A-Camp September Recamp #3: Reading Dancing Spooning Singing Sewing Clubbing Dreaming

II. Afternoon Delight

Block C

The Magical Elves w/Robin & Sara Medd

Sobriety & Substance Abuse Discussion Group w/Anonymouses

Swagger 101 w/Gabby & Katrina

Formspring Friday w/Riese, Laneia, Alex, Laura & Rachel

Flag Football w/Jill

 

Jill: Flag Football was pretty much a case study in Darwinian Evolution.  Only the strongest survived.  People fell onto rocks, had asthma attacks, were attacked by water fountains, ran head first into metal poles, and so on and so forth.  But I feel by the end we had a good game.  A-camp has some good quarterbacks and kickers let me tell you!

Laura: My face always turns a Grace-worthy shade of red at some point during Formspring Friday Live. This time was no exception. In other news, I feel like next time we should rename this panel Formspring Friday: The Opposite Day Edition because we had fun turning questions back on everyone there again this time.

we turn to grace (photo by katie o’donnell)

Rachel: Formspring Friday is an event that involves both speaking about my own personal life and having the intimate details of others’ personal lives revealed, and so it is a thing I associate with a mild amount of day drinking. But there was also the staff reading that evening, which would require a significant drinking commitment, and I really didn’t feel like I could sustain a full day of being sort of drunk. This was a conundrum! But all was well, because this Formspring Friday actually turned out to be pretty doable, and I did not end up telling the story of the first time I had sex with a boy in high school, so that was an improvement.

Cee: Riese asked if I could hang out there in case anyone had any questions about the website. It turned out that many people did.

Alex: It always ends with us asking the audience questions.

Rachel: After all the work and worry of raising the money it was really satisfying to talk to actual people who care about the website and envision what it will all turn out to be.

Cee: I was happy to get feedback from everyone on what they were looking for in the redesign and possible ideas to improve the site. It also made me realize just how much everyone loves the site and how important my job in fixing it is. Yikes.

Rachel: Cee is really attractive when she’s in her element as a supersmart web developer. (Also, at all other times.)

formspring friday panelists (photo by katie o’donnell)

Riese: I loved that we had some time to discuss website stuff with Cee! BUT ALSO Real Talk – Formspring Friday was not awesome this time! We got through all the questions from The Formspring Box in about 20 minutes ’cause there weren’t very many, and I kept being like, “well then, I guess we’re out of questions!” thinking everybody would peace out and I could go obsessively edit my essay again, but I think they felt obligated to sit there for the full 1.5 hours, like that episode of Buffy where everyone wants to leave the house but are somehow unable to do so because of some kind of spell. It was weird.

Laneia: It made me a little sad.

Riese: I think um, the Formspring Friday ship has sailed into the horizon of A-Camps Past, but a “talk to Alex and Cee and me about what you want for the website” could be its own activity, because I genuinely enjoy those parts. Regardless, this aspect of the pre-show was cute:

hunger games salute (photo by katie o’donnell)

Sara Medd, 21 Hump Street Counselor/Calendar Stylist: Robin and I wanted to be little Magical Elves and leave notes in boxes, so we gathered up all the zine-making supplies and made fancy little notes for people’s pigeon holes.

Robin: This arts and crafts hour ended up turning into a really amazing conversation between me and some of the campers. I loved getting to know you all and I was able to make a little Thank You note for each of my staff.

Katrina: Swagger 101 is my favorite activity we do at camp. I get to work with Gabby, my fairy godbrother, who truly brings the magic to every swagtastic morsel of advice dispersed. An hour before our workshop started, we brainstormed in our cabin, pacing back and forth debating over the do’s and don’t’s of picking up chicks, and when we were finally ready, we dressed to the nines, because you deserve it like that.

the dapper qs prepare to swagger (photo by rachel walker)

Gabby: Here’s how that went:

1) Ask everyone to write down their one major insecurity/issue in approaching someone they like/ think is hot. Collect written answers in a thing.

2) Admit to campers old feelings of worthlessness, not measuring up to any beauty/desirability standards, crazy awkward feelings – all of the things that ever made me or katrina doubt our ability to talk to chicks, people and/or queers in dark bars

3) Pick some of the answers. Role-play scenarios with A-Campers/mostbeautifulgaybabyarmy

4) Talk shit. Mean it.

5) Questions from campers trump all other things on list.

6) Wingpersonship: A Study on Gentlequeers and the Art of the Wing.

7) Be Yourself and not a D-Bag

8) Feelings are great. So is subtlety.

9) Get up, ya’ll. Look at each other. See possibility and beauty in everyone.

10) Confidence is for everyone.

11) Compliments should be original. They should never be insulting or corny, unless they’re nerd-cute-corny then you just might win a girlfriend.

12) Go get yours.

Katrina: Gabby and I usually open up this workshop by talking about why we’re qualified to be doing so. I still don’t totally have an answer for this. I think it’s probably something along the lines of “because being shy is hot.” But mostly I felt qualified to run this workshop because girls make me really nervous too! Sometimes you have to put the talk before the walk, I guess, because once you set expectations, you have to live up to them, right? I think what I’m trying to say is: “I’m qualified because if I can do it, then so can you.”

Gabby: For me, the best part, the most crucial part about running the Swag workshop is that it provides the space needed to discuss the awkwardness and the crippling fear of rejection embedded in our social interactions.

Katrina:  It’s like a 1.5 hour practice session in verbal wingmanning. The turnout was great and so exciting. I found out that I’m still vaguely terrified at speaking in front of large groups of women (get at me though). But I also found out that a little inner confidence goes a long way, which I think was the point of this whole thing anyway.

christie at swagger 101 (photo by rachel walker)

Gabby: There is no other place where a large group of queer women can tell their stories and ask stutter-inducing questions about girls in an environment that is both public and private. We exist together but there’s still a certain level of anonymity in just being at camp, mainly because so many of us don’t know each other. Camp is where we meet and there isn’t any bullshit yet. We can still nerd out, share ways to compliment someone, talk about femme invisibility, role play it out and have some fun. Everyone deserves to feel sexy, confident, dashing and like they can go up and talk to anyone they want. For some people that just comes naturally but the rest of us have to work on ourselves and our game. This is the space for it and looking at all the queers that came out to hear what Katrina and I had to say, ya’ll are putting in the work and looking damn good.

Katrina: Yo, camp can get pretty heavy, and I really like that because I believe that talking about serious/personal issues in a safe space is totally imperative to the camp experience and also good for everyone’s little hearts. However, we do sometimes need a break that isn’t whiskey-related, and that’s Swagger 101 for me.

Gabby: I hope the Swag workshop was a success beyond camp. Like speed dating, my hope is that it gave everyone in attendance the ability to just say hello, maybe get kissed, get consensual breathless sex and even fall into magical neon rainbow love or something. Something good.

 

Camper QuoteSwagger 101 was one of the highlights of camp for me. I learned so much and gained so much confidence. Thank you Gabby and Katrina! I was using the wing-queer tips successfully within an hour after the workshop.

 

Crystal: The highlight of my afternoon was roaming around with Riese’s camera. I encountered a group of super cute and diversely dressed campers — Ambra and Dana were wearing bikinis, Martina was rocking a blazer, Sara was wearing a neck tie and vest and Chloe was sporting her team colors — chilling out under some trees, sharing stories about Pride. It was a really special ‘only at A-Camp’ moment.

(photo by crystal)

Carrie: Croce’s staff schedule said she was supposed to be “making eyes at people” but it should’ve read “Croce walks around while everyone makes eyes at her.” We checked out the Swagger workshop and then hung out with the Golden Girls at the pool.

Carmen: Sophia, Fonsexy, Geneva and I ended up all sitting in the sun sprawled out on towels drinking Coors Light with the Golden Girls cabin and let me tell you this now before I say another word – it was the fucking highlight of my trip. Even if I was questioned about whether or not I would “ever get my voice back.”

Carrie: They’d somehow managed to get a cooler of beer on the pool deck even though ice was in short supply on the mountain. They’re amazing. The Golden Girls ran out of fucks a long time ago.

Cee: Yup, my cabin paid extra to have the pool open all afternoon because they’re clearly the best cabin ever. I hung out by the pool for a bit with everyone which was nice and relaxing.

Riese: [it’s $75/hour to have the pool open because of their lifeguard, which is why we didn’t already have free swim all the time!]

Free swim!

 

+

Block D

Friendship Bracelets w/Meredydd & Laura

Andro/Butch Style Workshop w/Carly, Alex, Sara Medd & Fonseca

Queer Women of Faith Panel w/Marni, Whitney, Morgan, Haviland, Gabby & Jill

Dealing With Isolation and Finding Community w/Guest Facilitator Sara Evan

Spooning Workshop w/Stef & Katrina

High Tea w/Laneia & Rachel

Riese: For most of the days leading up to camp, Robin, Marni and I did not believe that The Spooning Workshop was a real thing. I think we kept “leaving it off the schedule.”

Stef: Last camp, Taylor and I had a private joke that there was a spooning workshop going on in both of our bunks and that admission was extremely limited. Imagine my surprise when this time around, the powers that be actually allowed me to make my dream panel a reality.

pouring one out for taylor who could not be at camp due to last-minute family stuff but if she had, would have been involved in the workshop

Katrina: I went straight from the swagger workshop to the spooning workshop, which I think is ideally how it goes in life anyway. This was definitely my biggest “what in all the world is going on right now” moment. One week I was in Brooklyn on my couch with Stef, diligently taking notes for the workshop while in the spooning position, the next I was in the mountains, being spooned on the floor of a lounge, lecturing about it to a group of queers. I only hope that my academic career may be so successful.

Stef: Once I got over my abject panic, Katrina and I pulled together a curriculum encompassing all the finer points of cuddling – positions, strategies, techniques, and other important factors.

spooning demonstration (photo by rachel walker)

Katrina: The turnout was pretty big, I think because of the obnoxious ambiguity we insisted upon attaching it. When someone asked me what exactly our workshop would consist of, I would reply in a similar manner as when a straight person would ask me what lesbian sex is: “I can’t tell you, you’ll just have to come and find out.”

Carrie: Stef summed up the workshop perfectly — “When you tell people you went to lesbian camp this is EXACTLY the kind of thing they imagine.”

Stef: Sarah Croce was there, which is an endorsement if i ever heard one.

Sarah Croce: Katrina and Stef were hilarious and adorable.

(photo by rachel walker)

Carolyn: When I walked in, there was this massive circle of people on the floor and Stef and Katrina demonstrating spooning in the middle of the floor. At one point a camp staff person walked in to change the water cooler, which was special.

Sarah Croce: I left early because I’m afraid of intimacy (and safe spaces), but I heard there was a sexy little spooning line following my departure.

Carolyn: Since camp I have mostly explained what you do at lesbian camp by explaining that this workshop happened. Everyone is awed by it.

Katrina:  Stef and I talked about the politics of big and little spoons, about when it is and is not appropriate to spoon an individual, and where the fuck to put your inside arm when being the outside spoon. I met some great cuddlers. I reclaimed the little spoon identity.

Stef: We gathered the girls into one giant spooning collective, and three Battlestars and one brave Unicorn laid there cuddling for probably a solid 45 minutes after the fact.  I’m just honoured to have made a difference.

Katrina: Yes indeed: we came, we saw, we climbed that mountain, and goddammit we spooned.

Camper Quote: I was super impressed by how much Spooning was actually educational, Stef and Katrina did a lot of preperation and also it was very funny.

Fonseca, 21 Hump Street Counselor: I participated in the Butch and Andro Style Workshop with Alex, Carly, and stylist-to-the-stars Sara Medd. Talk about intimidating! I’m just a girl with a style tumblr that people happen to like.

Carly: OMG this was so fun. It was so awesome being in a room full of queer ladies who had a lot in common with me, sartorially speaking.

Fonseca: We talked a lot about the importance of tailoring, where to find clothing as a petite queer, and accessories that have a history.

Alex: Sara Medd, stylist to the stars, led a terrific discussion where basically everyone (audience included) shared their tips, tricks, and knowledge about how to dress ourselves dapperly/androgynously whilst avoiding the bullshit that is the gender divide in what’s available in terms of our fashion choices.

andro/butch style workshop (photo by crystal)

Carly: I revealed my Personal Style Rules and in doing so, exposed myself for the actual crazy person that I am. But it was well received, so much so that several campers said they’d love to see me write more style pieces for the site, so look out for that in the relatively near future.

Sara Medd: We talked about bowties, butch-sexy underwear, the importance of tailoring, and some of the best places to find menswear that fits a more feminine shaped body.

Fosenca: Everyone who showed up already looked amazingly dapper; I honestly couldn’t figure out which side of the room should be doling out advice.

Carly: Between this and the gender panel, I noticed a small group of dapper campers forming, and I started lovingly referring to them as the Tiny Carly Army. One of my most heartwarming life experiences.

Mary: Robin and I sat in on half of the workshop. I learned I need to tailor everything and my sleeves need to stick out more. A QUARTER INCH! Then Robin, Mollie and I went swimming!!!!!! Then Robin and I went back to make weird faces in the window behind the Andro/ Butch Style Panel people.

Camper Quote: The Andro/Butch Style Workshop was my favorite. I think it was the first time someone said to my face that how I prefer to look and dress is perfectly fine.

a dapper q at the andro/butch style workshop (photo by crystal)

Jill: The Queer Women Of Faith Panel was my first panel so it was my first encounter with ALL THE FEELINGS. I’m bringing boxes upon boxes of Kleenex to next camp let me tell you.

Marni Kellison, Camp Co-Director/Contributor: My entire background in camps comes from the decade I spent working at a small, Presbyterian summer camp, so I was really happy to be able to share that experience and what it means for me to be queer and “of faith,” and how that’s evolved over time. It was never a problem for me that I was gay and running a Christian camp, which isn’t necessarily a super common experience, so talking about that was great.

Whitney: I spoke a bit about how I’m just starting to open up again to the concept of faith and God after years of feeling alienated from the church because of being gay. I’m starting to search and find out for myself what God means and what faith means and piecing together what religion means to me as a queer woman — not as a place of judgment and rejection but as a place of love and self-acceptance.

Jill: I discussed how I keep rocking the Catholicism, because where I come from, the Catholics are the liberals fighting for truth, justice, compassion, and the right to drink beer.  So I’m proud to continue the tradition!

Gabby: It was awesome learning about the faiths or faith-based upbringing of fellow staff but I didn’t feel connected to the panel until the audience spoke up. Camper participation made the dialogue spring alive in very real ways. It made my experience of being a frightened kid in a fundamentalist church seem less rare and strange. When people opened up I felt like we were making connections beyond being queer.

Whitney: There were two audience members who stood up and spoke at length about the rejection they experienced from their church communities because they were gay, but still these two women continued to have faith. Their unwavering strength and courage really spoke to me and gave me a sense of who I want to be as a queer woman of faith — loving, kind and solid.

Gabby: We had our own Pentecost. Those are my words and obviously not everyone was Christian, Jewish, Muslim or connected to any sort of religion or god. I don’t even know what my identifiers are in this area. When I say Pentecost, I just mean spiritual communion. I haven’t felt that in so very long.

Marni: The campers who shared their own stories were so moving.

Gabby: Without going into too many personal details of the panel, I’d just like to thank Launa and Lainie for their unabashed honesty and willingness to reach out to people they didn’t know. That’s why we do this.

Riese: I was sad to have missed this and I think we need some Jews up in there if we do it next time. (I’m looking at you, Vanessa!)

Camper Quote: The Queer Women of Faith Panel was very moving and just wonderful to be around people with shared experiences and deep feelings about what it means to have faith and be queer.

queer women of faith panel

Rachel: Friday was our last High Tea, and honestly, we were spent. I don’t even know how we got anyone any tea at all. I think we were out of teabags. Coffee filters may have been employed. Really, I was mourning not being able to go to the spooning workshop the whole time. I’m so good at spooning, you guys. But I could always get better.

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III. Sunrise, Sunset

Evening Entertainment:

Fister Spit Reading w/Riese, Laneia, Rachel, Whitney, Gabby, Carmen, Laura & Katrina

Capture the Flag w/Robin

Bright Lights Big Campground w/Haviland Stillwell, Marni, Alex, Ashley & Stef

jill outside catch-22 cabin (photo by gabby rivera)

Riese: I felt like the Staff Reading on Friday night, which I’d dubbed “Fister Spit,” was a good opportunity for me to slice my heart open and pass it around by reading an essay I’d published pseudonymously six years ago about something kinda huge in my past that I don’t talk about on the internet. It was gonna be a big huge surprise for the audience and even some of my friends, wheee! I’d been editing it compulsively, and after Formspring Friday I beelined for my room but encountered Runagay Naomi on the way and we sat on a rock and talked about my feelings, and then I spent the next three hours in my room, “sipping” whiskey and listening to Ani and editing.

Carmen: This dinner was the moment in which I realized I was about to spill my guts to a room full of anonymous campers and probably vomit and die everywhere. I ate heavily in preparation for what drinking would ensue before and after.

Sara Medd: Somewhere between the workshop and dinner and evening activities, I was starting to feel really drained and exhausted and full of feelings.

Marni: Friday was the day that my body stopped responding to basic commands. Three days of sleep deprivation, altitude weirdness, dehydration, running around non-stop and rarely getting a chance to sit down and eat at meals culminated in my turning into a crazy zombie who could barely form coherent sentences. Thankfully Sara Medd made me mainline some chicken breasts at dinner (which I ate with my hands like a caveperson) and I felt a lot better.

forever 21ers enjoy an evening meal

Sara Medd: I don’t know if I was the only one who was having a hard time so early on, but I made myself a vodka-something and ended up in Brandy and Julie’s room where they inadvertently became my safe place to download a little. Bless them for that necessary moment.

Brittani Nichols/Contributing Editor: Because sometimes the world is awesome, I got a gig associate producing a pilot a couple weeks before camp. And because the world isn’t fair, that meant I’d be M.I.A. the majority of camp. I’d spent so much energy not thinking about all of the things I was missing that piece by piece my brain had flown to the mountain without me even noticing and the rest of me was just existing in the non-camp world without any major grumblings because that really wouldn’t have gotten me on that mountain any faster. The only grievance I allowed myself to air to myself was missing Julie and Brandy’s Game because that is obviously this predicament’s biggest casualty. I thought I would roll into camp and no one would notice… except probably Carmen.

brittani arrives

Brittani: Howevs when I got there Laneia spoke more words to my face than I think she had the entirety of last camp and I immediately stopped feeling like I was going to be intruding on the love bubble everyone had already been living in since camp began. I then delivered Carmen and Sophia packs of cigarettes I bought for them in LA even though they are against my personal code of conduct. But when Carmen Rios wants cigarettes, you get cigarettes.

Marni: My big focus on Friday was getting ready for Haviland’s Show. It wasn’t entirely clear to us exactly how it was all going to come together – this ensemble of acoustic guitars and a drum machine and Haviland – but we trusted the vision and knew that it would be great. We spent lots of quality time hunched over chords scrawled on napkins.

Stef: Right after dinner, Haviland, Marni, Alex, Ashley and I gathered in Eagle to practice a bit while Grace and Carly set up all the techy things.

Marni: Alex, being the killer drummer that she is, only got to go through each song with us about once and managed to work out her drum lines for the whole set on just that. Just to make things super fun, the pickup on my guitar suddenly decided to stop working right as we were starting, but I had brought a weird other pickup for the soundhole of a classical guitar and Grace and I figured out a solution. God I love Grace so much.

Stef: We rehearsed until I felt like a well-oiled Dolly Parton cover machine, and then the staff reading happened and everything was so emotional that my brain exploded and I forgot how to play all the songs.

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Next: Everybody spills their guts on the floor!


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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.

104 Comments

      • Sidenote I really wanted to be first because I am obnoxious like that and I’ve been waiting all day for this, but if anyone should be first it should be Naomi/the runagays.

    • Megan

      I’m just an internet lurker, but can I say you guys all seem so nice and so fun?? Yay for Autostraddle having such a great community! :)

  1. Erin

    The workshop on spooning is brilliant! I have always wondered, what DO you do with the inside arm?? If only I was there to find out!

    • A lot of people tuck their inside arm under their head and sleep on it, but as I’ve demonstrated in the picture, when you extend it, especially under the other person’s pillow, they can rest their head on your arm or you can slip it in the nook between head and shoulder (neck, I guess!) and then wrap your arms around them.

      It’s worked wonderfully with me, but mainly with girls smaller than me. Never tried with some of the same size or larger.

  2. Doesn’t matter if I’m allergic to everything else, I’M NOT ALLERGIC TO WINNING. HELL YEAH.

  3. I’ll be honest, I am honored to have a visual proof of my demo with Katrina on what to do with your dead arm for the Spooning Workshop.

    Also, JETPACK/PURPLE FOR LIFE!

  4. So I don’t remember if the massive exotic dance class was Thursday or Friday, but I wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who attended and Mollie for being my teacher partner in crime. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in a workshop that was created the day I was asked to teach it, but you crazy mob of sexy, sexy dancers made the workshop amazing. You were by far my biggest class I’d ever taught and you were so upbeat, so into my longwinded self-esteem pep talks and you were all great dancers! I was honored to spend time with you.

    Also, thank you again, A-Camp, for the Queer Women of Faith panel. I didn’t know how many feelings I had until they kind of exploded out of me. It was so crucial for me to be in that space at that time, to feel those good spirit vibes and the community I’d been missing. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    • thank YOU for sharing your story! you were so brave and honest.

    • Lanie

      Friday was kind of feelings explosion day for me because of coming out panel and I took a feelings processing hike and basically did all the things wrong. I forgot to tell anyone where I was going, I went alone, I didn’t take my phone, and I was wearing noise isolating earbuds (so I couldn’t hear bears), and flip flops (so I could totally be bitten my a snake), but I wasn’t lost for more than an hour.

      Haviland encouraged me to go to the queer women of faith panel in her response to my question at the coming out panel and if you are ever lucky enough to have Hav tell you to show up for something I just want to let you know you will never regret it.
      Basically I shared the darkest part of my soul in that room and I am happy that I met Launa and heard her story. I learned that faith like love shouldn’t hurt and that there are welcoming places of worship if you are willing to try something new. It is scary, but so worth it.

      Staff Reading!!!! I will be back to camp specifically to hear your amazing work.
      Bright Lights Big Campground was the perfect follow up event because it felt like lesbian sing along time and I have been waiting for that forever, plus I think Hav and Have Nots are everything. (and Haviland’s Hannah Hart impression was perfect)

      I got into Klub Deer after the lube twister, but the dance party itself was a good release after feelings friday and I made hand holding happen.

    • Amy

      This was definitely Friday. And as someone who would never regularly attend an exotic dance class, I had such a good time!

  5. Staff Reading is when the crying started for me. And it hasn’t stopped since.

    I had a lot of feelings about everyone’s readings, but i can’t even tell the story of Morgan’s reading to anyone without breaking down, tbh.

    • I read Morgan’s reading to my straight, cis, male roommate and he teared up a little.

      Sweetest love story. They should make it a Disney movie.

  6. No, but really when will Marni’s cover of ‘Do It Like A Dude’ be available for download?

    Also, I took about 5 pictures at camp and the best is definitely that one of Brittani as the Pretty Pretty Princess of Swag.

    • marni

      Keep your shirt on, Motes! I’ve done the initial recording; I just need to mix it and send it to Ashley to add drums.

      • Naomi

        So sort of obtained a ripped from youtube mp3 of your camp performance, Marni, and now I listen to it when I’m trying to fall asleep and when I’m struggling to stay awake and when I’m indulging in feelings and when I’m attempting to hold feelings off. It’s very multipurpose, basically. And I am SO EXCITED for the higher quality recording. Are you putting it in the Auto-Store or turning it into a donation reward?

        • bcw

          Not sure yet. And I’m also not sure how “higher quality” it will be, because I use an old 4-track to record, but we’ll see! And thanks!

        • Ha, yes. Marni, I have been passing around the mp3 of your cover across the land.
          If anyone wants it to tide you over you can PM me your email and I’ll attach it. I ripped it from the video and cut out some of the applause at the beginning and end

          • and by “applause” I mean “hysterical screaming.”

  7. Naomi

    Friday was the day I kind of overdosed on feelings. And this recamp is making me feel almost as awesome and overwhelmed.

  8. This re-camp is giving me so many feelings. Day 3 was absolutely perfect start to finish and I can’t really form any coherent thoughts about it yet and am going to have to process it all over again before further comment.

    I do want to thank Crystal for capturing that absolutely perfect “only at A-Camp” “dapper queers + bikini queers + Chloe” moment on that bench under those trees though. Living the dream.

  9. My jacket is getting so famous yo!

    That staff reading was amazing, I still remember my emotional reactions so viscerally I think everyone felt so connected and intense about that. I was upset we missed the lube twister but then they weren’t naked anyways so I wasn’t sure it was as silly to miss.

    I unfortunately was allergic to most of the foods and fortified myself on the salad bar and bread which only made the altitude experience more…interesting?

    Was this the night of the smokers cuddle puddle? This was cuddle puddle night!

    • no no, this was not cuddle puddle night, that happened after faggity feud.
      but it was the “everyone’s drinking their feelings”-night.

  10. That day was a total overload of feelings – first the Queer Women of Faith panel, then the Staff Reading. I had to drink down all the feelings at night because otherwise I had just continued crying.
    It was good going back to the cabin after the staff reading and have Diana and Dena hug me.
    I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to the reading first, then I got tipsy and really excited about stealing the props-tiara, but halfway through Whitney’s piece I had to take it off again because I felt so dumb listening to that kind of story and crying the whole time with that shiny thing on my head.
    Thanks everyone for sharing all the stories, the reading really really was a highlight for I think everyone at camp!

  11. ‘feelings’ word count : 23
    this post already beat #2 re ‘feelings’.

    oh boi, I really need a job asap.
    #feelings

  12. its3amandimkindatipsy

    Friday was my favorite day of Acamp!! Fister spit was amazing and I still haven’t processed all my feeling about it. I’m really sad I lost my program. Morgan’s reading was especially inspirational!! Also, Swagger 101 + Spooning workshop was very instrumental to me losing my “gay virginity” later that night so props to that

    • congrats its3amandImkindatipsy, to virginity thing and also your username.
      if I wouldn’t be logged in all the time this would probs be my go-to name w/ varying time.but ew, actually I might not want proof of my unemployed/studentlife influenced drinking habits on the interwebs.also that’s what facebook’s for apparently

  13. I love that you had a spooning workshop.
    My QSA recently went camping, and spent a great deal of time group spooning. Which was greatly instrumental in breaking down some of my trust issues around physical contact, and so now I’m addicted to spooning.
    I can’t wait to one day come spoon with some of you…:D

  14. Lanie

    Dear Golden Girls, I used to doubt your commitment to sparkle motion and a red team victory, but now that I know you were helping the greater good by providing extended pool time you have won my heart. THE RED TEAM IS THE WINNER OF ALL THINGS!!!

    (Thank you for being a friend)

  15. Pam

    These A-camp recaps are so much fun. Wish I’d been there. Are any of the staff readings available online in print form?

  16. I totally forgot to mention how appreciative I was and am of Brittani bringing me cigs because there was a serious cigarette shortage at camp.

    you guys we had a lot of booze but we did not think about the cigarettes and that was a kindness towards my addiction.

    • yes! it’s gonna be half clothes and half cigarettes in my suitcase next time. also what was I thinking rolling my cigarretes. yes, I like it but should’ve known from experience that I always loose my fucking rolling paper

      • also also how did I screw up the word cigarette so badly when I already wrote it like 2 seconds ago

    • Amy

      yes this. I was soo excited to find half a pack under my suitcase sunday morning. Bringing at least 3 cartons next time around.

  17. Currently whining to my girlfriend that we need to leave our comfy little East Coast of Canada and go to the next A-Camp because of cross stitching and feelings.

  18. i love so much how alex vega always has to perch. she never just sits. it’s the best.

    • Amy

      I didn’t notice the table behind her in that one picture, and couldn’t figure out how she was sitting/floating on the back of a plastic chair.

  19. “Marni, you guys. Heartthrob.”
    I don’t even want to talk about it. I got over my nervousness and talked to a few staff members, but I never summed up the courage to even look directly at Marni.

    “…I had to go hide in the woods for like an hour and cry and wish I had a cigarette. In a good way, obviously.”
    I could NOT STOP CRYING after the reading and had to excuse myself to my cabin for the rest of the night. It was horribly embarrassing but there’s nowhere to take shelter when the feelings wave hits. Also yes to Laneia writing a book, because her piece was perfect. PERFECT you guys.

    These recamps are really making me wish I’d been more outgoing and made more friends at camp, BUT that’s what mAycamp is for, I guess.

    • What you should do instead is have a couple of drinks or something and then harass Marni about where she gets her shirts BECAUSE THEY JUST FIT SO WELL.

      This is what Shannon and I did…Thursday night?
      Me: “Your shirt looks so great, where did you get it?”
      Marni: “A store?”
      Shannon: “DID YOU GET IT FROM H&M?!”

      that’s all I actually remember from that exchange except that Marni just seemed really confused, and then I talked dress shirts with her again on Saturday.

      • marni

        omg I sound like such a dick! Sorry Marika! I promise I wasn’t being dickish. I’m really bad at shopping and also remembering things, like places I’ve shopped. I thought I said Macy’s? Probably Macy’s men’s store.

        • Oh, I didn’t mean to say you sounded like a dick! Just that it’s confusing when two queers (who may possibly be under the influence of somethings) pounce on you and ask you about clothes, in a very intense fashion. I felt bad later when I realized it might be kind of overwhelming.

          I think later you said maybe Macy’s, and then the one on Saturday you said definitely Macy’s. Which is actually where I buy most of my shirts :) because the Macy’s credit card deal is just stupid amazing, they keep giving me discounts so I keep buying things…that’s probably the point.

          • Maurys

            Marika, did u know your name means “queer” in spanish? xD well it spells with “C”, Marica… But it pronounces the same!

  20. oh my god. i think every picture of me in these recaps i have been laughing super hard or generally looking like the happiest human being ever. and CARLY! a cat in a denim vest IS my spirit animal. you are the best.

  21. Wow after reading this I am soo jealous of everyone living in the States who can go to these camps. We need A-Camp closer to Canada!

    Also, Is there a minimum age to go to A-Camp?

      • Alright well I will have to wait, then
        PLEASE STILL HAVE A-CAMP IN 2 YEARS FROM NOW

  22. JETPACK shows how to cuddle like a boss! Also I’m so so super bummed I missed the readings, but Jaffe and I were holed up in Deer furiously writing our rap song for the talent show and having creative differences. People came over to talk to us and were having none of it. But I think we can all agree WORTH IT.

    • You and Kathleen were champions. One does not bother artists at work, it all paid off!

    • wait. you’re chelsea,yes? usernames and avatars are confusing. don’t know you but your performance was fucking ace!

    • I was also in Deer at this time as well as with a few other Jetpackers and an honorary Jetpacker. I had been planning to go to the reading and the variety hour show, but it just didn’t happen. One gets distracted very easily at a-camp. Sometimes it’s fun to just sit around and talk. (or in my case, sit around and avoid answering questions directed at me and listening in on conversations on topics I knew little about)

      I also got to witness the creation of Blame it (on the Altitude) and for that I am glad.

    • LOL creative differences! I heart you Chelsea and if we have to have a lover’s quarrel everytime we make music together, I think it’s well worth it. I’ll never regret those three hours in deer lodge!!! EVER.

  23. i finally made it into a picture that wasnt the cabin shots!!!!!!!!!!! (even though it is just the back of my head)

    • the best way to get into a picture would be to befriend rachel walker or katie o’donnell, those girls took maaaad pictures

  24. Now I remember that night. It was that time we were all already dancing in Wolf and people shouted the party was at Deer, when we went to Deer, it was empty, so we all went back to Wolf. Then people still kept saying the party’s being moved to Deer, so some of us went again, but it was empty, so it was back to Wolf. It was only a few moments later that Klub Deer suddenly was booming up until the raid to shut it down.

    Epic night of clubbing. Forever Klub Deer; I took off my wristband before realizing it was a prank. PURPLE FOREVER.

  25. the reading was the best thing at camp, ever
    it was so impressive and brave and good
    i’m really grateful that you trusted us with these very personal stories

    i miss camp so much right now

  26. Oh! I forgot to mention: For everyone wanting to either relive the reading/couldn’t go, I got most of it on tape. The pieces that are public are the ones I had permission from the readers to post (so a few are missing, either waiting for permission or, in Riese’s case, my camera died almost immediately) Still, most are here (as well as other camp highlights). Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZLt3Wu9tWLJR8QhnTy4B4xPuqvPggW3N

    Also, if any staff member doesn’t see her piece and would be okay with me posting it or part of it publically, please let me know! I think some of my emails/facebook messages about it got lost in the interwebs.

    • Did you get Rachel’s reading? I know she doesn’t like being on video, but I’d like to see it even if it doesn’t get put on youtube.

      • I do have her reading, I’m just very big on video consent before making things public or passing them around. If you can get her permission, I’d be happy to send it! I just haven’t heard from her.

  27. “Misfits didn’t win Lesbian Jeopardy. Surprise!” HAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Papi and I missed GLEE CLUB for Jeopardy. We buried our love of singing/Musical Theatre for our cabin . ANOTHER REASON WE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN POINTS.

    • You guys are so devoted. I was like, “WE COULD WIN THIS.” but uhhhhh nope. And we were probs late, too.

      • Amy

        Really though, we only thought we could win because we were dubbed “unathletic, but probably smart.”

    • Actually, we missed Glee Club for Autostraddle Trivia.

      Which we also didn’t win.

      Because.

      #Misfits

      • Right! I get our losses confused…since they were so plentiful.

  28. Words cannot describe how much I wish I could have gone to this. Maybe I should start taking donations towards the next one…

  29. Creatrix Tiara

    I didn’t realise how low my pants had gotten in the spooning workshop. That was hella healing though.

    And Whitney’s story… <3

    • I didn’t realize how high my shirt had gotten in the spooning workshop. But I needed that.

  30. Haven’t finished reading yet, but I’d just like to toot my own horn and make a correction to this:

    ALEX VEGA TALKS TO SOMEBODY ABOUT SOMETHING AT SOME POINT (PHOTO BY ALEX ACKERMAN)

    I actually took the photo, since Alex is in the photo, but it was her camera? I dunno. Also – the discussion was: “Hey, Alex, your shirt is so awesome, how does one cut one’s shirt to look as badass as yours?”

    • This happens a lot but you can’t really blame them for it. The picture of the Bomb Grrls cuddle puddle is also credited to Jenna, but she’s in the photo.

      • I…I wasn’t blaming them, I just figured I’d speak up since we’re photo-crediting people and I remember thinking that was one of the best photos I took at A Camp.

      • they’re organized by who gave us the photos, so even if the camera-owner is in the photo we still credit it to them ’cause that’s who gave it to us

      • That one was from Jenna’s camera. Both of our cameras were randomly used that night by visitors, so someone probably just snapped that pic with it while we were all stashed together :D

  31. I love that blue team totally lost 100% that color wars, with like 3 points… and I think all of those points probably came from Klub Deer. hahaha.

  32. just wanna leave a drunk comment here because I told diana and @denalightningrod about probably drunk commenting on AS later after skyping w/ them and finishing a bottle of something cheap while they just woke up and where still in bed. #timedifference #skypedrinking #loveyouguys #feelings

    • Lina, you are a sacred drinking being that will forever smoke. You’re the best. #unicornsforlife

  33. Fri + Sat = FEELINGS OVERLOAD –> missing lots of awesome parts of A-Camp because I needed to decompress, a lot. This feelings stuff is real, you guys.

  34. I feel like I was very incognito at A-Camp because I’ve been in a few pictures, but they were all of the back of my head. Also, I think that is maybe my hand giving Riese the Hunger Salute at the Reading, but I’m not 100% sure.

    The Swagger panel and the Reading were definitely my favorite things about the whole camp. Everyone was/is amazing.

  35. Ava

    I am so behind on reading these recaps so no one will probably see this (maybe a good thing?) but that black & white photo of Laneia at the staff reading is making my tiny crush on her much bigger. Laneia, you are completely adorable. (I’m taken and she’s taken so it’s okay to have an internet crush, right?)

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