Introducing Camp Autostraddle

click for more on a-camp

In July 2010, I woke up at 3am and wrote “CAMP – THIS WILL BE OUR THING” on a notepad I keep by my bed for nocturnal moments of genius. I can’t remember precisely what thoughts I was thinking before I thought the thought about camp, but I remember all the thoughts we’ve had since as the project has expanded and become a team effort.


What Would Autostraddle Look Like in 3-D?

Here’s the idea: a few hundred of you, 20 of us, and a beautiful group retreat site in the mountains. We’ve cherry picked the things we like about other queer women’s events and vacations — hilarious comedy, diverse panels, the occasional dance party and the chance to revel in one another’s awesomeness — added heaps of our own original ideas, and found a way to serve it to you for a fraction of what those other events cost.

It’s an opportunity for you to discover new things about yourself, enhance your relationships within the international queer community, make new friends forever, support Autostraddle, and, you know — get away from your laptop for three days!


A-Camp: A Place Where You Can Be Yourself

We feel like there’s a void out there for awesome queer women who desperately wanna meet each other and experience the magic of communing with like minds, but aren’t into beer-soaked pool parties and can’t swing cruises to the Bahamas. Our original idea was to hold Camp a few times a year, for 4-7 days each time, in different locations, but that seemed like a huge thing to dive into, thus . . .

The First Ever A-Camp Weekend was born!! It’s a pilot run that gives all of us a chance to determine the website’s future!



When: Thursday April 26th – Sunday April 29th, 2012

Where: Alpine Meadows Retreat Center in Angelus Oaks, California. It’s 1.5 hours from Palm Springs, 2 hours from Los Angeles, 2.5 hours from San Diego, 4 hours from Las Vegas, 5 hours from Phoenix and 8 hours from San Francisco. We’ll be running shuttles from LAX to the campsite all day on April 26th and shuttles back to LAX on April 29th.

Lodging: You’ll be having the bestest biggest surprise slumber party of your life in fully insulated, carpeted & heated cabins with private bathroom/showers/baths and generously-sized bunk beds.

Just $50 down reserves your spot!

Cost: $300

Your Cost Includes:

* 3 nights lodging
* 3 meals a day and snacks (with vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and kosher options)
* Full access to a variety of daytime programming situations, including typical camp stuff like crafts and sports as well as workshops and panels with AS Teamasters
* World-Class Night-time Entertainment: The entire event will be MC’ed by world’s funniest duo, Julie Goldman and Brandy Howard
* Gift bag with exclusive Camp-Only Autostraddle T-shirt you can sell on ebay in ~4 years


* Memories that will last a lifetime, probably longer
* Staff dedicated to all of your feelings or lack thereof
Be an active part of the group that determines the future of A-Camp

Who: You guys! You guys are really gonna like each other! All ages welcome/encouraged! ALSO:

Also — Camp TeaMasters will be Robin & Marni/bcw, and your “counselors” and workshop leaders presently include, confirmed: comediennes/actresses/writers Julie Goldman & Brandy Howard, actress/singer Haviland Stillwell, actress/producer Sarah Croce, actress/writer Ashley Reed, Internet Superstar Chef Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen, Stylist Sara Medd, DJ/filmmaker Carlytron, Fashion Icon Fitforafemme and world famous photographer Robin Roemer as well as Riese, Laneia, Crystal, Annika, Taylor, Katrina, Emily, Whitney, Intern Hot Laura, Alex, Lizz, Brittani, Bren, Gabby, Jess S., Intern Grace, Carmen, Kelsey and Stef.

In addition to having life-changing conversations around a campfire with some of the coolest girls you’ll ever meet, you’ll have tons of activities, workshops, groups and panel discussions to choose from every day.

We’re here, you’re queer, it’s family.

We’ll roll out information and take requests regarding programming over the next several weeks, but rest assured there will be so many fun things to do if you wanna do stuff, like:

 Lesbian Feminist Jeopardy

Writing workshops with Rachel & Riese

Basketball! Hiking! Arts & Crafts! Cooking! Yoga! Speed-Dating!

Photography with Robin

High Ropes Course, Climbing Tower and Zip Line

Unicorn Plan-It Hollywood Show

Queer Women of Color Panel

 Formspring LIVE! with Riese, Laneia, Rachel, Crystal, Taylor, Lizz and Alex

The diversity in our programming will reflect the diversity of our content — shit that makes you laugh, shit that makes you think, and shit that makes you wanna change the world.


1. Put down a $50 deposit and/or put down the entire $300 to secure your spot ASAP. There’s limited space, and we expect this’ll fill up quickly. Deposits are non-refundable, but they are transferrable. (This also makes a great last minute Valentine’s Day present!)

2. You’ll provide us with some basic information while making your deposit or payment this week. In two weeks, you’ll be asked for a lot more information about things like your t-shirt size, flight times and bunking needs/concerns/requests (cabins sleep between 6 and 20 people). Then all kinds of updates will keep happening until you arrive!

3. Start making travel arrangements!

If you’re flying, we recommend flying into LAX, because we will be running shuttles from there, but arrangements could also be made from the Palm Springs or Ontario airport, depending on demand. We will request flight information from you before camp begins.

If you are flying and will need transportation, please  fly in on Thursday April 26th before 6pm and book your return flight for Sunday, April 29th (we recommend flying out after noon, but can make other arrangements if necessary)

If you’re driving, then sweet! If you’re looking to carpool or caravan, you can coordinate with other campers via the ASS Camp group or Facebook Page (both will go up this week.)

4. You’ll also have access to the event website after making your payment, and can enjoy updates there.


Q: But I’m really socially awkward! What if I go there alone and don’t make any friends?!
A: Oh girl, we ALL feel you, which’s why we’re committed to 100% social comfort. I can tell you who doesn’t make that claim and her name is Dinah Shore. Firstly, Autostraddlers are the most amazing, kind, inclusive people in the world and Secondly, we’ll be prepared for Shystraddlers and the team will be prepped on how to ensure nobody will feel weird or awkward at camp. This is our top priority. You have my promise and honestly I rarely promise things. We got this shit on eight kinds of lock.

Q: I’m really super poor but I want to go so bad!
A: Firstly, this is a once-in-a-lifetime Utopia-esque situation, I recommend getting your emergency funds out. But we get that hard times are here for some of you, and that’s why we’ve set up a “pay it later” system. Let us know when you put down your deposit that you’ll need to pay via installment plan. No fees, no gimmicks, no credit checks. We’ll work with you to get you there. That’s just how much we want you to come.

Q: Is there Wi-Fi?
A: NOPE! I know it’s scary!

Q: Will there be any free time?
A: Yup! I mean you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Go read by the river or go videotape your friend hiding in a tree like a monkey or just lie on the grass or in your bed. You can do whatever you wanna do, you’re a grown-up!

Q: Are there extra charges for any activities?
A: Yes, there is a $15 fee for those requiring transportation to/from LAX, $20 fee for the Ropes Course or Climbing Tower, $25 for a private voice lesson with Haviland and $10 for a private writing tutorial with Riese.

Q: Do you need any more speakers/activity leaders?
A: If you’re either famous, internet-famous or have a strong background in queer activism/social justice issues and experience talking to groups about that, we could use some more of both of those kinds of people. Hit us up – robin [at] autostraddle [dot] com & autostraddle.merch [at] gmail [dot] com.

Q: Me and all my friends want to go together, can we stay in the same cabin?
A: Yes.

Q: I got so inspired by your State of the Union yesterday that I donated my last 50 bucks!
A: Shoot us an email and we’ll work out a transfer.


You guys, this is the closest thing you’ll ever get to magic.

Register Now. You Don’t Wanna Miss This.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of 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 3202 articles for us.


    • Same here… Montréal-LAX for 2, plus babysitter for the kids, plus we fees = impossible to gather up. :-( Too bad, we would have loved it, but I’m still glad some of you will have so many nice stories to tell us when they get back. :-)

      • I’m thinking about the idea of an Autostraddle Traveling Pants Circus for the future.. we’ll see. I’ll have to run it by Riese.

  1. oh my god. oh my god.
    you know what. I so hope this is going to be the biggest success of forever so that there can be a camp no. 2.
    I mean. I would come from Germany if my final exams wouldn’t start around may 3rd. it’s breaking my heart a little bit. because from june to whenever, I have all the time in the world cause I’ll be unemployed and travelling around.

    also, I’d really like to thank Gabby in person for her sweet words after my grandma died. really.

  2. Um… I’ve been looking into going back to Cali in April as a mean to get away from here, this might just be the winner for me.

  3. Okay. Here’s the plan: I’m a finalist for National Merit, which would give me a $2500 scholarship. This only costs 300 + a plane ticket. So, my parents (who are paying for my college, bless their hearts) still come out on top?

  4. Brava for some originality, Autostraddle!

    It warms my soul to know that you ladies are attempting something of this magnitude, ESPECIALLY an event that is so reasonable priced. If I wasn’t deep in the heart of Indiana, I would put down $100 today and sign my girlfriend and I up for this magnificent event. And a million thank yous for actually addressing the notion that some ladies are just a little shy at first and take some time and energy to open them up. You’re on the right track, babies. (Err…that babies part sounded weird, didn’t it? Sh*t).

      • If it wasn’t right before my written exams (PhD program) I would also road trip with you guys from Indiana.



          What’s the lesbo population of ND like? I heard it’s the sixth most gay unfriendly university in the US. So maybe that means you’re making a positive impact on the school. Or maybe it’s just really difficult to attend. What’s it like for you?

  5. I have attempted to write out this comment about a dozen times and I’m so excited I can’t really pick out a clear thought except, “Welp, I know what I’m doing when I get paid tomorrow.”

  6. Alright, as soon as my paycheck clears I’m reserving a spot. I want to reserve one for my boyfriend too. Is this a safe space for trans men, or is this a camp just for queer female-identified folks?

  7. At some point in my life, I might live in America. Until then, this is the sort of thing I will dream about in my little pansexual heart. Everyone who goes has to have a magically fun time on my behalf NOT LIKE YOU WOULDN’T ALREADY THOUGH

  8. Blargh, despite being a continent and a lot of money away, this is alarmingly tempting.

    Can I make an advance request that while you are all in the woods, you enable image posting on here so those left behind can amuse themselves by posting a million animated gifs and take the whole site down? It will be theraputic for us.

  9. Varsity Barbecue Team did it first. Probably not this well though. We did not tolerate vegetarians though so I guess we had that going for us

  10. I am really excited it’s called CAMP because I feel like I am going to attend Childish Gambino’s album in real life except with hot women and not as sad.

  11. I would be going alone. I am super nervous to sign up but really, really want to. Anyone else flying solo?

  12. Whyyyyyyy do all the nice things happen on the other side of the planet? Alternatively, I hope this speeds up you plans for world domination so we can have Camp Autostralia next.

      • I would come too! I could probably even convince the wife. What can we do to make this happen? <- dead serious

          • I also am dead serious. But event planning isn’t my strong point. Anyone have any ideas??

            We could try for some lower key meetups first and then see if there is momentum for a bigger thing…

          • It seems like most of the Australians are around Sydney, maybe a long weekend somewhere in that area next summer?

          • Yeah, if planning my wedding was any indication I am not the best event planner ever.


            Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley come to mind as obvious options. (Latter comes with BONUS WINE)

          • Sounds good you guys! I feel like there is plenty of cabin-style accommodation out there that could be hired at affordable prices.

            Robin below made a good point that AS saved a lot of money by making a reservation just outside peak season, this might also be something for us to consider.

            If Dee-Anne Smith will still be in Australia we should totally see if she would do a performance for us.

      • oh man, i kind of wanna smack all of you who are like ‘oh no! i’m in [insert US state here] it’s too farrrrrr’ WHAT ARE YOU SERIOUS this is CAMP AUTOSTRADDLE! you’re in the correct nation! you’re on the correct side of the world! go do that effin’ thing!
        intense frustration at living on the asshole of the world is makin’ me a bit crazy. i’m sorry. BUT SERIOUSLY.

  13. This sounds fantastic.
    What is the lodging situation like? How many people per cabin? And will these be shared with strangers?

    • cabins can sleep between 6 and 20 people, depending on the cabin. it’s a site used for corporate retreats and so forth, so it’s nice (we’re secretly way too high-maintenance to actually camp, so).

      we’ll be asking you all kinds of fun questions and taking requests and fielding concerns regarding your sleeping arrangements prior to arrival. I understand many of you will have special needs in this regard so we’ll be doing all we can to ensure y’all feel comfortable and safe.

      if you travel with somebody/ies you’d like to lodge with, then let us know and we’ll make it happen. but yes, you probably will be sharing with strangers WHICH IS PART OF THE FUN!!!! seriously it is! after filling all requests, tentatively we’ll be grouping cabins by age, i think? but like everything here, we’re listening to you!

  14. festivus? drinkstravaganza? dont 4get sunglases & advil. and get yer asses over 2 fine line 4 the party!

    • the 14 hour flight and airfare will be totally worth it.

      i really want another Australian to go, partly so i won’t have to suffer through jetlag alone.

      • hey Crystal, how much do you think flights (departing Sydney) would be?

        I have some friends I’ve been wanting to visit in California and some time to spare. It’s feeling like a crazy dream right now, but you know, it could be a thing.

        • Hey Im in aus and thinking of going. You can get reasonable return flights from sydney to la for 1300/1400 you just have to do some searching. It could be a thing!

          • sta travel appears to have flight deals for around $1000… HMMM. probably life will stop me, but maybe, just maybe it could be a thing.

            hope you get to go :)

        • petra is right, you can pick up a return flight for about $1300. the prices can change every hour and so you have to be fairly on top of it to get the lowest fare.

          a few weeks ago i thought attending camp was also this crazy dream but now look! my face is up there on that wall of attendees. i believe in you both, and in this.

          • hmm Crystal, this could be a thing. I am owed $1300 in outstanding scholarship moniez from my uni and this seems like a good thing to use it for.

            the only thing stopping me is that i am pretty close to having a full-time grown up career-path-y job, and i should know by the end of next week whether that is also a thing. if i have a job then i can’t make it. but if i don’t, then there’s very little stopping me, i have been wanting to travel california for a few weeks anyway :)

      • I would have gone, had I not just booked a holiday to the US for July/August damnit! Can they organise another one for August?

    • If I go to the airport and kindly explain that I can’t pay for my flights like ever, but that doesn’t matter because it’s for AUTOSTRADDLE, do you think they’ll understand!?

    • i want to turn Australia into a giant continental ship so we can sail around the world visiting wherever and whoever we like. One week Autostraddle camp, the next week vacationing in the islands of Greece…

      • It would be worth it indeed, and I would be happily jet lagged. However, due to my moving interstate to Melbourne town a short while after it is not feasible. This better fucking happen again because I will be on that like cheese on vegemite!!!!!!!
        Dizzy: Boatship Australia is the best idea ever (A-camp is the other best idea ever)

        • ooh, moving to Melbourne town? how excitement! that is also on my to-do list for the year. so much so I am thinking of just moving there without a job and then seeing what I can get. but I haven’t been truly unemployed for a long time and the thought kind of freaks me out.

          if any Aussiestraddlers / Autostralians want to respond to this wonderful yet heartbreakingly far away A-camp business by holding some shenanigans down under, then count me in. Will travel to Sydney, Melbourne, or anywhere in between.

  15. Airline tickets make this unreasonable for me. Sigh.
    This sounds so awesome. Please come to the Mid West. We have so much camp space!

  16. I may have to ask my parents/grandparents/siblings/friends/pets/harry potter for financial aid for 600$ plane tickets SO I CAN GO TO THIS AWESOME, AWESOME EVENT.

  17. This is amazing. You’re the most beautiful people, really. Truly.

    I would potentially want to steal Laneia though..?

  18. Oh. So. Tempting.

    There should be an open mic for songs and spoken word and hot jams.

    Ummm and a chocolate whiskey fountain.

    And clothes-optional events slash glow-in-the-dark-body-paint parties.

  19. Omfg why can’t you do this in the summer?! I work at a camp and April is insanely busy!!! Wahhhhhh I wanna go!

  20. WHATTTTTTT, I’m going to be at Airborne School then! So the Army is, at once, being awesome and shitty? Pretty par for the course, actually…:(

  21. despite my social awkwardness, i was so going to do this! i was going to go alone and it was going to be scary but i was going to make friends! and i was super excited! and then i got to the registration page and realized that it’s the weekend of my best friend’s wedding and i’m in her wedding party.



  22. Reserving my spot as I type!

    IDEA: Someone page Hannah Hart. My Drunk Kitchen s’mores edition needs to happen at A-Camp.

  23. I want to I want to I want to go!!!
    Is it weird if I’m a high schooler and everyone else is way older and I feel odd and out of place? I’m 18!! That makes it legal right? Will I feel young and sad? Can I convince my parents to let me? These are important questions!!

    • it’s not weird at all! you won’t feel sad and no one will pick on you. maybe tell your parents that it’s a 3-day personal growth and fort-building workshop. parents love personal growth.

    • Same dilemma. If only I graduated just a little bit sooner! And didn’t live at home still… once I start college my parents can’t really say no to a 3 day lesbian camping extravaganza (they have an strong aversion to ok-ing anything that could end up with me in a sexual situation…), so I am SO there next time this happens.

  24. I hope there will a cuddle puddle scheduled on all the nights and a taco eating contest sometime during the weekend.

  25. um this is my dream. I don’t think it is realistic for me to go, though, since I live on the East coast and don’t have my own income, and this is too cool to actually happen. HOWEVER, I hope there are Autostraddlers going to IvyQ at Brown in a couple days! It’s the next best thing, I guess!

      • CONGRATS
        (my crush on lizz grows and grows)
        (wait is this going to be awkward if/when we actually meet at camp?)
        (ugh lizz i am totally jk i mean not really but i promise i’m not creepy please don’t be weirded out when we meet)
        (i need to stop)
        (stopping now…)

  26. Eeeee I am working a temporary job that will end shortly after that, so I feel weird taking a couple of days off…especially when I’ve already taken off a day for Coachella. But I will talk to my boss today and figure out the situation.

    I am not sure if I can overcome my embarrassment/awkward feelings about being a queer girl who has never had a real queer relationship and is currently in a straight one. :/ Would that bother people?

    • re: the last part of your comment. that describes me exactly, and i’m pretty sure as loves us anyway. at least i hope so.

      unfortunately i can’t afford to go to a-camp. i’m so broke can’t even afford to visit my boyfriend at this point in time (he lives in the states, i live in canada) and i have so many angsty feelings.

    • I’m going to Coachella too and workin out how to do both. Also, in trying to make “queers at coachella” a thing cause it should be.

  27. I could not be more thrilled that this is happening and that I get to help plan all of these amazing activities for you guys!! I love your ideas and your comments.. keep em coming!! And spread the word!! xo

  28. Oooh, camp activities.

    Two words: Starcraft Tournament!
    Three Other Words: Doctor Who Marathon! Oooh, you could have panel discussion on which companion is the cutest (Spoiler Alert: It’s Amy Pond)

    Well, if I still lived in Cali, I would certainly consider it. I hope it goes well! ^_^

  29. You have no idea (OK actually lots of you probably do) how insanely jealous I am of everyone who ends up going to this.

    I wish tons o’ success on this magical fairy adventure so that it can happen again and again, preferably in many locations state-and-worldwide. :)

  30. If Hanna Hart and her sexy drunk kitchen are the special guests I swear I might poop my pants.

    Just sayin’…


  32. What terrible, amoral things I would do for this adventure opportunity and included Camp Mona swag bag.

    I pray for an east coast occasion next time.

    • “exploded into glitter”

      I LOVE that…I think I might have to use that at some point (with your permission lol)

      On a sadder note, I can’t go even though I really, really, REALLY want to. Being in the army means you have to take leave and it’s a whole process. Plus, we are deploying soon and I want to save my leave and my money so that I can go home before we head out. I hope it goes well so that it can happen again!

  33. Huge tax return, you specifically say you’ll try to make it ok for socially awful of us…its like the universe wants me to go. FUCKING FINALS.

    • I am seriously challenged at being a grown up. Please explain to me what you mean by “huge tax return” and how this is relevant to my life. Usually I email my dad with tax questions but this is something I would rather not email him about. Genuine plea for help??

      • If you made ~$7,000 or less, you don’t have to even file your taxes. Otherwise, get thy ass to an H&R Block or Liberty Tax with your W-2s (which will set you back about $150), and any relative tax docs from your school. I got a lot back this year because I borrowed a lot for school.

  34. YOU GUYS. this is what dreams are made of.
    I’m always creepin’ on Autostraddle, but this just made me finally join. I WANT TO GO!

  35. Wish I could go but the timing is really bad, hopefully this is a massive success an I can go to another one in the future

  36. ok just to let you guys know i made a deposit but have NO IDEA if this will actually be able to happen so in case it doesn’t, i got a spot for one of y’all.

  37. Of course this is during my university’s reading days. I hate you all.

    And by “hate” I mean “love,” but still…

  38. aw man! tht sounds so awesome! but i have a tourney and school then. the next one should be a summer camp! :]

  39. Nooooo! I’m graduating on the 29th!! If only it could’ve been moved up like 2 days, then it would’ve landed during the week’s break I have between the end of the classes and graduation day. Sigh!

    This sounds absolutely amazing though!

  40. holy fuck this sounds like magical fantasyland i want to CRY

    i’m in the uk but just knowing this is a thing that exists is making my heart swell up

  41. This looks amazing…if only I could justify spending $600 on a plane ticket…um, maybe you should consider having one in Hawaii? Just saying. We have a lot of beaches. And rainbows.

  42. Oh my goodness! I might actually do this, although no amount of assurance could ever totally tame my fear of going solo!

    • I’m going to offer my assurance anyway. We will be doing lots of ice breaker type things the first night that will help everyone get to know each other better. Plus, we’ll have lots of interns on hand to help integrate you and talk to you and be your friends like an RA in college. Also… think of how proud you’ll be of yourself, getting totally out of your comfort zone. By the end of the weekend, we’ll all have lots of new friends!

  43. The thought of just how awesome this is definitely going to be is making my brain have seizures. A few more of those and then maybe I’ll be fully convinced to use all my money to just fly over from Europe, already. YOU GUYS I WANT TO COME SO BADLY, why is the Atlantic so big/expensive to cross?

    • Hi Deb! Sadly the site doesn’t allow pets other than designated helper animals. Please apologize to your pups on our behalf.

      • if you bring your dogs disguised in some human clothes, i promise not to tell anyone that they’re secretly not just funny looking kids.

  44. NOOOOOOOOO I mean YESSSSSSSS but also nooooo I go to school in LA but I’m abroad in Paris this semester :[

    By which I mean :] because Paris, but also :[ because I want so so so badly to be a part of A-Camp v1.0. Pinky swear there’ll be another?

  45. I’d love to go, but I’m a Midwesterner on a travel budget. I’ll be in California in early April to visit 3 grad schools, but the official visit dates all end about 2 weeks before A-Camp starts. I can’t afford to squat in Cali until then.

    The only way I can go to A-Camp is if I’m accepted to Stanford – its admitted students weekend ends just a few days before A-Camp, so I could just drive down from SF. Stanford’s decision just got more crucial…

    Brilliant plan ladies. Whomever came up with this deserves a raise/promotion/benevolent glitter bomb.

    I also vote for an East Coast version of A-Camp.

  46. It would cost me $800 just for plane tickets so that’s not going to happen. BUT I think there should be Canada camp at some point! Everyone can get married, it’s perfect.

      • I’m in Newfoundland, so road tripping’s pretty much out, too. :( Although that would be a blast!

      • Hey! I live in Thunder Bay! I’ll road-trip with you. Or fly with you. I might even live in the same house as you. Maybe you’re cooking me breakfast as we speak?

  47. This better be super duper successful. $300 is only £191 which would be totally do-able. UNFORTUNATELY the airfare is the killer and totally unaffordable so here’s what I’m going to do Autostraddle. I’ll donate a bunch of money this year. At the end of June I’ll hand in my PhD thesis, I’ll graduate and then get a real job. Then next year I’ll fly over and join youse all. That’s what I’ll do. Unless I win the lottery or come into a lot of money. Then I’ll be there.

  48. So I was gonna go to Dinah Shore this year, haha FUCK THAT!

    OH MY GAYS, I am so excited! I’ll be coming aaaaaaaall the way from the UK and it’s going to be so. fucking. worth. it.

    But please don’t have Harto as the secret guest. I will queen out so bad on her, it will be traumatizing for all parties.

    Also, there needs to be a five a side soccer tournament. And touch rugby. I’m happy to do coaching for touch rugby. I’m certified!

    • YAY!! That’s so awesome! :) This is all very exciting! A rugby tournament (game? match?) sounds like a great idea!

    • Where will you be flying from, currently looking at flying from Manc or Birmingham International… I’m pretty sure my student loan wasn’t intended for a queer vacation to California, but i think i can deal with being homeless and starving for three months. Although i’m not sure i could cope with being unable to afford cigarettes and whiskey for three months.

  49. well i could go to this or to russia and croatia for two weeks this summer…. agggg two once in a lifetime opportunities in the same year when i have no money ever. ima just go rob a 1%er or something. womp womp

  50. I am so ridiculously excited for this that I am seriously contemplating registering and flying out all the way from Nebraska :)

    like really my heart fell out of my chest when I saw it on the home screen

  51. when you said there was something exciting happening in april, i did not imagine anything close to this amazing.

  52. Oh my god, it’s like gay girl scout camp.

    I’ve never wished I lived in California more than I do right now.

  53. Sitting in a cafe (where no homos play) in this broken down citae, annotating my literature review draft, I’ve written in the column –

    1) oh my lordy AS CAMP!!
    2) writing/knowing how to write –> important
    3) i need to buy a plant

    I hope everyone who goes has the time of their lives! How amaze

  54. You make me want to sell my Coachella weekend 2 tickets for this once in a life time lesbian camp. Oh God. Decisions.

    • You ladies should have one in the Summer. This coincides with Coachella and it hurts my feelings, a little bit.

      • The thing about having camp in the summer is it is LOADS more expensive. So this was our way of making sure it was warm enough for us all to be outside and not be too much money! Sorry! I wish we could have it in the summer, (or in NY in April for that matter)!!!, but its cold or expensive either of those ways.

  55. [I will not be a downer. I will not whine. I will not be a whining downer.]

    A-Camp is a fantastic idea. I predict it will also be a fantastic reality and a wild success. Hope everyone has a great time (mellow and groovy vibes sent, especially to the socially awkward peoples—aka my variety of peoples).

    [Remarkable job, self. Being happy for others is nice. Four for me.]

    • Don’t even get me started, I know how to make the butterfly, the box and the Chinese staircase…

      Omg, I still can’t.


      • omg you can do square? i could never do square. i was the crafts instructor one year and i had to get other female counsellors to teach their kids square for me. bra you have to show me.

  56. Wow. Just wow! Way to come up with all of the ideas!!! Now I just need to come up with monies! This is probably the most awesome event evar!!!!! I don’t even feel like missing Dinah matters at all because this exists! Yay for nerds and social awkwardness ;)

  57. This sounds absolutely amazing. I hope it is a ROUSING success so there can be more and maybe if its on the East Coast next time I can go!

    Also please post lots and lots of pictures and stories and things after its over so those of us who can’t go can live vicariously through all of the lucky mofos who do go.

  58. Damnit, it’s times like this I curse living in Australia.

    If I had a spare $1500 I’d so book a plane right now, but alas I am poor. :(

  59. Is there any way for those of us that can’t go to “sponsor” or have some sort of scholarship for someone that can’t go for financial reasons?

    • okay, i love this idea so so so much (and someone else suggested it below) and we’d actually discussed something similar, but i’m wondering how we would be able to pull it off w/r/t who would be the recipient of said sponsorship funds? like how would we decide who got them? would we do a lottery? ideas?

      • Maybe half/half. Total amt. donated/sponsored to be split into two groups: one for full free rides (maybe selected at random or voted on based by most compelling story, I don’t know) and one to be divided up among everyone else who requested financial support to help subsidize their cost?

        Probably those are horrible ideas but I want everyone to be able to come and Ellen should basically sponsor like 200 Autostraddlers in need, so…

      • I actually think FFAF has a good idea there. I also think it depends highly on the amount of money that is donated. If you only get enough for two full camp fees, then perhaps just do a lottery for two lucky winners. If you get enough for four or five full camp fees, perhaps split it into two full scholarships and several partial scholarships. I like the idea of a random drawing over some kind of write in process, but that’s just me.

      • Perhaps do a week long Autostraddle-is-fucking-awesome A-Camp Scholarship funds drive, see how much you get, and go from there. And I am totally down for donating some $$ to help fellow ASers get to camp!

  60. If I hadn’t just spend all my travel monies on going to Las Vegas at the beginning of April- boo! This sounds amazing!

  61. Justin Bieber? Hahah JK.

    Sounds like a blast too bad I have class that thursday. – – I cud go friday- Sunday though!

  62. Hey ladies! This sounds fantastic. I’m going to try to make it work, but on the off chance I can’t get away from work to fly out Thursday, can people arrive late? Like on Friday? I assume we’d have to arrange our own transportation, but it might be my best shot at actually getting there.

    • Also, if I get to go I’m totally digging the idea of a writer’s tutorial. Any chance at an acting or comedy workshop or something similar? That would be fantastic!

      • yes there will be an acting/comedy workshop or something similar with the u planit grrls or with julie & brandy — pending! and wheeee re: writing!

        and yup, you could arrive late. unfortunately we have to pay the site for the entire weekend, so you’d have to still pay the full cost, but it’s def ok to come late!

        • Oh, I figured I’d have to pay the full price to reserve my spot. It’d be worth it. Seriously, I know it’s a lot of money, but $300 for four days and three nights is an *incredibly* good price. And $10-$30 for workshops and tutorials from pros? And a freakin’ payment plan?! Seriously, you guys pulled out all the stops making this as doable for people as possible. You didn’t have to do that. But you’re fantastic, so you did. Thank you!

          Yay about acting! Just got my first comedy acting job (was just a producer and screenwriter before, so acting is new) and want to take it further. It’d be great fun!

          And wheeee right back at ya to writing! I mostly write and publish fiction, but I want to bust into more informative/personal/blog-friendly writing and who better to learn from? :D

  63. omg so many comments…

    YOU GUYS. If thousands of lesbians can converge for Dinah every year just to drink their faces off with other lesbians, LOTS OF YOU CAN MAKE IT TO AUTO-CAMP.

    I believe in you.

    I am also so so excited and overwhelmed with happiness — we had talked about doing this since the very beginning and now it’s finally happening. We’re finally doing this. WOOOOO!

  64. One of the best parts of this post has been seeing everyone completely lose their shit in the comments. Look what you’ve done, Riese.
    I love it.

  65. I would totally overcome my shyness and the Rocky Mountains to be there if I wasn’t going to be in boot-camp in April!

    Totally different kind of camp…



    you see what you make people do, autostraddle?! -mad wistful sigh

    • please let autostraddle be awesome and glittery and full of strangers i’d love to hang out with when i get out of school and have an income. i would bring said friend with me ALL THE WAY FROM SINGAPORE (or we can hitch a ride from the traveling Australian island) to wherever it was at and my life, it would be complete, you guys.

      • Your friend is now flying across the Atlantic and continental USA, and would give anything to bring you all the way from Singapore but in lieu of that I promise to do ALL THE THINGS on your behalf? Also, pictures.

  67. I’m in. Now I just have to figure out what excuse I’m gonna use on the uber religious scheduler at work to get it off.

    • If you take one of the tutorials, use it as an excuse. For example, if you take the writing tutorial say it’s a writing retreat. Or you could just default to it being a networking event. Or hey! How about a “family reunion.” We’re all sisters, after all ;D

  68. Oh man, if only I wasn’t halfway around the world! And it’s on my birthday! Anyone got a spare 2k lying around for flights?


  69. Not to sound like a boozer but what’s the alcohol policy for this event?
    Not Allowed?
    Sold by AS?

    Only ask because definitely a Shystraddler here but this sounds exciting and I want to try something “beyond my comfort zone” and go. A bit of booze would be helpful in making this shystraddler less shy around the masses.

  70. so if anyone wants to donate frequent flyer miles to a straddler who’s about to become underemployed, let me know lol.

    i’ve been freaking out about this all day, so exciting!!

    • I’m very tempted to just study beforehand and leave early for my test monday, but I doubt jetlag and a pharmacology final go well together.

  71. This looks phenomenal. I just reserved my spot!

    Also, my dear shy/hesitant straddlers I have been repeatedly compared to a lovable Labrador and was voted “Friendliest” in high school. I promise I will come talk to you if you’re standing by yourself. So, no excuses!

    • I once won a dog/owner look alike competition with my Labrador/golden retriever… yeap, some mums enter their kids in beauty pageants, mine entered me in a dog competition…

  72. If this wouldn’t cost me over $700 including flights, I would have already reserved my spot. Sounds amazing. Have fun, autostraddlers!

  73. SO MANY FEEEEEEEEELINGS. Actually pretty much just the one feeling of pure giddiness that this is happening and I AM GOING. I don’t care that it’s on the other side of the country, or that it’s mildly reckless w/r/t my bank account, because if not now, when?

  74. I’m usually a bit of a lurker on this site but OMG I wanna go! Anyone from the Phoenix area thinking of going as well?

  75. I would defiantly go to this even if I’m one of those shystraddlers. It’s even my 18th birthday April 22nd. But… my unicorn – whose named Rainbow- every year on that weekend after my birthday is re-glittered and I like to take her everywhere with me so unfortunately I can’t take a plane because they don’t allow her to sit with me in coach and I can’t drive. :( Oh well, maybe some other time.

  76. Registered and airline ticket bought!! I am so very, very excited!

    Question: How do I change my registration to say I need LAX shuttle? I was thinking of seeing if I could find a carpool from Reno, but the airfare was $145, so I thought ‘screw it, that’s cheap’ and just bought the airline ticket. Now I need shuttley-ness. Is there some way to update registration stuff?

    • in a few weeks we’ll be sending everyone who registered another form to fill out where we’ll ask for your flight info for shuttle scheduling (you can pay cash onsite or we’ll give you another paypal link) as well as lots of other questions about your wants/needs/desires

  77. i just want you all to know that alex and i have been talking about this for longer than you’ve been alive and i can’t believe it’s actually happening

  78. I want to go to this SOOOO much, and I have feelings about how I can’t go. I was telling my partner about my feelings, and she had feelings too. However her feelings were:

    “we don’t have enough money to go, but maybe we can donate a little bit of money to a fund where other people also donate and then someone can go who otherwise couldn’t go.”

    Is this a thing? Like a camp scholarship thing? Could this be a thing???? I will donate to this if it is a thing, of course I don’t have lots of money so I won’t be able to give a lot. BUT BUT BUT don’t worry I would still give my little yearly AS donation that I plan on giving again even if I donate to the scholarship thing, that isn’t yet a thing, ok I’m gonna stop now.

    • I’m all for some kind of scholarship or fund! Maybe AS could set up an account or even a kickstarer/indiegogo campaign? I don’t know what the requirements for applying for money would be, though.

      Maybe individual autostraddlers could start their own campaigns, making a case about why they need to be there and people could pick their own campaigns to donate to? I don’t know all the safety precautions that would need to be in place, though, to ensure there are no scams.

      • Anyone can feel free to sponsor me any time. I’d write up proposals and everything. Just saying. LOL!

    • hi — as i asked above — i love this idea! how would we decide who got the scholarship funds? would we do a lottery or make it each (wo)man for herself or…?

      • My first thought would be you could choose who gets the funds in the same way you had the wedding couple contest. People can submit to you/the team, then ya’ll choose like 5, and the site votes on them.

        My second thought is it’s important to be careful with peoples feelings, and I don’t know if site wide voting would be the best way to do that.

        My third idea would be treat it like an actual scholarship where people have to write in to you/designated person to apply and you would pick the winner and post about them.

        OR! Instead of a scholarship it could be like financial aid, were if someone needs like 50 extra dollars for their payment plan last minute, or needs help with the down payment upfront, etc…. the money would be the fund to help with that. Then maybe they can repay the money when they can, so that the fund will be there to help someone else. Or maybe I just want to believe that the world of AS is nicer/more honest then the real world I live in and this idea may not work.

        So yeah, those are my ideas…

        • “I just want to believe that the world of AS is nicer/more honest than the real world”

          IT IS!!!!!!! Just look at how many people have said they want to sponsor! And the fact that AS cares enough about us to organize this!! And the fact that if they post something about donations we will absolutely be able to send people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go to camp!!

          Autostraddle is different and better in every single way.

      • One thing to keep in mind is to hold a couple spots before it sells out if scholarships though as ate gonna happen.

        I like the idea of people campaigning for themselves outside of the realm of AS because it means reaching a different audience/ more people/ more money.

  79. I’m not sure what just happened but that might have been the quickest I’ve signed up for anything.
    My want to have fun self said: “just take my money now!” while my introverted, shy self said: “are you effin crazy?! what are you doing!” They are still dueling but somehow AS now has my monies, well done AS, well done.

    High Ropes and Climbing & Zipline anyone? Also, are those scheduled activities or is the fee just to get access to the courses? Can we do both?

    I’m so excited and scared at the same time! For now I am flying solo, go easy on me please Straddlers ;)

  80. Dude.

    Why am I sixteen and stuck in high school so I can’t go to awesome gay camp?!!

    You put the option out there and I can’t take it :(

    • The next two years will go very fast… If Camp is as successful as we believe it will be, we should be continuing the tradition!! :)

  81. reiiiiiissssssssssee reise im excited nervous for two reasons: that im in college and don’t have the money (i could make it happen), that im a weirdo/hipster not good @ making Friends. Plz convince me. I love autostraddle. i am 100% about it 100% of the time.

    • I don’t know what site you’ve been reading that you think being a weirdo or hipster makes you anything but the most excellent of candidates for Camp. I’M A WEIRDO AND I’LL BE AT CAMP. Weirdos and/or hipsters please place your support here.

  82. Okay I’m 17 but will be 18 by April… And my mom is freaking out, what can I say to her to convince her to say yes?!?!?!?!?!

  83. I NEVER EVER EVER do things alone. Like I break into a cold sweat at starbucks sometimes and I am going to fly out. Tthis is actually like a dream come true. Totally out of my budget but I am using my emergency funds because this feels like something I cannot pass up.

    Anyone else from Philly going in a group/solo



    Please, please let this become a thing. Because whereas I will be in the throes of finals that weekend, and am currently too broke to fly to CA from TN, if I find a few more air miles under a sofa and if it happens over a summer or a break I would be so incredibly totally down for this.


  85. OMG. Ahhhhhhh! This sounds so lez-tacularly phenomenal and I really really really want to go. REALLY.

    Reason #874 that grad school has eaten my life and prevented me from having any fun. Please keep doing this so I can come one day when I have a real life!

  86. I have always wanted to go to an introvert-friendly feminist summer camp type thing! This is really cool!

  87. I wish I could go, but I’ll already be on vacation that week. Bummer :( Please organize another camp up her in the northwest..perhaps near Portland somewhere like Breitenbush Hot Springs ;) ;)

  88. For some reason I read the date as “August 26-29” and I got super excited about be able to go, because I’ll be back in the states by then.
    Alas, then I read it again and saw it was April, when I will still be here in China, slaving away at my job where they tell me I need to use my vacation days and then won’t actually approve my vacation requests. Damn.
    So, I hope it’s wickedly successful, and you decide to have an East Coast A-Camp next. Maine is lovely in the fall…

  89. Wow I was in shock when I read this. I sat at my desk and looked off into space and then began to trot out the old excuses…”Too expensive…(payment plan)…Location/will the car be ok to make it?…(it’s 90 mins from LA, I live near a trainstop that could ferry me to LAX & the shuttle if I don’t feel tops about the car)…What if it’s like the Dinah, which I never had the balls to attend even with friends…(it ain’t)…Shit, I’ve got nothing.”

    So I put down the deposit. I’m going. This is on my doorstep, so I put my money where my mouth is. Now to buy a new flask.

  90. If I didn’t have $2000 of debt and a shitty minimum-wage job, I would be there in a heartbeat… Next time, maybe. ):

    • Haha the blob always terrified me. I designated myself the Dry Counselor and insisted my co-staff get in the water with the kids whenever we did any water activities. I promise I am way more fun than this makes me sound.

  91. Mind blown. If I can guess the special guest, can I go for free? I guess Deanne Smith or Krista/Effing Dykes. Could the camp get any more awesomer?!

    P.S. I no can go :(

  92. so i am really the type of irresponsibly spontaneous person who tends to book flights on whims and do things like this…..
    but i just spent all my funds on a crazy trip/am skipping a week and a half of school next month for sxsw

    but i dont know how often i can afford to flee canada :(

    then again google just told me its only a 25 hour drive!!!!!!!!!
    so i have 2 months to obtain a drivers liscense and vehicle

  93. Just a few follow up questions:
    Is there an extra fee to sit on Haviland’s lap when I take my voice lesson?
    Is the rope course have a bondage theme?

  94. Soooooooooo I am checking with my boss tomorrow that I can do this, but I just put down my deposit under the assumption that she will be cool with it. Please send me good karma, I am freaking out I NEED TO BE ABLE TO GO TO THIS OMG.

    • YOU GUYS






      (my boss was really sweet and excited for me when i explained what camp is, and my mom can’t even talk to me about the fact that i’m queer because she’s still not really okay with it but she still donated miles anyway because she could see how important this is to me, and my girlfriend is being so supportive of me going even though she won’t be able to, and the whole world is just so lovely and happy right now, i feel like i have “pregnant glow” or whatever but i’m not pregnant i’m just going to queer camp. does that make sense? i feel like it will make sense to all of you. IS IT APRIL 26TH YET?!?!?!?!?!?!?!)

  95. So, um… my education is robbing me of every penny, and I’m not in the most convenient of geographic locations to make it to this.

    So, can I suggest that those of us who can’t make it due to geography meet up/have our own mini-camp-out-pretend-we’re-at-the-real-camp-autostraddle-get-together?


  96. FUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK this sounds absolutely amazing.
    Why do I live in New Zealand? :(
    Can someone get me out of school for a week and fly me to America, please? :L

    *sobs in corner*

    • Meeee toooo. I let myself dream and checked flights thinking maaaaybe… nek minnit, “$1650”, ahhh maybe not. I’m trying to console myself by remembering that I will probably have a whole bunch of essays to mark at the end of April so can’t spare the time anyway… it’s not really working.

      • bring on A-Camp 2: South Pacific? The worst part is, I’ll actually be going through LA for the first time ever in june, don’t think I can afford those flights twice…

        also nek minnit ahaha classic.

    • :/ I know what you mean. I went and checked flights, but there’s no way it’s happening. The flights are too expensive and I can’t save that much money on only two month’s notice.

  97. I can’t come (Australia not yet travelling island-boat) but if I was, I would most definitely want people to bring along their instruments and have a mad jam sesh, which could include belted sing alongs of Tegan and Sara (obvs) and a ‘write an amusing song for the camp/to sum up the camp experience for 2012’ competition.

    The song and people/everyone singing it could feature on whatever video you guys *hopefully* make of this whole experience.

    And those of us that dabble (or in my case, study) within the realms of the drumming / ‘making funny sounds by hitting things’ arts could potentially bring along some shakers and cowbells and tambourines and other such things to give to people who don’t feel so musically talented. :)

    Or perhaps those guys could do some wicked dance moves / make up actions to things! (hah).


  98. OH MAN I PICKED THE BEST TIME TO MOVE TO CALIFORNIA. Mapquest says this is only 57 minutes from Anaheim!!

    Can we arrive late? I don’t want to miss anything but unfortunately I can only take two days off from work so I’d have to come Thursday evening…

  99. I’m really excited about this! I’m a little nervous but the excitement and benefits far outweigh the irrational fears and short term fiscal obstacles! I think this is exactly what I need to come out of my shell more! I’m getting really positive vibes, it’s going to be epic! :}


    In the interests of doing workshops that are Relevant To Our Interests, and the fact that said Interests of queer ladies often include Some Form Of Activism, Being Subversive and Being Creative, I think it would be excellent for you guys to run workshops on or get someone in to run workshops on

    Street Art – including super easy stuff like working with stencils (you could have You Do You stencils or Autostraddle logo stencils or adorable kitten stencils to cut out, etc) and wheat-pasting, and – if you get someone with mad skills in- freehand aerosol stuff too (although nobody should expect to get very good at the latter over just one weekend, hah… but it’s fun to try these things! And girls aren’t often encouraged to do them either ;) )

    Zine Making- you guys could have a workshop on this, including things like
    -working out a theme (or choosing to not have one)
    -what to put in them and how to source this (eg. magazine cutouts, approaching others for writing / art, etc etc)
    -how to distribute said zines (including scanning and uploading to THIS awesome site, which I’m posting but you guys probably got me onto in the first place but I forgot: )

    And so on!


    YAY ART!

  101. Also- this may potentially not work as well with lots of people/may perhaps be a bit high school esque or better suited to a longer camp than just the weekend (so, this is to seriously hoping that these future camps happen!), BUT over in Australia, some camps I’ve been to have included opportunities for people to write ‘warm fuzzies’ to each other over the course of the camp. These are basically tiny little messages of appreciation for people, which were slipped into A4 envelopes with people’s names on them that were put up around the place. Reading these after a camp was a really great way to feel super awesome about oneself- and it could also be one more way for people to give numbers to people too, if they really wished ;). Hah.

    I can’t quite picture if that will work / how that will work in this case, but ultimately, something that allows people to tell each other how awesome they are (and for some introverts/the awkward/the writers amoungst us, writing can be ideal for this) can be kinda awesome. Just saying.

      • They are! And it could be something as simple as ‘, you won ALL the points ever in that game of touch today and thus saved us from an imminent and devastating loss. You rock my fucking socks. Signed ‘

        • Also, ‘game of touch’ refers to an actual game of touch football and not some other ‘game of touch’… heh. However, these kinds of notes could, you know, possibly end up applying to that stuff too, tbh*. (It does make me wonder what double meaning ‘fucking socks’ might actually be getting at, though).

          *I don’t know. I don’t want to suggest that this camp will be an orgy as per Everything I’ve Understood Ever About Dinah Shore, so much as it will be bunch of girls (and some boys!) having fun making smores and bonding on ambient night walks through forest and yes, probably developing crushes on everyone ever for things to do with the fact that they’re awesome at ukelele or have the most amusingly adorable breakfast food routine. And I think I like that.

          Still I also anticipate that crushing on every awesome person- which obviously means everyone- might lead to some feelings needing to be expressed.

          There may be both? :)

  102. Wow. I am really excited for this. I signed up right away. So glad that I will be back in California anyway at that time.

    So a few things: I absolutely second the street art idea from a few posts ago. I love street art but have failed to make any yet. I think this could be really, really fun! Also, anyone else coming from the Midwest? I live in Chicago now and would love to meet some people from my area (as well as all of the other awesome people)

    • Yes, street art WOULD be awesome! (I really wish I could go to this camp so I could potentially be involved in this, if it becomes a real thing!)

      And as well as putting together stencils for people to cut out themselves, they could also offer creative people here the opportunity to bring along or submit some hilarious / clever / awesome stencil designs too, eg. something that has a little dig at Ilene Fucking Chaiken >:D

      That would make me happy.

      But seriously, people with photoshop (or similar) skills could get this shit happening. I personally have plans to make a ‘MAKE YOUR OWN FUCKING SANDWICH’ stencil, which will be my personal vendetta against a moronic breed of joke that is unfunny in 99.99% of the situations within which it is used, ie. by people who aren’t aware of their own historical and ongoing privilege and the way that it undermines the ‘ironic’ and therefore only potentially funny part of it all (imo). So yes :).

      So much potential for graffiti-d awesomeness!