This announcement has also been posted on the A-Camp website.
After careful consideration, we have decided to take a year off from A-Camp. We feel strongly that transitioning camp into its next phase — whatever that looks like — needs to happen thoughtfully, intentionally, and with a clear, inclusive process, and that doing that work properly takes more time than we have between this winter and next summer.
We know that this will be disappointing news for many. A-Camp holds a special place in so many of our hearts. A lot of campers were eager for their first trip and others anticipated returning to see beloved friends. We are very sorry that our prospective A-Camp dates had been released prior to us coming to this conclusion, and that some of you may have made plans with those dates in mind.
We will miss seeing your faces and sharing space with you this spring, but are confident that this time is needed in order for us to do internal work as an organization around structural racism, class and disability; areas in which A-Camp has failed in the past. That work has begun, but there is so much work left to be done.
Over the past few months, we’ve been all-hands-on-deck for the website — gathering feedback on improving Company Culture and implementing new Company Values and policies, increasing transparency and communication with our staff around hiring and pay rates, bringing new people onto the team through transparent and thorough interview processes, building leadership and teamwork skills with a coach and making plans for racial justice and workplace inclusion trainings. We know in our hearts that giving this website work the time and devoted focus it deserves will be imperative to its success.
Our next steps for A-Camp are this: in early Spring 2020, we will assemble a primarily Black and other POC transition team to determine next steps for A-Camp or a different kind of Autostraddle-adjacent event, as well as landing on a reasonable compensation package for new leadership and other staff. Our work will be informed by an independent professional financial analysis of what is possible for us to execute responsibly as we move away from a structure that relied too heavily on already-strained website staff/freelancers and other unpaid/underpaid labor. We will update you on the results of these conversations on the A-Camp website as we have them.
The outgoing co-directors and CEO will follow new leadership in the offboarding/onboarding process to ensure this and work that’s already been done by Black and POC staff is amplified and uplifted. Any future events will be designed to center of POC leadership, voices and experiences in consult with our Black and other POC staff.
The staggering strength, integrity, spirit and personalities of our staff and incredible community of campers has left us consistently awestruck, year after year. We wish to honor that work with this process. We sincerely hope that taking this time to evaluate and rebuild with vulnerability, bravery and open hearts; employing practices rooted in community care and hope for comprehensive change; will lead to a better experience for all.