A-Camp October 2013 Recamp #2: How Do You Spell “Regalement”?

Thursday Afternoon

Fanfic Workshop (Geneva) // Queerituality: The Panel (Vanessa, Hansen, Mey & Fikri) // “Ropes Course” & Kink Workshop (Ali, Lizz, Dani & Carolyn) // Scrub a Dub Dub (Laneia) // Thank You For Being a Friend: Peer Counseling For Everybody! (Liz C.)

Gender Panel (Marni, Katrina, Mey, Dani, Carly, Chloe, Lane & Cara) // Nerdcraft (Taylor, Carolyn, Bren & Ali) // DIYke Hardware Jewelry (Liz C.) // Twerkshop (Kaylah & DJ DasGigler)

nerdcraft

nerdcraft

Vanessa, Blackhearts Counselor & Contributing Editor: Oh man, the Queerituality Panel! I was so nervous about moderating and participating on this panel. I told the audience about 10 times how nervous I was? At one point I announced how scary it is to lead a panel. I believe this transparency put us all at ease (or that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…). Talking about religion is a scary thing!

Hansen: After a pretty busy morning with Merit Badges, I was excited to kind of chill out and talk about religion. I feel really comfortable talking about religion even though it’s a pretty touchy subject, so it was going to be fine, right? Nope. I burst into sobs when talking about being kicked out of my church when I came out, and campers actually came up to the stage and group hugged me. Vanessa got me tissues, and I was really embarrassed, but there was really no reason to be embarrassed because everyone was so sweet.

Vanessa: Even in a space as open and loving as A-Camp, I could tell that everyone was a tiny bit scared to be Talking About Religion. But we did it! We laughed, we cried, we acknowledged how wacky parents can be.

Mey, Flashdance Counselor & Contributing Editor: There were some funny moments and some moments full of feelings (like when half of the front row gave Hansen a group hug, my heart wanted to explode).

Hansen: Talking about hard things in front of a bunch of very sympathetic faces of humans who have probably had similar experiences is hard!

Lizz, Flashdance Counselor & Contributing Editor: If someone could track down the venn diagram of “people who want to attend the queertuality panel” and “people who want to attend the bondage workshop” with “Vanessa Friedman” in the middle I would really appreciate it.

(via Stef)

(via Stef)

Vanessa: My goal was to get the audience to share as much as possible because while my panel-mates were amazing, there was no way the four of us could cover all religious experiences in the world. And this is the part where I have to thank the people who came and listened and participated SO MUCH, because oh my god the panel audience rocked. Everyone had SUCH insightful things to share, and people really opened up and got real and honest and sometimes it hurt and sometimes I felt the room stiffen or sometimes I saw one person look down or tense up but we did it. Together we were able to have a conversation about religion and spirituality, and what it means to be queer and religious or not, and when the panel ended people stuck around to keep talking. I heard later from some campers that some of the conversations continued long after the panel ended. That felt like such a success to me. I was so happy.

Mey: One of my favorite things about camp is being able to meet a bunch of other queer people who I can share experiences and feelings with. Where I live there isn’t a huge lesbian community, so that means that it’s really hard to find people who are like me. A-Camp gives me the chance to find those people and talk to them and find that I’m not alone.

Hansen: By the end of the panel, Vanessa proposed to me on stage and I said yes and Mey is going to officiate our wedding and all is right with the world.

sugar scrubs w/ laneia (photo by bree)

sugar scrubs w/ laneia (photo by bree)

Laneia: Sugar scrubs! Mixing sugar with oil has inadvertently become a camp tradition. This was a super chill group — lots of Runaways and Blackhearts even came by! — and I was wearing my favorite outfit that day, so really a good time was had by all I think. We learned a lot about not rushing the glass etching process.

Carolyn, Amazons Counselor & NSFW Editor: Kink 101: Ropes Course was unquestionably my favorite workshop to lead of every camp so far. Ali, Lizz, Dani RDS and I decided on a mix of information, live flogging and rope restraint demonstrations and hands-on components that let everyone get a feel for kink in a safe environment. In the hands-on session and afterwards, we also got to answer a lot of questions we might not have otherwise in a giant You Need Help come to life. It’s nice to have a chance to bring people together, and then to keep them together with bondage rope.

Ali: We were so excited to have Babeland partner with us and provide demonstration toys for our kink workshop. Out of all the places on the planet to obtain sex toys, Babeland’s hands down my favorite establishment from which to purchase naughty stuff. And we’re super intentional about sponsorship – we only enter into partnerships like that with businesses we truly love and care about, and with businesses that are kick ass. Babeland fits all of those criteria – they’ve got the best selection and the most knowledgeable staff. And they supplied a TON of rope so we could all tie each other up. TBH, the kink panel is what I think people imagine when I say I’m going to Gay Camp.

Ropes (via Carolyn)

Ropes (via Carolyn)

Robin: Lizz, Carolyn, Dani and Ali are quite a team. With their expert knowledge and a generous donation from A-Camp sponsor Babeland, I hope to have more kink-centric workshops in the future at A-Camp! I loved the practical, quite literally hands-on aspect. And because these four staffers stressed the importance of consent and taught participants the proper and safe ways to flog and knot, they turned a possibly uncomfortable topic for some into a really comfortable and fun time.

Ali: They also sent us this paddle, which is both pretty and stingier than a swarm of bees. Fun fact – generally the shinier the material is, the more on the stingy end of the sting-thud spectrum that toy’s gonna be. I even slapped myself on the thigh with it, just to check. Whoboy. Sweet Lesbian Jesus.

ACamp_RobinRoemer_159

all tied up (photo by robin roemer)

Carly, Special Programming Director & Contributor: A Quick Note About the Kink Workshop: After hearing that Lizz was going to get flogged by Ali, several staffers who shall remain unnamed (including myself) hung out in the back and giggled and I want to apologize for how dumb we are. Obvs the giggles were hiding some WEIRD FEELINGS otherwise we would have been more well-behaved. I would watch Ali, Lizz, Carolyn and Dani lead a workshop on anything. Ever.

Donna: During the ropes workshop, during a very serious and hot flogging moment, Cee turned to me and held up a picture of a cat with the word “YUP” underneath. This cat was in direct opposition to the grumpy cat posters proclaiming “NOPE,” which were everywhere at camp. Something about the timing of this reveal, and the sheer silly randomness of both cats plastered everywhere, had me rolling and snorting and crying, at the kink workshop of all places. Awesome. I like imagining Cee scouring the Internet in search of the perfect cat to be juxtaposed with the Grumpy Cat that we all know and love. YES!

(via Donna)

(via Donna)

 

Carly: I had the honor of being on The Gender Panel again and this time we had a panel comprised almost entirely of newbs, which led to a revived discussion, different topics and a really great panel. To my fellow panelists & our incredible audience: it was an honor.

ACamp_RobinRoemer_183

Yvonne: I helped Liz Castle setup for her DIYke Hardware Jewlery workshop and learned how to make one badass bracelet. Who knew hex nuts could be this cool? I’ve been wearing it everyday since camp.

(via Yvonne)

(via Yvonne)


Kaylah, Rockford Peaches Counselor & Moderator: The concept of the Twerkshop was developed after Gigler and I twerked our way through Camp 3.0 in the Bombshells cabin. The white board drawings and some of the awesome outfits I saw made it clear that the Twerkshop was going to be something out of this world. The conversation we had about the history of twerk and cultural appropriation was the icing on top of the ass-cake.

A-Camp 48-001

Emily: Kaylah rocked all the booties that came to our twerkshop, and I had a blast bringing the beats and throwing in a few of my vogue moves. Kai added her cheer energy and natural leadership to the mix!

Carmen, Holograms Counselor & Contributing Editor: I attended the Twerkshop hoping to learn what all the kids were doing nowadays, but instead found that I’ve been twerking for just about my entire life. And thus, I left – after recruiting Kaylah, Emily Gigler, and Kai for the Twerk Team and enlisting them to start that night.

Twerkshop Basics (via Stef)

Twerkshop Basics (via Stef)

Sophia: Carmen and I had agreed earlier that we absolutely had to go to Twerkshop because this was an Important Thing. We lost track of time but once we arrived in Wolf and saw everyone dancing we tried to hide but it never works out that way, at least not for Carmen. Kaylah and Gigler and Kai were super duper teachers bringing people out of their shells to dance and join in with them.

Emily: It really set the tone for all the ass shaking that mountain could handle. Twerkshop, Klub Deer, A-Camp-alooza, Prom, people just turnt the fuck out this camp.

Kaylah: Everyone was great and we had a blast twerking til we were out of breath and I almost shed a tear after our group huddle at the end. Who knew twerking on a mountain with a bunch of weirdos would be so special? Allison, Casey and Lisa continued to give me life every time I saw you dancing at camp. “Twerk Betch!”

bree-lesbian-snow-woman

(photo by bree)


 

Next: Live from Angelus Oaks, it’s Thursday Night!

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Riese

Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, 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. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3198 articles for us.

73 Comments

  1. i think this is my favorite of all the recamps we’ve ever published, and i don’t even know how that is possible to quantify because they’re all amazing, but this just feels so cohesive and like i can hear us just sitting around chatting and having a conversation about it? this mimics actual camp 4.0 in that it is sort of smooth and effortless looking, and even though i know SO MUCH WORK went into making it a thing, i’m not frazzled or dying at the end of it, i’m just really happy and having so much fun and it feels like everything is right in the world (in this metaphor we have to pretend that i didn’t come home from camp with the flu that lasted for 2 solid weeks, but we can all pretend for the sake of a metaphor, right?).

    also maybe i am just vain and enjoy how prominently i am featured in this recamp. every time riese talks about me i blush really hard you guys, did you know that? it’s true. now you know.

    ps i am still trulymadlydeeply in love with all of you, ESPECIALLY those of you who attended the queerituality panel and put up with my nervous moderating and ESPECIALLY jane, who let me reiterate, TOLD ME I REMIND HER OF A DISNEY PRINCESS.

    okay that’s all for now. i’ll probably be back later with more feelings, duh.

    good lord, i could not be prouder to be community editor of such a perfect fucking community. <3

    • Vanessa, it’s taken me the better part of an hour to digest this page and barely reach your commentary on the Staff Reading, but I just lost it when I got to what you said and when I skipped down to the comments you’re there too.
      Even my feelings have grown their own feelings right now, and I’ll be back once I’ve processed them. I can’t even begin to express how grateful/loved I feel because I met you and because this site exists.

  2. Maybe I got dehydrated from all the crying I did this day (Queerituality AND Crystal’s reading, are you kidding me?) and thaaaaat’s how I got so drunk on Jen’s honey whiskey. I’m going to go with that.

  3. The Staff Readings were one of favorite parts about camp! Liz was hilarious and Crystal had me sobbing. And Vanessa I definitely identified with your reading about having to go live with your parents in suburbia, because I am in a similar situation!

    Also, strip spelling bee was amazzzzzzing.

  4. As one of the solidarity strippers, I feel like I need to apologize to Crystal for telling her how amazing her reading was when I wasn’t wearing a shirt.

    So, Crystal, your reading was perfect.

  5. (snow camp forever!!!)
    OMG this day was a lot of fun! I woke up after getting about 3 hours of sleep because due to the wild events of the night prior (snow.strugglebus.snow)Klub Deer was cancelled and my cabin started a game of spin the bottle in Deer that would eventually travel to Wolf and Eagle. (seriously I madeout in every lodge)and that lasted until maybe 5am. It was cold, we were bored and drunk, we wish you were there!also STORMCATS!!!
    Dani was on the rescue mission during cabin initiation so we all got to meet them and the remaining members of our love nest at breakfast.
    I have been to camp three times now and never got to make a thing. Getting to sit still in a sewing circle and focus on something pratical for probably the first time all year while giggling about maybe hoarding the scissors and sharing needles was too much fun.
    I missed music trivia for feelings, but I think I came back from camp as less of an asshole. I went to see Kaylah at twerkshop and she confirmed that when I wiggle my ass something does in fact happen back there. I was really excited that Carly came to Klub Deer and if memory serves this was also the night Carmen helped “lanie lohan” back to her cabin before sunrise :) best night ever!!

    • I still love everything about the STMC badge you made me <3

      AND because I slept through breakfast everyday, I didn't know we did a love thing, but it's okay because I feel like I have met you all now.

  6. Guys. I’ve been hitting refresh on the site all day waiting for Installment Two. Now I’m sad that it’s over and hitting refresh again for the 24 hours. Seriously, ACamp is the greatest thing ever. Staff Reading is the greatest-est thing ever. Club Deer / DJ Carlytron / sweaty gyrating queers / exploding beers… I can’t even.

    Reliving it all is fun, too. #YAYCamp

    • Dear Somer and Donna,

      I’m sorry my feelings about not being able to brush my teeth or wear my mouth guard overnight manifested in me attempting to BREAK DOWN YOUR CABIN WITH MY FISTS. In retrospect, maybe I could have journaled about it. I think the lesson here is, don’t fuck with my teeth-related anxiety.

      Love,
      DeAnne

      • Dear DeAnne Smith, Revered Purveyor of Laughs on Queer Mountain,

        My wife and I readily accept part of the blame you so freely attribute to your dental hygiene and / or fists. After all, why did we feel the need to lock the door in the first place?! We share our feelings openly – shouldn’t we be able to share our bathroom time with you as well?

        I propose an Open Bathroom Door Policy for all future ACamps. You know what Mama always said: the cabinmates that pee together, stay together.

        Love and feelings,
        Somer & Donna

  7. UM UM I FOUND THE THING LIZZ READ THE NEXT DAY AT BREAKFAST!

    Because Camp found me ANOTHER ALASKAN!!(THIS IS THE SECOND TIME!!) to hang out with, my contribution to the gender panel was a committee affair.

    I am still so in love with how DeAnne had to remind us that we were supposed to all be hoping the campers would misspell words! We obvs still wanted them to strip, but we wanted them to beat the REAL ENGLISH WORDS also!

  8. every camp after the staff reading i’m completely shitfaced from crying out all the fluids in my body that aren’t bourbon and i get the bright idea in my head that i need to congratulate and hug all the humans immediately, and this was finally the year that i tripped over a guitar case and fell onto a piano, splitting my chin open and probably looking very graceful. mahalo.

  9. Yes, the Yellow Team indeed stripped in solidarity, thus winning the Rainbow Wars once again.
    And I seriously loved the readings. Is there a way to listen to them again? So much love! So many tears! Happy tears! All the tears!

  10. Reading this made me feel like I was *almost* right back at camp and so I’m back to thinking everyone around me is queer and just absolutely totally appreciating other people’s awesome

  11. I’m still sooo upset that I missed the majority of the staff readings! Esp Ali, Anal Rubin, and Crystals readings. Besides the butt plug review, will any of the other stories be posted on the site?

    I really loved the introvert panel. My favorite was the game where we had to step forward and backward to go along with our answers. It’s incredible to see so many other people who feel exactly like you do.

    Also, I’m really glad a fellow camper talked me into going to the kink workshop. I was too shy to actually participate in the hands on fun, but I learned a lot and you guys are all so amazing.

    Is it time to go back on the mountain yet?

  12. The Staff Reading was one of the things I was looking forward to the most. Sure, we all read what they write through a computer screen each and every week, but to actually get to see and hear them read/spill their guts was an incredible experience. Thank you!

  13. marni as a bear might be my favorite thing that has ever happened.

    crystal’s reading, too – god, where do i even start? out of all of the magical and amazing things that camp has brought into my life, getting to have crystal be my real life friend might be the best thing of them all. and hearing her open up and read that story just completely gutted me. she’s the best.

  14. I might have been waiting my whole life to go to Nerdcraft. Like ever since Nerdcraft was a thing.

    Also, whichever human decided to put Nerdcraft in the same room that the BDSM workshop was in so that no one would have to move is a very brilliant human.

  15. This was a magical day at camp. I learned so much all of the panels, and just loved hearing everyone’s (campers’ and staff’s) stories.
    The readings were the perfect combination of hilarious and heart-wrenching.
    Strip spelling bee and vocabulary bear, OMG. So much fun. (Also, for anyone in Toronto/Montreal/sometimes other Canadian cities, an events production company thingy called Chat Perdu Productions hosts them monthly and they are quite delightful.)

    Also I would just like to say that the red team was very much also stripping in solidarity!!

  16. Just a request: next time, could we have more actual trans people on the Gender Panel? I kind of felt like Mey was a token amidst a bunch of cis women and one or two A.F.A.B. genderqueers. The gender panel was actually the only time I felt uncomfortable as a trans woman at camp, when one of the (cis) panelists used the T-word (she later apologized, but it was still triggering to have that happen at the gender panel of all places).

    • Noted! And YES! And I’m sorry you felt that way. Truly.

      We have used mostly Autostraddle staff writers and editors in the past as our A-Camp staff, but we are doing MORE to open up staff positions, special guests positions and camper contributions (which we always encourage) in order to fix problems like this. We want everyone to feel represented and safe. I appreciate you being candid about your experience.

    • Hi, I’m not sure if you meant it this way, but the phrase “actual trans* people” was a bit upsetting to me, especially in reference to those who identify as genderqueer. Many people who identify “genderqueer” also identify with the term trans*, and those trans* identified individuals who choose not to/are unable to/simply don’t identify with or present as either of the two binary genders are often left out of trans* narratives and spaces… And, in general, made to feel like they are not “actually” anything.

      I just wanted to throw that out there. Okay. Sorry. Carry on.

  17. SO MUCH happened in day one. AND OH GOD THE READINGS. I was a puddle of mess by the end. So many feelings in like 90 minutes. I reallllllly miss camp oh my god please can it be may?? I need mount feels again.

    Also,a camp is so perfect. Literally the most perfect thing on the planet.

  18. THE STAFF READINGS.
    I don’t know how to find words other than those. But yeah. If I could fill a jar with my tears…
    But also, watching all of the staff react to the readings. Ali’s snort laugh is actually the cutest.

    PS Recamps are my favourite because I can hear all of your voices as I read them!

  19. Gah, I loved everything about camp, but I think this was my favorite day (I might take that back later when I read more recamps, don’t judge me.) I went to the introvert discussion and it was nice to see so many people who just UNDERSTAND. I was so inspired, I spent the second half of the morning alone in my cabin, eating jelly beans (thanks Andrea!) and playing my guitar.

    Oh, then Queertuality panel! And I got to hug Hansen and then built courage to say words in front of people (gasp!) and shared my feelings. Of course, that meant I missed the kink panel, which caused a bunch of inner turmoil but I lived I guess. (So according to that venn diagram, I am Vanessa? In that case, I love me…I mean you…is that weird? yeah, probably.)

    Staff readings. OMG. I went through phases of laughing, crying, smiling, nodding furiously in agreement, and clapping my hands till they were numb. All those things. And it never felt more natural.

    I did so much screaming at the strip spelling bee, I’m surprised I didn’t lose my voice. I need more strip spelling bees in my life, for the new vocabulary words of course.

  20. This was definitely the most intense (the good kind of intense) day for me, with the introvert meet-up, the mental illness panel, the gender panel, and the staff reading. So this recamp, just… wow. So many refeelings all at once.

  21. Omg, the readings were everything I wanted to get out of camp. I was so affected by everyone’s stories (particularly Crystal and Riese) that I skipped out on the strip spelling bee to process my feelings by the campfire and later to journal in my bunk. But with all the recapping, I feel like I got to experience it anyways, yay recaps! Getting all my feelings out that first night was totally worth it though because after that I was just ready to have some fun and enjoy the rest of camp.

  22. omfg, that silent g.

    But i had to go ahead and ruin it all with the “e” at the end. What was I thinking? Impugne. That’s not even a thing.

    omg. Cheesecake Factory. Crystal. Hansen. Dani. Liz shooting red wine into my mouth. All so good. so so so good.

  23. I know this is supposed to make me happy but I’ve ended up feeling quite sad that I’ve missed out on all the feelings and love.
    Old life goal: make out with Tucky Williams
    New life goal: attend a-camp…with Tucky Williams ;)

  24. Thank you for the Queerituality panel. Vanessa you were a fantastic host. It helped a lot to see so many others’ experience with religion and family. It made me feel understood.

    Thank you Riese. Thank you for everything, for having the vision of camp, for the introvert friendliness, and most of all for the most understanding hug I’ve ever gotten from anyone.

    Just Thank You.

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