A-Camp May 2013 Recamp #3: Fun Before 2pm, Fun After 2pm

Saturday Night After Dark

Night Block A: Deanne Smith’s Stand-up Spectacular (Deanne Smith, obvs)

Night Block B: Faggity Feud (Julie & Brandy) // Board Games (Crystal & Ali)

Night Block C: A Walk on The Spooky Side: Curated X-Files Screening (Rachel & Stef) // Klub Deer (Klub Kids)

death-by-absynth

Brittani: I hadn’t seen DeAnne Smith perform stand-up live prior to A-Camp. There’s something about live comedy that doesn’t come across in a YouTube video so I was psyched when I found out she’d be doing an hour specially catered to the A-Camp audience. Going to an hour long show for someone you’ve never seen before can be a gamble but her set was remarkable.

(photo by ariel)

(photo by ariel)

Gabby: My favorite thing about this crazy ass lesbo is that she laughs like a motherfucker. Deanne isn’t one of those comedians who think they’re the only funny person in the room. Me and Deanne cracked jokes all over Mount Feelings and like i love her. I keep picturing someone slapping her vulva and laughing to myself like a crazy person on the subway.

Brittani: The show reached a level of hilarity and excitement only attainable when everyone in the room is on board. Just when I thought I’d be done laughing at a joke, I’d turn around and see Ali snort laughing then I’d see Taylor trying not to laugh at Ali and I’d go into a fit of laughter all over again. It’s going to be pretty hard to have more fun at a comedy show than I did at that one.

Cara: Listening to a comedy set that was full of jokes that didn’t just happen to speak to my experience, but were actually written in order to speak to my experience, I felt like I really “got” A-Camp for the first time. I also realized I could probably never explain the feeling to a lot of people I care about. Bittersweet for sure, but luckily Deanne was so hilarious that I forgot about the bitter part.

Nailing it - Photo by Cee Webster

Nailing it – Photo by Cee Webster

Daniela: DeAnne Smith’s geeky pick up lines song spoke directly to my heart.

Sophia: DeAnne Smith killed it. It’s really hard to choose between any activity and DeAnne’s stand up because that was such a treat. She really knew the audience and OMG SHE SLAPPED MY VULVA I couldn’t handle it. I also couldn’t handle the laughs in the audience, the perfect hiccups of laughter, the nonstop wheezing, folks were BENT OVER, I heart Ali’s snorts from across the room, I thought some asthma attacks were happening but it was just the perfect comedy.

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DeAnne Smith: Julie and Brandy polled 50 Autostraddlers-on-a-mountain for Faggity Feud and the results were hilarious. I wish I could remember more specifics about how and why, exactly, this night was so fun but I was drunk on bourbon (I’m starting to sense a theme here…). The show’s a blur of watching Carly and Grace hold down the tech requirements like total bosses, Julie’s delivery, Brandy’s salaciousness, wet, white clothing and the image of Marni dating all y’all’s moms.

A-Camp May 20139

Deanne: The show felt wild in a way that hundreds of queers on a mountain should feel wild. Riotous, but with statistics.

Brandy: Faggity Feud is always one of my personal favorite events at camp (and not just because I co-invented it, co-write it, and co-host it), but because of all the glorious, wet BOOBS!!!

Image via Brandy

Image via Brandy

Laneia: One of the things I love about Faggity Feud is how the contestants get super into it. I mean they get into it — wearing underpants chosen specifically for being sprayed with a water gun, cheating with their buzzers — and it’s just for us, for the rest of camp. They’re not getting a cash prize or a toaster. It’s all for the glory of rainbow war points and the honor of being the fruition of Brandy Howard’s water soaked, breast filled dreams. That’s dedication, you know? It’s a beautiful thing. Almost as beautiful as Julie Goldman in a vintage tuxedo situation. Almost.

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Riese: I come for the Julie/Brandy banter and the always-unpredictable camper contestants (confession: I’m not really obsessed with boobs like how everybody else is, idk) and both were out in full force this time!

Carmen: I was proud of Cameron, resident Inferno representative working hard on behalf of the red team to help us sweep away Faggity Feud for the Nichols team and see a lot of boobs at the same time. But I was even prouder that I was selected as the number three answer for the question “who on staff would you fix up with your mom if your mom was gay” by 50 random weirdos on the mountain. I began scouting out hot moms to date as soon as the game ended, but not before I gave myself a standing o.

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Carly: Oh my god, I just love all of OUR TALENT. Intern Somer — by far the best intern on the mountain — and a brilliant musician to boot. DeAnne Smith — I was crying from laughing so hard during her standup and is the reason I find myself saying “nailed it” constantly. And Julie and Brandy, my precious snowflakes who hosted a crazy awesome pool party and hosted Faggity Feud, which I had the honor of producing with them. I am still crushed that no A-Campers want me to date their mom, but I’ll dry my tears with the knowledge that you want to have a threesome with my wife and… Alex. <3 <3 <3

Crystal: While Faggity Feud was happening, Ali and I were in Deer Lodge playing card and board games. Ali participated in a really complicated card game involving historical events with campers who have a far greater attention span than I do. In the other corner, camper Celia taught us how to play Scattegories and then hosted an epic game of Cards Against Humanity.


 

After After Dark

Laneia: OMG Rachel dressed as Scully. I didn’t even know I gave two fucks about The X-Files, but after Rachel put on the Scully wig and the blazer, I was a believer. I mean I knew the truth was out there, is what I’m saying.

Stef & Rachel before The X-Files Screening

Stef & Rachel before The X-Files Screening

Kristen: Cara drank a lot of rum and then had three hours of Hair Feelings. I think about appearances and attraction all the time, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to do a Real Life Queer Survey about how one’s outward appearance affects their probability of getting laid with a specific subset of human beings. We had a highly academic discussion with acclaimed hair experts Katrina, Sara Medd, Hansen, Liz, Cee, Jill and anyone else that happened to be sitting in Wolf Lodge. What are your follicular options when your hair’s curly, your jaw’s strong and your style icon’s Jack White? If you feel like having an emotional hair-centric awakening, I would highly recommend doing so in Wolf Lodge with a handle of rum and 300+ sounding boards. Note, she may not remember much of this.

taylor attempts to hijack klub deer

taylor attempts to hijack klub deer

Riese: The last two camps were total nightmares w/r/t my overall health because drinking and humans and “having a Block A activity every day” but I was doing really good this time… until Saturday when I stayed up ’til 5AM talking about feelings with The Runaways and The Blackhearts. NO REGRETS — I wanna hear everybody’s everything forever and all night, these bright shining stargirls who come here from so many different places (geographically, but emotionally too).

 


 

Klub Deer

Tomorrow’s recap will contain additional profound testimonials about the coolest club on the mountain, Klub Deer.

klub-deer-testimonials

Meredydd: I love that something that started as a silly one-off thing has become an actual part of the A-Camp schedule. Klub Deer is ridiculous and fun and obviously the best club in the San Bernadino National forest.

Jill, Wild Things Counselor: Bouncing for Klub Deer this year was a hoot. Thanks everyone for bearing with me as I learned how to properly tie wristbands and apply a super smokin’ hot Klub Deer stamp. All my hard work was worth it though, because I got to use my bouncer intimidation skills to gain voyeuristic access to many cute animal smartphone pics. My favorites included a turtle eating a large piece of broccoli and a pic of Rachel Kincaid’s cats caught in…um…a compromising position. Also it never got old confusing drunk campers about the “no cover before 2 am, no cover after 2 am” situation.

klubdeer

Daniela: I never lasted more than 15 minutes at Klub Deer. I was ready to shower and jump into bed at the end of every single day and the charm of Klub Deer is that you could go for about half a song a still feel like you partied it up -everybody who is there is dancing, so you can trust that even if you stay for one song you’ll have the coolest, most loving dance buddies you’ll ever find at any party again. Repeat for three more nights.

Hansen, Contributing Editor & Scissor Sisters Counselor: I have to mention how awesome Klub Deer was. What a safe, inclusive space. I mean, if you could get past the tough bouncers, that is. There was a stripper pole in the middle of the room kind of randomly (Veterinarian Jill performed a pole dance, be jealous if you missed it), and everyone was super comfortable and welcoming and you could dance with strangers or friends or alone and no one looked at you like you were weird. I consider myself a terrible dancer, so this was huge for me. Also, glancing around and seeing people full-on making out wasn’t even disconcerting to me. I just considered it to be just another way that A-Camp is a super safe space for sexuality as well as really bad dance moves.

Meredydd: Carmen should also be commended for her dedication to the role of official dancer – I never knew you could dance while sleeping.


 

NEXT TIME: The last full day of camp — with feelings!

Registration for October camp, which will take place October 9th-13th, will open on Monday June 24th.

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84 Comments

  1. All of my feelings are basically whiskey feelings, as without the aid of whiskey I only have smartass feelings. So naturally, the whiskey tasting was right up my alley, and that Handy was legitimately one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted in this life and perhaps the next. My go-to “fancy” bourbon was also on the list, the Four Roses Single Barrel, and I cannot recommend that highly enough. I think this should come back every year, and I’d really like to see maybe some historical stuff, like some old-school white whiskey, such as they drank back in the West? Or maybe a tasting focusing specifically on bourbons? Anyhow, if either of you ever need whiskey ideas for future camps, holler at me, as whiskey is my JAM.

    Also, I spent most of the night at Klub Deer showing my garter belt to obliging persons, so WELL DONE ME.

    • Wait, wait, today was also the day that Dina made a CRITICAL ERROR and started asking me about Western novels and genre fiction and I basically threw book titles at her and tried to defend Larry McMurtry by telling her that Lonesome Dove makes up for Buffalo Girls because it’s so fucking good and she was like, “I’ve seen the movie” and I was all, “OKAY BUT YOU HAVE TO READ IT. Because it’s probably the best Western ever written even if, strictly speaking, it’s not my favorite*”

      SORRY DINA

      *My favorite is Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell, and it’s excellent even if you don’t like Westerns, so do yourself a favor, seriously.

      • I’m constructed of like, 99% whiskey ideas and history knowledge.

        I would love to help if ever you need it, on the real. There’s so much fun stuff you can do with history/booze/booze history

  2. I had serious reservations about being the Blue Rainbow wars representative for this Family-Feud/Wet T-shirt contest thingy. Lots of nerves were had, then I placed the Cowboy hat of No Fucks Given on my head and dove in.

    Wow, well I have to say that the pic from Faggity Feud is going to be the one I treasure mainly because the absolutely huge grin I had getting blasted by Brandy.

    A note: The water in those water guns was.. stinky. :P Like, eww.

  3. This was my favorite day! I was running on adrenaline and booze, we won a thing and it was the most fun time with my cabin/team ever. The whiskey tasting was super fun and I totally hope that by next camp I can learn dapper so I can partake in the hour. I am the saddest that I missed fashion week also. I played drinking games with the Golden Girls and fell asleep on my way to faggity feud and woke up for Klub Deer. BEST DAY EVER! Next time I will sleep so I don’t miss things.

  4. DeAnne Smith nearly killed me from laughing too hard. I literally laughed so hard my face started to get tingly from a lack of oxygen. I’m pretty sure I saw a white light… But I talked myself back down because I didn’t want to miss the end of her show.

  5. Wait. Wait, Rachel Walker is a Calendar Girl!?!?!? Holy shit!

    Also, real talk, Rise, I hope that wasn’t a serious idea about naming the Non-Monosexual Panel “Dirty Sluts” or “Blow Job”. That makes me super uncomfortable even considering a real thing =/

  6. Also my best camp memory was when Geneva walked into breakfast Sunday with thr VIP shirt I had lost in Klub Deer the previous night and said she was proud of me. That means a lot, Geneva.

  7. ALSO THE KICKASS HEROINES PANEL WAS SO AMAZING. Launa and I had a side panel afterward where we could have lots of Doctor Who feelings, so that was just the best part.

    I loved this day the most. Especially staying up until 5am talking about feelings and Deanne Smith being hilarious. And Breakfast Club. And hiking. It was just a really good day.

  8. It’s been almost a month and I still can’t decide whether being Carmen’s sometimes lighting director in Klub Deer, having Brandy Howard touch me through a wet tshirt, or being a member of the “Nichols” family was my favorite part of Saturday.

  9. The Bisexuality Panel was my everything, so major snaps for that. It turns out I have WAY A LOT of feelings on this subject.

    I think I had started the feverish writing process for my talent show piece that day so most of my day was spent in a prolonged feelings-induced panic attack w/r/t that. (Sometimes writing is like pulling off all my fingernails but I do it anyway.)

    Also I’m pretty sure this was the night when Leslie and I took off our shirts in Klub Deer.

  10. Ahhh!! I loved camp so much and there’s so much to reflect on!! I came in on the end of the “Your relationship doesn’t have to suck” panel and it was so intense, and during the Q&A section to that panel, I made a really good friend.

    Also, Devyn is amazing, not only because we have the same name, but yoga. All the yoga.

  11. Tooo many good things happened on Saturday. Whiskey tasting was wonderful, although I was late to Dapper Hour because of it. BUT THAT’S OKAY BECAUSE I WAS ENJOYING MY WHISKEY (aside from being hungover to start the session off).

  12. The only problem with the mentoring thing is I can’t pick just one problem to get mentorated. What I need is a team of mentors. Preferably in HAZMAT suits for their own protection.

  13. I think that Autostraddle does an awesome job of uniting queer people from many walks of life. However, the more I articles I read, the more I feel that Autostraddle focuses too exclusively on the Butch/Femme dichotomy. As a girl whose sexuality, gender expression, and gender identity are too fluid and elusive to pin a label on, I feel a bit isolated. I know that queers in general aren’t separated into these two separate spheres, but when I see things like “femme meetup,” I have to wonder what equivalent of that exists for those who are confused, uncertain, and equally uncomfortable with butch and femme, not entirely feminine or masculine (but uncomfortable with genderqueerness as well). Perhaps my perception is skewed as I am more of a casual reader and don’t see all corners of the site where I might be represented, but I get the feeling that this site might be sorting people into too few bins. I don’t know that posting a comment on this article is the proper venue, or if I’ve gotten my point across as well as I hoped, but I ultimately feel a little lost in this queer community. It is really easy to feel like I’m not actually queer or that I’m not doing it right, and I think many others feel this way too. Or probably the range of queers is an enormous sea of identities with only small sections identifying with butch or femme, but it almost doesn’t feel that way on this site and many other queer internet spaces.

    • Hiya Chloe!

      Your comment is really interesting to me because I’ve heard this criticism before from my wife, but as an androgynous weirdo myself, I’ve never really felt this way. (And I read this site, like, A LOT a lot.) I guess I see stuff that’s labelled “butch” or “femme” as descriptors as well as identities, kind of as shorthand for one end of the gender spectrum. That might be because my personal brand of androgyny is more of an “and” than a “neither”.

      I saw the femme and dapper meetups as just another activity – there were plenty of other things going on at the same time that I attended instead. (Or possibly I sat under a tree muttering to myself while scribbling in a notebook. I did that a lot on Saturday.)

      I do feel you on the sexual fluidity front – my first camp (1.0) I felt like I had to keep my bisexuality under wraps because everyone was like “YAY LESBIANS” the whole time. (And at least I have a female partner – I know people with male partners who just didn’t mention their partner at all during camp. That makes me sad.) But 3.0 was way better for me in this respect, I think because the bisexuality panel existed and that helped raise the awareness.

      I think one of the great things about AS and camp is that they are constantly evolving and trying to incorporate feedback like this. I can’t personally picture what, for example, a meetup for the people in the center would look like, but it sounds like you might! And I’d love to know more, and something tells me the staff would too! And if you don’t, that’s cool too.

      Anyway, I hope you stick around because I do think this site has something for everyone – and if nothing else, there’s also a scroll button for articles that don’t apply.

      AND! If you ever do go to camp, I think the Gender Panel would be right up your alley. I went at 1.0 and I remember touching on a lot of these issues.

      <3

      • Everything Dina just said. Gender panel was awesome. And i think that aside from the femme meet up or maybe Dapper hour (which I think represented a variety of gender presentations) there was no real gender presentation specific events at camp. The bajillion other activities at camp were super inclusive. Which is also how I feel about the site as a whole. Something for everybody. Also, this site is run by a group of diverse, non-perfect humans who are trying their best to create an amazing inclusive safe space that I have not found anywhere else.

    • We had a bunch of meetups led or suggested by campers that just wanted to meet similar-minded folk. So while we had the femme/dapper meetup, we also had everything from Canadian to tech to women in science. It’s not at all to put people in boxes, but just simply to let people connect to one another, you know? Throughout camp I spoke to a lot of people that thought about gender a lot and could not/did not agree with the butch/femme spectrum so they just didn’t go to those meetups. And hey, if you come to camp and want to find some people that look at life through a similar lens, send an email to marni or robin (or find them before meals IRL) and they’d be more than happy to make that happen.

    • Hi Chloe!
      I agree with what Dina, Torrebelle, and Kristen have said: You bring up an extremely valid concern, but I feel like AS is the one site (and through A-Camp, the one physical space) where I feel like people are embraced wherever they are on the gender expression spectrum. I don’t identify as butch or femme, but I haven’t felt excluded from the space/site, but I understand that is just my opinion. Like Kristen mentioned, some of the group meetings came up to bring folk together, and each event wasn’t the end-all-be-all of what camp/what this site is. I think AS has always reflected on not just promoting one idea of what queerness is (cause that is impossible and weird and why would we/they do that). But I hope you stick around too, and if you ever get a chance, go to A-Camp because I literally have never seen such a diverse crowd in terms of gender presentation. It literally made me tear up, and I felt really included and safe in that environment.

    • firstly, i’d like to second everything torre, sonia, kristen and dina said. secondly — i own this website and this camp and i don’t ascribe to any kind of butch or femme role, nor does my co-founder & COO, nor do the executive editor, the senior editor, the music editor, our editorial assistant or 75% of our writing team. so i don’t even think it’d be possible for us to pull off a butch/femme-focused website! we actually got a lot of feedback for the first three years of autostraddle that there wasn’t enough on this site for butch or masculine-of-center women, and so we’ve responded to those criticisms as best we can by adding more and more content.

      i think when you look at camp imagery, you’ll see a lot of dapper hour photos ’cause people took a lot of photos at dapper hour. and dress-up clothing for people of all orientations, gender identities and expressions tends to be especially gendered, and people tend to take a lot more pictures when everybody is dressed up, which would perpetuate that conception. also a lot of us dressed up for dapper hour just for funsies (with borrowed bowties, of course)… and dapper and butch aren’t interchangeable terms. if you look at the actual camp schedule though, you’ll see that out of 60 planned activities, only three could be interpreted as being gender-related (gender panel, dapper hour & drag king workshop).

      even though i can’t relate to it, i find it very inspiring the strength that many queers find in their gender expressions and identities — mey’s bit on the femme meet-up was especially touching — and when campers wanted us to make a space for that at camp, we did! as kristen said, we have meet-ups for lots of different like-minded groups of people at camp. and maybe i’m biased, but i’m on board with sonia’s assertion that she’s never seen such a diverse crowd in terms of gender presentation. (including a huge group of people like me, who just kinda wear what’s comfortable and don’t think too much about gender presentation.) it truly is inspiring. of course there’s only one way to see for yourself… :-)

    • Maybe at this point I’m just being redundant, but I have to echo what everyone else said.

      Your comment, “It is really easy to feel like I’m not actually queer or that I’m not doing it right, and I think many others feel this way too.” really spoke to me, because for a long time that’s how I felt about presenting as femme – like if I wore dresses, I wasn’t androgynous enough and people just assumed I was straight. So the femme meet-up, for me, was a chance to spend time with other people who saw my queerness and the way I represent it for exactly what it is. You also have to understand that the femme meet-up wasn’t even on the official schedule, it just popped into being sort of spontaneously as a result of a bunch of femmes wanting to get together and Mey being awesome.

      In the end I really think the lesson we all continue to learn is that Gender Is Hard, for a lot of people, regardless of their gender presentation. Gender with Sexuality Is Hard too, when it seems like there are requirements for what it means to “look” queer.

      And that’s the great thing about Autostraddle. There are so many people here who are also dealing with Gender Is Hard (like, maybe almost everyone, except apparently Riese*). And all those people would be happy to talk about gender, in a multitude of ways, whether it’s about the binary, the spectrum, avoiding labels, embracing labels, creating new labels and identities entirely, etcetcetc.

      (*that’s a joke, nobody yell at me)

  14. After each new Recamp article I want to go to A-Camp more desperately. Such a beautiful location, lots of exciting workshops and panels and so many beautifully diverse queers! Unfortunately I live very, very far away and usually have to work during the time when A-Camp takes place. Hope to make it there some day, though.

  15. Gah, all of these recamps are killing me (in a good way). Klub Deer t-shirts and flashcards from the sex health panel should be a thing, or like some be illustrated, and some left blank to D.I.Y. TAKE MY MONEY :D

  16. Riese, I loved the zine-making activity! I got to make a tribute to Lena Dunham and learn more about zine culture, which made me wish I’d been paying more attention when I was a wee tween in the 90’s.

    Lizz, your sexual health workshop was great! I learned quite a few important bits of information, and I really appreciated the way you addressed my questions. The next time I shop for a toy, I will think back fondly to this session.

    Once again I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to all the staff who worked so hard to make Camp 3.0 happen. I really appreciate your efforts and hard work! You are all amazing <3

  17. deanne smith was pretty much my favorite thing that has happened to anyone anywhere ever. also i never stick around klub deer long (i’m easily distracted) but it’s always one of my favorite parts. the first night at klub deer, when we had shitty speakers and the music was super quiet so everyone just sang REALLY LOUDLY to make up for it – that was one of my favorite moments!

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