. If you’re driving in on Wednesday, please plan to arrive between 2 PM and 5:30 PM. On Sunday, please plan to leave by noon.

4. If you’re looking for flights and will need transportation from the airport, be sure you can be at Terminal 6 by 2 PM on October 9th. If you’re getting in later than 2PM, you’ll have to make your own travel arrangements.

If you’ll need transportation to the airport on Sunday, October 13th, there will be shuttles leaving at 11am. It takes 2.5-3+ hours to get to the airport, so we won’t show up at LAX ’til 1:30 at the absolute earliest, so we advise against booking flights that leave before 4:00PM. If the 11AM shuttle won’t get you to the airport in time to make your flight, you’ll have to make your own travel arrangements. Options exists such as “getting a ride with another camper,” “bribing the kitchen staff” (no really this might be your best option) and “renting a car for a very low in-airport price.” Also, many campers stick around LA for the night or a few days or a few weeks, too, which is lots of fun!

5. If you need to cancel, you can just log back in to the registration interface and cancel!

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Camperships

Your generosity has sent over 20 deserving humans to A-Camp over the past year, and you’ll have the chance to make dreams come true again for October. We’ll put up a post soliciting donations and applicants for Camperships the first week of July and the page will be put up on our A-Camp websiteThis year we’ll be partitioning some of the donated money into partial camperships as well.

 

Also

If you have questions, check out our FAQ!

 

What are you waiting for?

Register Now! 

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223 Comments

  1. Thumb up 4

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    The website looks amazing! Very informative for the new kids. I went in May and it was incredible and all my friends are jealous. I can’t go in October and I’m jealous of everyone that can. I’m shooting for next spring!

    FYI: One lil spot in the “Ok I’m in, what now?” section needs to be updated to say October, not May.

  2. Thumb up 6

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    This is the second time in a row that my joyous time on top of a mountain with a bunch of queer women has been foiled by a straight wedding in Texas. CURSES! WOE!

    … I guess it’s my Mom’s wedding this time though and she’s been waiting to get married for 20+ years, so fair enough. I’ll just have to help sponsor someone else.

  3. Thumb up 5

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    I may have been obsessively refreshing the page waiting for this all morning while talking with all my cabin mates via Facebook messenger. Now that I’m all registered I can go back to doing something productive. Like re-crafting my resume. Or watching the X-Files.

  4. Thumb up 3

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    UGH. why must I always have school stuff going on. This is like one month into me starting college and I just don’t know if I can miss classes. Last time it was a week from senior finals. Maybe I just need to sacrifice school for a few days to do this.

  5. Thumb up 6

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    So. That’s my 21st birthday weekend. It’s like destiny! Now, if only destiny can make my airfare fall from the sky…
    Because I want to spend my birthday with hundreds of lesbians in the mountains of Southern California. And by golly, I’ll do what must be done to make it happen.

  6. Thumb up 2

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    Ok, so question, how long do you think before registration fills up? I know this is just me being silly, but I feel like I need a few days to digest that I’m probably going to sign up for this even though I’m super nervous/scared/excited to do so!

    • Thumb up 3

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      you should swallow the nervous fear and GO FOR IT for real!

      but for real it’ll probs fill up within the next two days, we’ve got 91 people signed up as of this moment (1:18 PM PST) — but we’re also leaving some spots open and are gonna do a raffle on july 15th to let in ten people off the waitlist, and if you’re pretty high up on the list then you’ll probs get in soon? but if you wanna be extra-positive that you’ve got a spot asap i’d recommend registering soon. i’ll keep the thread abreast of where we’re at!

  7. Thumb up 2

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    AHHHHH I REALLY WANT TO GO but won’t know if i can until i figure out exactly what will or won’t be happening job-wise for me this fall. fingers, toes, and all other cross-able appendages are being crossed in hope that it will work out!

  8. Thumb up 4

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    My credit card has been forgotten at home and I can not make a paypal until I have it!!! oh no! saaaaad day! I hope there is still a spot left tonight, because I will make it work with my job schedule even if I have to freaking beg!

    • Thumb up 8

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      I know you have no reason to trust me when I say, TRUST ME! BEST. DECISION. EVER. This is quite honestly the most welcoming community I’ve ever encountered. And the staff are phenomenal. I went to the first camp mainly to see if they would manage to pull off making this online community a 3D reality. They more than managed it. THEY NAILED IT! And they keep getting better at it. Go. Everyone, go! Do this thing!

  9. Thumb up 1

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    alright tell the truth for reals: is this basically a school kids club and anyone over 35 is gonna feel like an ancient and possibly creeper dinosaur? What percentage of A-campers are in this older age group? Thanks.

  10. Thumb up 1

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    Don’t suppose Camperships cover flights to and from England, do they? When I finally go and explore the US I am definitely, 100%, arranging my trip around A-Camp. See you all after about a decade of saving up!

      • Thumb up 2

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        there’s a really good chance you will get in off the waitlist! i think almost our entire waitlist got in last time? because plans change and people have conflicts and all that jazz? do not despair, if you wanna be at camp in september then you will be, I BELIEVE IN YOU.

      • Thumb up 3

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        I think you’ll be fine. I am in the same boat and as a result of witnessing the progression of the waitlist last camp have a adopted this super zen “que sera, sera” mindset. I want to go to camp. I will hopefully at some point get off the waitlist and if I just plan as if I am already going it can work out or I’ll have $465 and a plane ticket and that is cool too.

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        i think there might still be spots at the end of the week! and if not, you’ll get in off the waitlist eventually. we usually do get through the entire waitlist by the time camp comes around.

  11. Thumb up 3

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    I canceled my May registration because I was short on funds and also didn’t know how to explain what I was going to do and why to my parents (living at home at age 23 sucks, folks). I still want to go and I still have much the same problem although I did just get a job so maybe I will have funds eventually. But then I am also trying to save up to move out…

    ARGH.

    (This has been today’s ineffectual complaining. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Autostraddle.)

  12. Thumb up 7

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    oh god I just registered god help my bank account I am going to Autostraddle 4.0 and I am inordinately excited except for the part where my 21st birthday is literally TWO DAYS after the end of camp and I was really hoping it would be on the following weekend so that I could celebrate my birthday with queers on a mountain but that’s okay I’m still pretty psyched and by “pretty psyched” I mean I am currently getting in a whole lot of practice at Having Feelings

  13. Thumb up 2

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    i’m in a serious state of turmoil i have been freaking out and seriously considering just plunking down the deposit but i am really concerned about my ability to come up with the rest of the money, airfare especially just puts me right over the edge. i want to go so badly, it sounds like such an amazing experience and i miss this kind of community so much!

  14. Thumb up 2

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    So sad I don’t have the money this time! Also, hoping that next time A-Camp will be happening at a time when people who can’t take time off work (like teachers!) can get there…

    (please please please?)

  15. Thumb up 13

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    I just went from being afraid to comment and being a lurker extraordinaire to registering for camp and planning an entire west coast road trip to go along with it. Because camp and I’m inspired and overwhelmed and I just wanted to join in with everybody cause I have too many feelings to even process a thing!

  16. Thumb up 1

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    HELP! I’m considering registering for my first A-Camp but won’t be able to arrive at LAX until Wednesday at 8pm. I have 3 classes on Wednesday and Thursday and want to avoid missing both days – hence the late Wednesday arrival.

    Since the camp site is far away from LAX, it seems like the shuttle is the only cheap way to get there…are there (or in the past has there been) any cheap alternatives for the people who are getting in a few hours or even a day later than the scheduled A-Camp shuttle pick up? (I did not see this in FAQs).

  17. Thumb up 1

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    As a poor English college student, I am looking at my bank balance and weeping lots. But maybe if I won a campership I could afford the plane ticket?! I’ve watched the last two camps happen without me and now I’m so desperate to join in. Gosh.
    *crosses fingers and hopes*

  18. Thumb up 1

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    Plane tickets have been bought! yay! Also if anyone else is coming from Minnesota, I did two one way tickets and it was so much cheaper! Flying out on Southwest is very inexpensive, and there are like 4 flights that get in before 2pm that day. Flying back is trickier, I chose Delta because Southwest didn’t have any flights after 3 pm, and the other airlines that did were all really expensive.

    Can’t wait to meet everyone!

    • Thumb up 2

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      Glad I’m not the only one who already bought tickets! I’ve also been making mental shopping lists, packing lists, considering new hair styles, what color nail polish goes best with being in the woods and all of the other minor details it’s probably way too early to be thinking about.

      In addition, I’ve been doing sums in my head trying to figure out how many bottles of wine I can fit into a suitcase with a volume of ~6800 cubic inches and a weight limit of 70lbs…It might be more efficient to go with box wine though…

      • Thumb up 1

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        HAHA! I am just too excited! And also, I have terrible luck with plane ticket prices… they never seem to go down just up up up for me!

        Also, they said in the FAQ section of the A-Camp website that if you are taking a shuttle from the airport that they will be stopping at a grocery store to get food and alcohol if we want it! So save the room, buy booze at the store when we land and pack more outfits =)

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          Ahh, that’ll teach me not to skim the FAQ and actually read everything. Though, I’m not hurting on space (very frequent traveler, so I get 2 free 70lb bags), but buying locally sounds better so I don’t have to lug two giant heavy suitcases on the train to the airport and then across the camp to my cabin on arrival.

  19. Thumb up 1

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    This may have been answered in this amazing sea comments, but when is the A-Camp after October, in spring 2014?
    Can’t get it together for this one, and have been meaning to go for what feels like years!

    Also, wait, there are shuttles from LAX go to the campsite?!
    (Or are they regular shuttles that simply get you out of the insanity that is LAX and onto rent-a-cars…)

    • Thumb up 1

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      They don’t announce the dates until after or during the current camp and they probably don’t even know themselves right now. I think it’s safe to say that we won’t know until October – and that the spring 2014 camp will be either in April or May, as they usually are.

      Shuttles go directly to/from camp. It’s super easy.

  20. Thumb up 2

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    Quick question. Are there going to be lockers of any kind for use to use to keep our valuables in. I ask mainly because I don’t think I can make it through a 7 hour flight with my sanity in tact. Haha.

  21. Thumb up 0

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    Ok, so this is the beginning of step 1. Step 1 is to quit being such a lurker. Step 3: go to A Camp. I don’t know what step 2 is, but I am going to figure that mess out and DO IT. And then GO TO A-CAMP someday. Someday, y’all.

  22. Thumb up 0

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    I know this question is a bit late but I can’t find the info and it really should be somewhere so: How accessible is this event to disabled people? would someone who uses a wheelchair be able to go? Is there accessibility info anywhere on the website? I just can’t find it (but let’s be honest it’s still 6 something AM I can’t even find my cereal)

  23. Thumb up 0

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    ooohhh i so want to go! i’m seriously applying for an exchange semester at my uni to be in the us next year, so hoping to go then. northern Europe is a fucking expensive place to fly from (and omg the time difference. but most of all OMG 3rd year of law school. KILLING ME!)

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