A-Camp Midwest: There’s Still Time To Sign Up and You Really Should

A-Camp Midwest is just around the riverbend (September 29th-October 2nd!) and damn are we so excited we can hardly breathe just thinking about it! Plus we’ve got good news: if you’re interested in being a part of this groundbreaking experiment, there’s still time to sign-up. We know there was a waitlist before but some beds have since opened up and also we’ve finally set up VIP rooms if you’d like one of those instead.

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Seriously though, you’re not gonna wanna miss this one — we’ve packed in two days of incredible programming from Apple Hand Pie Baking to DIY Kink to Queer Astrology to Feminist Improv to a Boxed Wine and (Wisconsin) Cheese Tasting and it’s gonna be SO F*CKING FUN Y’ALL. You might meet a new best friend, or a new creative collaborator, or a new make-out buddy or somebody who will give you a job or find you an apartment.

So, here’s what we’ve got.

Regular Rooms

Bunk Bed Rooms (3-5 roommates, private bathroom) in Dana, Tara or Lexa

$420 (plus $75 registration fee)

This is the normal room that everybody gets by default! IT COULD BE YOURS, we have some left!

VIP Rooms

All VIP Rooms come with a VIP A-Camp swag bag that includes an A-Camp hoodie.

Dana VIP Four-Bedroom Apartment (two bedrooms w/two beds and a private bathroom each, living room and kitchen) 

$520 (plus $75 registration fee)

This apartment is on the side of The Dana, one of the dormitories where the bunk bed rooms also are. You might have a roommate and two suitemates, but you also might not! It depends on how many people sign up for this option.

Marissa VIP Apartment #1 – 2 twins or queen/full (your choice) with private bathroom, kitchen, living room w/sleeper couch, screened-in porch

Marrisa VIP Apartment #2 – 2 twin beds with private bathroom, kitchen, living room w/sleeper couch, screened-in porch

$545 + $75 registration fee.

These apartments are located in a four-plex of apartments right next to The Maya, one of our programming spaces, which’s right next to another dorm, The Lexa.

If you want to have your own room / apartment, e-mail me (riese [at] autostraddle [dot] com) and we can discuss how much that would cost.

You can sign up for any of these options right now right here! And you should.

Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2843 articles for us.

41 Comments

    • Hey queer girl, I wanted to let you know I got a haircut the other day. I’d been thinking about it for like 4 months and was still worried and unsure about it. As I was fretting about it your story about how you had gotten a new haircut at A-camp that you loved yet still cried about before going to work popped into my head and was one of the final thoughts that convinced me to just do it already. Fight Song started playing on the radio right as the hair person started cutting my hair, so that was a powerful moment for me. (The haircut is going well so far. I need to work out a few kinks to make it work for me, but I like it overall.) So thank you for sharing your haircut experience. It positively impacted this stranger over here.

          • Thanks! I’m not sure what to call it. I was going for “androgynous, short, masculine-of-center”. “Pixie” sounds too girly for me but I don’t know what other words work. I’m not quite sure I achieved that aesthetic – the hairdresser said “I would love to see you in a dress” at the conclusion of a post-haircut compliment. On the other hand instead of asking “What’s your boyfriend going to think of this drastic change to your hair?” the hairdresser asked “Do you have a significant other?” then “Do they know you’re getting a haircut?” so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  1. I happen to have an important work event this weekend and can’t attend, but I really really hope a-camp Midwest continues to be a thing because I would totally be up for it next time. Getting myself to CA isn’t financially feasible but I can drive to Wisconsin.

      • I want to see the community speak up against transmisogyny rather than make excuses for it. I want the staff to acknowledge that AMAB trans people exist in these spaces and to recognize us. I want the big site to give more space to trans voices that goes beyond the occasional article talking about the latest twoc murder or piece of legislation targeting us. I want the staff to listen to trans women when we tell them that something they’re doing is hurting us rather than dismissing our concerns and complaining about us. I want to see trans women be shown just as attractively and celebrated as cis women and AFAB NB people on this site. That would be a pretty good start.

        • I do see the community speak up against transmisogyny. I’m always for the inclusion of more trans voices, but there already is more than articles about legislation or violence.

          I know the staff listens. I haven’t seen trans women be a source of complaints for staff.

          I have no reason to assume that many of the women in NSFWS aren’t trans. What does that look like to you? Could you provide examples of what you want to see? Assuming you mean physical beauty.

          AS can always do better. Help it do so, constructively. :)

        • I’m not sure about some of the more interpersonal stuff, because I’m not very active on the site, but personally I’ve felt that Autostraddle has a lot of trans woman relevant content, including stuff about media and more. There are women writing for Autostraddle that are trans. There are random parts of articles not explicitly focused on trans women that do a decent or better than decent job of inclusion. And, most importantly to me as a dyke who also happens to be trans, I personally relate to and feel included in the majority of the content that is not trans focused. Honestly I have a harder time relating to things because I’m a 34 year old single mom of a 14 year old and a 10 year old than because I’m trans. That’s also my barrier to attending something like A Camp. Of course, that’s just my experience, and it doesn’t and shouldn’t invalidate yours or anyone else’s. I imagine that trans women in this community must have a wide variety of perspectives on this stuff, and that those perspectives probably dovetail in interesting ways with our other identities and life experiences, many of which are not going to be shared with each other but may be shared by cis women on the site (I personally am always hoping for content by queer single moms or by queer moms of older kids, and when I see someone has an older kid my excitement is not at all tempered by not knowing if they are also trans but assuming they likely are not).

        • Kayla, all of these already happen. And it’s incredibly insulting to the many trans women who write for this site and are interviewed for this site and are featured on this site to erase them like this. I’m not going to stand by and let you spit all over the names and reputations of my friends like this, both the trans women who you erase and the cis women and non-binary people who you insult. The staff who you talk about are some of the best friends I have and absolutely and completely see trans women as women with no question at all. They speak out against transmisogyny, they don’t excuse it. they acknowledge and recognize trans women in women’s spaces and queer women’s spaces. They listen to trans women and celebrate trans women and find trans women attractive.

          Furthermore, your use of the term “trans-face” is racist. there is no comparison at all between blackface and men playing trans women or, in the case of kate mckinnon, a woman playing a ridiculous character that isn’t mocking trans women.

          I’m really sorry that you felt uncomfortable at camp, and i do know that a few people have used language that erases trans women, but i also know that those members of the staff did so by accident and apologized and learn and grew from their mistakes. What you’re saying is simply untrue.

          • You’re one of my heroes and inspirations, Mey. You’re really remarkable and the single most important reason I was drawn to this site. Thank you for everything you say and do. Hiring you was the best day’s work Riese ever did. :)

    • On multiple occasions over this past year, I’ve felt like not only the staff but also the community has focused on being more inclusive of trans women and especially trans women of color. So while you say that, I don’t really agree with you. Also, A-Camp seems to me like an excellent opportunity to be further included and further validated as female and also meet more trans women. If anything, I’d argue that the price of camp is exclusive for some trans women, but that could also apply to other camp goers as well.

      On the other hand, I think the fact that camp seems so very large and full of other women (cis or not) can be daunting for some. At some point, I’d like to attend, but probably until I grow up in my trans femme form a bit. That said, I’ve never felt like the folks here at Autostraddle would decide to disclude/invalidate me if I decided to attend now.

        • I have screenshots of AS staff speaking condescendingly against the trans women who took issue with the unexamined hero-worship of Kate McKinnon and her repeated use of trans-face (with being trans as the butt of the joke of course) following the release of the new Ghostbusters movie.

          There were multiple times when I was at camp in 2015 when I felt extremely uncomfortable with the AFAB exclusive language that was pervasive among staff and the entertainment there. I actually had an anxiety attack resulting from the dysphoria I felt on the mountain. From what I gathered from those who went to the 2016 camp, things got worse than that.

          Every once in a while they will show a picture of a woman with a link to a tumblr indicating that the model is trans. When it does happen, these are almost always women with cis-passing privilege. When was the last time you saw a woman with a penis featured in the NSFW articles?

          • …I have lots of thoughts and feelings about the Kate McKinnon thing, but as a cis person I don’t want to talk over anybody. If you’d be willing to hear them (as a self-professed fan who has done much Internet-scouring to try to be as informed as I can be on this issue) let me know – but also feel free to ignore this comment or tell me to butt out.

    • some things we are doing this camp:
      + we have an official Queen Trans position, it’s a paid senior staff position and is involved in all major camp-related decision making for this camp and all camps going forward. (It’s Mey obvs)
      + we are running a workshop on trans inclusivity, organized by three trans women on our a-camp staff (mey, sadie & red) along with camp leadership (me and kristin)
      + kristin and marni have been engaged in dialogue with mey and red consistently since last camp on how to make camp a better place for trans women
      + we have always prioritized poc and trans women and intersections therein when giving out camperships. one particularly incredible trans woman who really loves camp has donated three camperships with travel to trans women this year.
      + we’ve re-made the pronoun stickers to be larger and brighter to prevent misgendering
      + i believe we’re planning to do sensitivity training with our staff and the site staff
      + the site we have chosen for this camp also hosts an annual camp for trans and gender non-conforming youths and their families, and therefore is familiar with how to make the site a safer space for trans folks
      + we always schedule meet-ups for trans women during camp
      + i pay a great deal of attention to trans status when making cabin assignments to ensure maximum comfort and support for trans campers (and I think you can attest to that!)

      this is a very short camp so there’s only so much we cram in, but going forward we aim to have more trans women on staff and on talent and guest instructors, and hope to continue to find new ways to empower trans women and specifically trans women of color both through connecting with each other and with the entire a-camp group.

      that all being said, a-camp is still full of people. imperfect people, sometimes ignorant people, sometimes people who mean well but fail, people influenced by cisnormative beauty standards, etc. a-camp is not a utopia, because there’s no such thing as a utopia, and campers and staff alike do fuck up. when they do, those fuck-ups are addressed.

  2. hey y’all, I haven’t logged into AS in SUCH a long time (it’s not you, it’s me! I have been inordinately busy for the past year/in life crisis and needed to take an internet detox for a long period of time, but I renewed my A+ membership over the summer even after being away from the site, because I think the work this org does is so so so important), but I would like to second the motion that I hope WI A-camp continues to be a thing! I’m a student in WI, and I can’t attend this year as that’s the weekend I go into tech for our ALL-FEMALE PRODUCTION OF ROMEO AND JULIET (which is inherently queer AF and hey if any of you Midwestern ladies who might be close by and might want to attend want more info please lmk), but I will be sending all good vibes and light to everyone at camp from across the state and hoping for a reprise of this location in the future! xo

  3. I skipped a lesbian wedding at the zoo to attend spring camp.

    As much as A-Camp Midwest screams to me as a miracle for small towners on the spectrum (What if there are South Dakota queers there? I ‘wasn’t queer’ when I was in South Dakota! The POSSIBILITIES!), I’ve another wedding and THIS one I can’t skip. I’m like, a brosmaid or something.

    HAve fun ya’ll- I’ll watch for the recamps!

  4. I came thisclose to buying a plane ticket and signing up for this A-Camp (I’m a Michigander with fierce Midwest pride) but ultimately couldn’t for $$/scheduling reasons.

    But I wanted to chime in and say that this format is SO appealing to me. Because past A-Camps were during the week, I just can’t make that many days off in a row work because I’m a freelancer with no paid time off. (I think it’s totally worth the price, BTW, it’s just that I can’t afford to pay for it and THEN not earn any money for a week…and I’m also still at the point in my career where I don’t have enough backup to totally disconnect from clients for that long.)

    I know organizing A-Camp is a lot of work and I’m so grateful that it exists, even if I haven’t been able to attend. I’m really glad that it’s happening not just on the West coast (even though I live here!) and am really hoping there are additional shorter A-Camps being planned. And oh my god, as an introvert who hits her Peak People limit so quickly, I was really excited there are options for somewhat more private room situations!

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