A-Camp September Recamp #2: Blame It On The Altitude

Block D

Non-Monogamy Mini-Panel w/Carrie, Daniela & Annika

Creating a Webseries Q&A w/Haviland, Hannah Hart & Sarah Croce

Meet + Geek w/Cee, Morgan, Carly, Carolyn, Carrie, Geneva & Jill

High Tea w/Laneia, Rachel & Riese

Free Swim

Friendship Bracelets w/Meredydd and Laura

Ashi & Anna (photo by Anna Storti)

Laura: Don’t let the fact that I was “leading” friendship bracelets fool you. Campers had to teach me how to make Friendship Bracelets. I’m the queen of crafts, but I never learned how because when I was little, friendship bracelets were like the candy canes in Mean Girls. The more popular you were, the more you got. I was always afraid I wouldn’t get any, so I never made any so I wouldn’t feel bad if I came out empty-wristed. In retrospect, that’s a shit way to live and so this time I jumped in. I made bracelets and I got bracelets and there were so many smiles.

(photo by crystal silvester)

Carolyn: Geneva showed up for Meet & Geek with tons of themed name tags so everyone could flag their areas of geekiness was really great. I came up with Geek Bingo at exactly the last minute (sample categories: someone who uses Linux, wants to talk about DSLRs, can identify this typeface).

Morgan: We operated on one very simple rule: you will play human bingo and gab about all the things because we know you really want to, and we did so there. I recommended Babylon 5 to everyone, because it is my favorite sci-fi thang and by reading this sentence I have completed my sworn geeking duty. Also, it turns out Alphas and His Dark Materials are totally rad, neither of which I knew to be true pre-the meeting and general geeking. What a gift, to be surrounded by people who want to give my life more good shows and things.

Carly: Rachel Walker told me point blank that she loves robots more than I do, which was a lot to deal with but in the end, I think she was right. Topics discussed include, but are not limited to: The Hunger Games, iPhone vs Android, favorite Buffy episodes, Scully (the FBI agent, not Stef’s cat), programming and video codecs.

Cee: There were some seriously smart people at camp and I’m so glad I got to meet everyone.

meeting & geeking

Haviland: On the very enjoyable/humorous Creating a Webseries panel were webstars Hannah Hart (My Drunk Kitchen), Sarah Croce (Unicorn Plan-It, Word With Girls) and m’self (Unicorn Plan-It, www.havilandstillwell.com). The room was packed, and everyone had lots of comments and questions. We discussed differences in creating content online vs. on television, how youtube works,  and general tips about self-producing. We were very happy to have many Unicorn Plan-It lovers there, who wanted to know behind the scenes gossip and spoilers, of which we gave loads. (totally, you should have been there. srsly.) The point was, “don’t dream it, BE it.” (Rocky Horror reference)

Sarah Croce: Hannah had a lot of very insightful information about youtube, hits, making money from your ventures, and how to deal with being a queer woman in a straight market. Haviland offered a lot of her creative knowledge both from working on Unicorn Plan-It and from working on television and movies and how the mediums differ. We had a lot of brilliant questions from audience members and a few attendees who had web series of their own already!

Haviland: Also, in this panel, Hannah named my A-Camp band, who would perform the following night – “Hav and the Hav-Nots.”

three women you want to bang talking about creating a web-series

Laneia: Rachel and Megan had already established a synchronicity surrounding the set-up of High Tea — hot water, clean mugs, smelling tins. We use the same mugs each time (to cut down on waste) and I think the exercising bears mugs were especially adored this time.

Riese: Before I got pulled away from this activity to handle final accounting stuff with the Alpine guy before he left for the weekend (YES THIS IS A PATTERN), I was finally able to sit down with Marika and find out what the hell is up with her 567 allergies, which I’ve been wondering about ever since this comment on a post about April camp.

high tea (photo by katie o’donnell)

Daniela: Annika, Carrie, and I were part of the mini Non-Monogamy Panel. There were way more people than we expected so we changed the location like three times, and I made a bunch of really bad puns as a means of handling everything that was happening then.

Annika: This was a small panel (me, Daniela, and Carrie) discussing our experiences of being in poly/non-monogamous relationships. I was pretty nervous about talking with any sort of authority on this subject since my girlfriend and I don’t really have a lot of actual experience with being poly, but it went really well! The discussion quickly turned into group therapy time on how to resolve trust issues and deal with jealousy, which is something everyone could relate to.

Daniela: I really enjoyed hearing about and discussing the multitude of ways people can or want to include non-monogamy in their lives. My favorite part was by far the fact that the questions didn’t stop after the panel had ended and I continued to discuss and geek out about non-monogamy throughout the rest of camp -the amount of different opinions and perspectives never ceases to amaze me. Also, now I have like ten different ideas for organizing the panel next time.

Camper Quote: “My personal Magical A-Camp Moment: Hearing Daniela’s story about her relationship dynamic during the Non-Monogamy panel… for ages I had felt like a *freak* because of [my relationship status], like I was doing relationships wrong or something. I talked to Daniela about it, with all these pent-up feelings I never got to really share properly with anyone, and she *gets it*.”

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NEXT: Girls Get Wild… and Faggity!


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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker 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 2855 articles for us.

142 Comments

  1. RachelR

    God damn this makes me wish I knew some queer people. I’m glad y’all had such a good time, though!

    • you know me so well. i always want EVERYONE to get in the van.

  2. Creatrix Tiara

    Is Page 2 down for anyone else or just me?

    • Creatrix Tiara

      …aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand there it is!

  3. S

    Is it just me or does anyone else feel so incredibly happy yet sad when they look at these A-CAMP pages?

    So incredibly happy that such a thing even exists, yet sad for myself because I missed out on a wonderful opportunity.

    Definitely going next year!

    • you should feel happy that it exists because you’re definitely going next year

    • Mel

      HOW COULD I FORGET, ANN?! I don’t think any of the Runagays could forget what happened that night in Cabin 17, including the feelings, the music playing, the snaps and that person that knocked on the door at 4:00am and woke up half the cabin.

        • Mer

          haha mine? yeah I’ve got my “insanely happy” smile on lol

        • Mer

          oh wait, just reread and understood! T-Pain definitely creeped the heck out of Hannah Hart! It was awesome

    • I think our Thursday night feeling circle was my favorite part of camp.

    • that was the beginning of the no-sleep-ever weekend of camp. but, feelings!

      • Mer

        I actually calculated how many hours of sleep I got during all of camp: 14. Yes, 14 hours from start to finish. I felt all the feels and there was just no time for rest.

        • i think i got ~12, not counting the hour i slept on your shoulder on the bus to lax.

    • to be clear i mean that i have literally not stopped having feelings since the Thursday night feelings circle. BROKEN.

  4. There is nary a mention of Jetpack in this recap, with the one exception of Rachel speaking about Chelsea, so! An explanation.

    The title of this post, Blame it on the Altitude, comes from the genius creation of Jetpackers Chelsea and Kathleen, our resident lyrical geniuses. It’s an epic song that was performed by much of Jetpack during the talent show(video). Our resident badass Judyna turned this into AN ACTUAL SONG which you can listen to here.

        • YES I HAVE IT THERE ARE LIKE THREE PICTURES OF YOU IN A TREE

          • CAN YOU SEND THEM TO ME. I’M STARTING A COLLECTION.

          • lookbriannaisinatree.tumblr.com

          • Oh hell no. Maybe if I photoshopped bread-cat’s face onto my face.

            (everyone not in the camp facebook group is suddenly confused)

          • I was very disappointed the link didn’t work.

  5. erin

    that’s so fun! we just went to gay family camp (campitup.org) this summer for the first time and it was great, but generally an older crowd. would love to find something for younger queer families, though i imagine A camp isn’t for kids…

    • that’s what I was about to say, Ashley!
      They need to at least mention it in recamp 3, in club deer

      • oh my god i forgot about when gabby and i were walking around and ended up shaking hands with completely naked women. obviously i forgot because it’s like, yawn, it must be thursday.

        • it was day 3 though, right? because i think croce and i attempted to make the streakers stand in line to get wristbands until we realized that they were, well, streaking.

          • Lanie

            This is true, I was awake and less substances for this!

          • DAY THREE YOU GUYS, DAY THREE

          • the days all seem to run together at camp. Camp is a blip in the space/time continuum.

        • shaking hands? is that what it’s called when someone presses their bare breasts into your chest?

          i call that 2nd base.

          • one day i’ll learn what second base is!!!!! one day.

          • Lanie

            Lesbian second base is a boob high five??? man I am doing worse than I thought.

          • Maurys

            xD this was so funny… +1

    • Marni

      Wait wait wait THERE WERE STREAKERS??!! man nobody tells me anything!

  6. I think I remember about as much of Thursday night as Brandy Howard. #ALTITUDE

  7. Wildman’s adorable little focused face in the zine picture is primo

  8. Lanie

    So that is what I missed on Thursday night! I had solo ipod listening time because I had too many cookies at High Tea and then took a nature walk before dinner…so the “altitude” made it impossible for me to function after a while. I did go give moral support to my Thundercats at all events. I’m really sad I missed Klub Makeout though.

  9. You guys, I had NO IDEA about this makeout rave thing until this very moment. I just knew a lot of my cabinmates got super drunk this night and I couldn’t figure out where the hell they were getting drunk and taking tequila shots. Kait, I see you.

    I was in bed by around 11pm every night. I am an old woman.

    • It all makes sense now! Kait, oh Kait.

      I’m okay with feeling like old people. We were in bed by then, because we never had hangovers.

    • Don’t worry, for the first two nights of camp, I went to bed at like 11PM. Then smoker’s circle cuddle puddle happened, so I tried to stay up late for the rest of camp. YOU ARE NOT ALONE HANSEN.

          • Amy

            I need this stitched onto everything I own.

          • NEXT CAMP — SHIRTS.

          • Amy

            KAPPA PHI TOBACCO

            (I felt obligated to respond in all caps to compete with Carmen.)

    • oh my gosh this was the night I ran all the way across camp at 4am to get geneva at the other cabin and then all the way back and it was somehow really dramatic cause I didn’t know which cabin was the staff cabin and it was after I thought that trashcan was a person and I was still really freaked out about that.

      (but playin it cool! playin it cool!)

      • “and then we were just sort of like, ‘holy shit. that’s a trashcan.'”

          • I just kept repeating that as if it justified my talking to it

      • But your granola bars were the most important, I think. And vacuum-sealed to keep the Misfits free from bears.

    • Amy

      Based on the events that followed, you must’ve known shit got crazy somewhere.

      • “the events that followed” Is that how we’re describing it now?

  10. btw I am EPICLY PROUD of JILL STROMBERG and her white shorts repping the snatches!! Jill wins all the things!

  11. I remember wishing and hoping I might get the amazing opportunity of having a picture in even ONE recap…. so far I’ve been in both! So happy! You guys even included my overuse of commas in my love for Sara Medd!

  12. Aaah, I got recapped! I remember saying that “I didn’t know any Persian queers” not that there weren’t any (I’m no Ahamdinejad), so I was so excited to meet Minna! I was hella nervous about getting up and sharing my experience, I almost didn’t do it. Glad I did.

    Every time I see camp photos, my heartstrings tug a little bit and then I curse my mother’s need to see me walk at graduation because it falls smack in the middle of mAy-Camp. :(

    • Mer

      Also, every time I have tea (which is many times a day) I think of High Tea and Megan making use of coffee filters so everyone could have something to drink, and Laneia teaching T-Pain and I to make spinners, and Mel being as super duper excited as me about the Jazzercise bears, and everyone sitting at the picnic table making friendship bracelets. It makes my heart feel warm and glowy.

  13. Everytime I read a recamp and look at pictures from camp my heart just melts away because of feelings and because I want to come back and don’t know if I can and also I miss everyone and just want to hug all of you.
    Kbye.

      • yes yes. this week-end could already be planned out, but yes, soon please.
        I don’t know what happened last night, I wasn’t even drunk but I was feeling all the feelings. maybe it was because thursday night was Cuddle Puddle Night heeeyo.

  14. I really hope I get to go to one of these in my lifetime, but I doubt it because of the Atlantic ocean and theyre always on during term time :(

  15. Creatrix Tiara

    (Ha, ani difranco is playing in riteaid as I write this …)

    The camper quote after the non-monogamy panel (which was mine) seems especially bittersweet after the events of the last couple of weeks :/

  16. Liz

    What’s the link for the fb group about books? I’d love to be in it!

  17. This whole post is giving me Muppet arms! I remember it fondly as the day I dominated all of the things (music trivia/faggity feud), the day Brandy Howard groped my ass, and the glory of the Wild Stallions amazing rack(s). I had a front row seat to all that shizz and I regret nothing!

    JETPACK BLAST OFF!

    • Orange + Purple = LOVE

      This was one of the best days of my life. Thanks for the boob shout out. They loved you too.

      Also, I still can’t get over your amazing “Blame it on the Altitude” song. You rocked Acamp.

  18. mon

    I’m pretty sure that green team won girls gone wild, even though we were annoyingly competitive we definitely took points on that one (and little else).

    • mon

      (that’s right, still being competitive)

    • As a compulsively accurate purple team member I have to agree that we did not win girls gone wild. We came in second, but that gave us enough points to put us in the overall lead for the rainbow wars,

  19. I wanna give a shoutout to the campfire event with Vicki that happened at the same time as the Julie and Brandy event because it was a huge highlight of my camp experience. We never told ghost stories, instead we spent the whole night talking about herstory and lesbian activism (Vicki is so cool, you guys. Seriously.) our duty to spread the word to younger generations. We also talked about kink, sex positivity and erotica (Ali is bomb. :D) and we did it all while getting blasted in the face with smoke.

    Basically it was epic and amazing.

    • I’m totally agreeing with Launa. I think one of my favourite moments was getting to talk to Vicki at that fire briefly like I wish I could talk to my own mom, while she was able to ask a question about what she should do as a mom and all of us were able to answer like her fake daughters. It was just such a cool perspective swap, in such a chill environment. I didn’t realize how cool it was until I walked away.

    • Yes! That campfire was awesome. I know Vikki has a blog somewhere I’ve been meaning to start reading, but I can’t remember where it is.

      Hey Vikki are you around? Can you fill me in? :)

  20. i just want to talk about how hot crystal looks chucking that piece of candy across the room.

    • i wanted to say she was like a dolphin trainer but then there was really a dolphin trainer at camp and i don’t want to marginalize dolphin trainers.

      • carlytron

        all of the thundercats are total babes, haven’t you heard?

        also Crystal I want tim-tams so bad right now.

        • i also heard that the wild+cats are total babes. i mean i saw it on page 4.

          also carly i will send tim tams.

          • Lanie

            WILD + CATS for life!!!

    • Ava

      I thought the exact same thing when I saw that picture and I don’t even know Crystal, so.

  21. I’m so glad that the zine from Camp 1.0 is still coming!

  22. As I recall it was the ghosts that ate the pac person at GAYmers, and we all learned a lesson about the importance of balance in game design.

  23. Amy

    I was not prepared for the amount of feelings these recamps would cause. I would like for it to be May right now thanks.

  24. So I had to walk through that makeout rave in my pajamas to get a library book to read in my bunk while I was sick and dying, which made me very sad. But then ALICE MOTES offered me some tea (seriously, I was hyped over the constant presence of tea at camp… and Alice’s one person black market) and then Marika/Christina/Morgan moved my bed and like seven staff came to Mary Poppins all over me, which was sort of disturbing but also incredibly rad and helpful. Meghan definitely deserves credit as the camp nurse.

    • I’m so glad you were well taken care of. I remember how sick you got in our cabin.

    • <3 If you had to be sick at least you got TARGET LINENS! And love!

    • Black market- hilarious and maybe a little true! Best kept open secret?

      I was super bummer you were sick and was happy to help!

  25. Dear Carrie, Cee, Meredydd, Stef, Croce, and Lil’ C,

    Thank you for Klub Deer.

    That is all.

      • Well that is how you were referred to on the official Klub Deer flyer — c’mon lil C, stay in character here…

  26. So Jill told me I was all over this recap, and now I feel special.

    I would like to say that I was fed at all points! I didn’t even finish all my snacks! Although the first night my protein source was Morgan fetching me a cup of eggs from the salad bar and looking at me in a concerned fashion, while I demolished ALL OF THE MASHED POTATOES after a 14 hour trip.

    Morgan is the sweetest.

    • Oh so that’s why Morgan was putting eggs into a cup. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW.

      *smishes*

      • Every time a Battlestar says “So say we all,” a Morgan and a Stef get their wings.

  27. And thanks Malaika, now I know how Carmen had her spirit animal bear vision/hallucination.

  28. Sam

    It’s so fun to see pictures of us! Everyone looks so great. I miss camp.

  29. Mel

    The sense of community within A-Camp and the queers really sunk in for me on Day 2. I gained newfound confidence, love, respect for myself as a gay woman and for my fellow queers.

    The Queer WOC panel really helped me open up to the rest of A-Camp. Although I was too timid and in awe of the panel and participants to speak up, I caught myself constantly smiling, nodding, cheering and clutching my poor queer heart and for the entire duration (lost it with everyone with the Persian queer outburst). I mustered up the courage to approach Katrina afterwards, the only other queer Filipino woman I met at A-Camp, thanking her for being the strong, articulate voice I could relate to (RICE). Yep, I fangirled a bit too.

    I dappered it up with Ann for the first Speed Dating session and consequently High Tea after. Just because a date lasts only 2-3 minutes doesn’t mean you can’t dress up at 7500 feet! I couldn’t believe how many compliments we received from all the cute women, even after at Barbershop! I regret not joining the dapper luncheon on Saturday :-(

    I can’t remember much else because ALL THE FEELINGS hashed out this night too, but ugh, Day 2 was amazing!

  30. “Then Hannah arrived and jumped in on the dates, so a few campers got to go on a 3 minute date with her. Robin and I made sure to ask her the most awkward sex-related question from the list.”

    Thank you, Robin and Sara, for one of my favorite moments from camp. I was the one lucky enough to be sitting across from Hannah when suggested question #1 was asked.

  31. One of my favourite moments from A Camp was when Dena found the other Persian queer woman at the QWOC panel and just. It was so powerful that I’m crying just thinking about it again.

    Thank you, Autostraddle, for making these moments a reality.

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