Hello here I am again, just like the last time we came back from camp, full of feelings I’m simply incapable of suppressing until we start rolling out the Recamps and therefore must impail you with immediately. See, A-Camp September 2012 happened last week and it’s over now, but I don’t want it to be over, so this is the part of the grieving process where I keep it alive by talking about it constantly. CONSTANTLY. I swear we’ve already got ten thousand workshop and panel and performance and special guest ideas already for next time and we’ve only been back at sea level for eight hours or so.
Just like last time, I’m monumentally exhausted, but also shot through and broken open with an airy optimism so earnest I almost want to make fun of myself. There’s been so much momentum lately with the campaign and then camp and after spending five days in the woods with all your inspirational faces it’s like we’re almost infinite!
You hear things like, “In my 28 years on earth, I have never seen so much love up in the woods” and “now I feel like I can actually be me” and “things don’t feel so huge anymore” and “I’d never heard anyone tell my story before” and you hear from a trans* woman that this is the first queer women’s space where she’s actually felt welcome and safe and it goes on and on and WOW just WOW.
Before April camp, nobody on our team had seen the campsite itself until ten of us arrived there about twelve hours before the campers and the rest of our team started showing up. There was a lot to make up as we went along, but Robin and Marni and all of us worked really hard, the campers were completely awesome, and everyone was so happy to be there that it still totally rocked and changed everybody’s lives forever and ever. The campers were game for being part of what was basically an experiment, but this time we didn’t sell it as an experiment but as an experience and holy shit this will just keep getting better.
Last week, the night before campers arrived, we gathered around the campfire after a day of Pre-Camp planning and bonding and everybody took turns talking about what Autostraddle and A-Camp meant to them and there was a lot of crying and a lot of feelings and the next day busloads of campers rolled in with their wide eyes and hopeful hearts and we were SO READY.
You made postcards and ‘zines and friendship bracelets and tea and chapstick; speed-dated, swam and hiked; talked about coming out, gender, body image, non-monogamy, trans* issues, design & branding, geekery, animal training, DIY home repair, gaming, working for non-profits, queer families, race, religion, andro/butch style and took workshops on how to spoon, write, sing and pole dance. You did all of those things and at least ten thousand other things.
You watched Autostraddle writers reading their poems and stories and secrets, Haviland Stillwell singing her songs and Julie Goldman & Brandy Howard attacking campers with giant supersoakers. You fell in love with everybody and they fell for you too and you guys, YOU GUYS, that was intensely fucking fun and also life-changing and those things.
We had 31 Canadians, six Australians and eleven from the UK or elsewhere in Europe. Within the US, we had campers coming from 34 different states, including 84 Californians, 17 Southwesterners, 30 Midwesterners, 44 Easterners, 15 Southern folks and 26 from the Northwest. The campers ranged in age from 18 to 46 with an average age of 25 and they were all the cutest things ever and my heart lives on a mountaintop.
A-Camp 2013 will be May 23rd – 27th in Angelus Oaks, CA. We’re still not 100% sure about how many days camp will be this time, but we’ll let you know soon!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
As an introvert, I was terrified at the idea of being surrounded by 200+ strangers in the woods, but that quickly faded as I arrived to my cabin and met my roommates (what up, Jetpack!!). Never have I felt so comfortable going up to random people and strike up conversations, I truly felt I could be myself and am glad it was an accepting environment.
With all that said, Mollie’s dance number left me a little flustered. Phew.
^ This? This gives me confidence and hope that maybe I can come out of my shell and make it to the next A-Camp. So…..thanks for that. :)
I highly recommend it! I made it into a personal challenge by throwing myself in a completely different setting. It was a great experience.
after mollie’s dance geneva and i noticed people leaving in “groups of 2 or 3.”
I went in to this expecting a fun time and that I’d meet a lot of awesome queer ladies. It was so much more. Now I just pulled up into my driveway at home and I am having a pretty awful case of post A-Camp blues. I’m sad that it’s over. I actually let my guard down and gave no fucks. It was pretty surreal, yet simultaneously one of the most real experiences of my life. Thank you all who made this happen.
All my love -McGee
TORRE!!!!! SO AWESOME! (this is kiyomi btw). Lots of post camp blue feelings. Miss the super safe space and my awesomely chill cabin mates!
Yay my Avengers ladies! Miss you guys. Wish you lived here.
I’m surprised how good I feel post-camp. Perhaps the grief will hit me tomorrow?
There’s something amazing about feeling totally at home with complete strangers. Because even though we came from around the world and with different walks of life, we all understood each other.
It filled me with hope, knowledge, and most of all, confidence.
Thank you, Autostraddle, and the amazing campers I shared my life with last week.
yes omg the most amaze
… this… why… ..waitWHAT?!
I thought A-camp was some sort of inside joke I didn’t get
it is a thing?! an actual thing you can take part in??!! in real life???!!!
can we make B-Camp (as in part 2) – right now..? and can we make it happen in vienna?
I met a girl from Vienna!
you did? :D
ha, maybe i’ll join in on the funride next time – seems like you all had the best time!
Acamp seems to be getting longer can we all be super duper stoked over that! Everything was amazing and everything was right with the world.
You should post lots and lots more pictures so I can stalk my girlfriend from another continent, and find out that she had an epic time because she won’t be able to tell me herself for like another whole THIRTY-SIX HOURS.
Is that weird? That’s probably weird. I just know that pictures of her having fun with all the adorable queers will make me feel a lot better about her having gone away for a whole week.
I am so jealous of you all… But I love you all anyway x
That makes two of us!
I went to the first A-Camp as well, but this one made me feel eveb more comfortable and able to be myself (obviously. I unbuttoned my shirt and danced in a room full of people I knew and would run into afterward.)
Thank you all for helping me feel so comfortable and confident in my own skin for the first time in a long time. It meant the world and more to me.
As thanks, enjoy this moment of camp (many more to follow when I finally get home :) )
Launa, thank you so much for teaching the classes (especially on short notice!) and encouraging us to participate! You created an amazingly safe, supportive, educational and FUN environment and I feel like I learned a lot from you in a very short time (philosophically as well as dance moves). If I lived in Seattle I would definitely come to your studio! Also you should feel comfortable and confident in your own skin, you are super hot and an excellent dancer (as well as an empower-er, is that a word?)
Thanks for talking to me during the dance <3
launa, you are amazing.
also i want to make up some kind of nerdy nickname for you because llauna is catalan for “can” and i kept wanted to call you llauna.
That’s so cool! I always liked my name. I guess it means “awakening” in Hawaiian. I like “can,” too. It feels empowering. Also “Llauna” is close to “llama” and I love llamas.
Launa – amazing dance class! We are all incredibly lucky to have you!
Aw, you guys are making me blush. I’m so happy I got to dance with you. You all rocked. I’d do it again any day. *hugs*
Launa, you are SO awesome!
I could not have “sex’d up” A-camp without your help! You are incredibly talented and SUCH a pleasure to work and hang out with!
I really hope to see you next camp!
Thanks for talking faith with me! You are proof that while it wont be easy this break up might be for the best!
all the <3
This was my first A-Camp and it was everything I imagined it would be + a heck of a lot more. Like a lot of other campers, I went to camp by myself not knowing anyone. I thought it was going to be weird and awkward but I could not have been more wrong. I met tons of cool people and made several new friends that I hope to visit some day (hello Seattle friends!). I’m home now and it’s going to be difficult to describe to people what camp was like. It’s truly something you had to have been there to know what it was like. The sense of community on that mountain all week is indescribable. It makes it hard to come back to the real world. I just have so many feelings that I don’t know what else to say!
P.S. I ate two meals with Sarah Croce and we danced twice at the dance. I am now planning our wedding in my head, but don’t tell her that. Maybe I shouldn’t have made this statement public. I probably should have kept it to myself. Oh well. As Katrina said, no fucks to give!
Joleen!!! Can’t wait for you to visit Seattle! It was great to meet you on the bus on the way up and go into the craziness of camp with a friend, it was only right that we left camp the same way! So glad you came to camp, so glad we met, until next time, miss you!
PS. I very jealous of your PS…
I’m glad we met on the bus and also got to leave on the same bus! I will definitely come to Seattle sometime! I’ve always wanted to go and now I will have a reason :)
You were singing that song while writing that, weren’t you?! When Haviland was talking about singing a Dolly Parton song during her concert I was really happy that it wasn’t Jolene! lol Although, it would have been kind of cool if she had done that one :)
my favorite jolene song is “jolene” by the weepies. it’s so cute. but yes, i was.
Hey friends. so many new friends. I was in Texas for six hours processing all the feelings and I just want to take a minute to thank all of you for making this the best experience ever. I will add more awesomeness once I’ve had a good nights rest (I got about three hours)and you know adjusted to the lack of well everything.
Oh Lanie <3
can we just get back on the bus? please :/
I know right. maybe we could all just sit on the bus driving around and being in love with each other and life forever
Lanie, I must say that you are such a cutie! I enjoyed listening to you talk. You are so funny! And amazing. And awesome.
Lanie, you were the best. I loved it everytime you commentend on something during the panels.
Just got off red eye, red-eyed, dropping off my film right now, must sleep, feelings later! Miss everyone!
This. Going to pass out as soon as I get home.
thanks for the post-camp post-in-n-out airport floor feelings circle guys
I’ve spent so long worrying about who I was out to, what people thought of me, and not able to be myself. A-Camp was the most liberating, accepting, open space I could ever imagine, and I don’t want to go back to how I was before. I’m officially GIVING NO FUCKS!! Thanks A-Camp and all the amazing queers that made this possible. Can’t wait for Camp 2013!
this wins the thread so far i think
This wins my day so far!
You’re my favorite! Ahhhhh I am so glad you were in my cabin Nate!
it was really nice meeting all of u! y’all are nice and cool too! little rascals 4evr!
also to nate and ambra: whipcream!XD
Nate!!! You are amazing, so please never be anything but yourself again.
also… I just drove to my chem class in tears because I miss our cabin so much.
You guys, I miss our cabin and camp so much. Going to work today was seriously miserable. I just pretended all of you were there in order to make it through the day.
Nate, I love you so much.
grace, hug me
Nate, Grace and I spent several minutes on the drive back discussing just how much we love you.
Nate! You’re so fucking awesome, miss you and all the other little rascals so much already!!
I know! I am pining for the Rascals and their spooning abilities already. I just got back last night and this morning I went wedding dress shopping for my best friend with her extremely heteronormative family, it was a shock to the system after the being in such a safe queer space.
I miss our cabin so much it’s ridiculous.
Nate you are so amazing I miss you so much it’s ridiculous. And our whole cabin. And camp. I have a lot of feelings.
AS is magic =)
Nate, hammock book club made my camp. And the Lil’ rascals attempting to teach my to dance. You guys were all of the awesome.
OMG I crashed sooooo bad yesterday. My feelings processor got overloaded and I couldn’t cope. A-Camp was mixed for me – some really great experiences, but also a couple of things that were weird for me, including some weirdness *from* me. It was just so much at once.
Thanks for being open and friendly for me, though, I really appreciate it.
I’m glad I could be there for you when I was. It will get better.
I’m glad I could be there for you when I was. It will get better. <3
A-camp was so fucking cool! Kickball on the (totally not) grassy field was so fun and I learned more about myself and had all the feelings at every panel I went to.
The talent show, OMG the talent show! All of you people are amazing individuals. There was seriously not a bad act in the entire lineup (and there was quite the lineup!)
I’d like to give a shout out to Riese for being one of the toughest people alive and to Carly for working her ass off and still looking happier than any person has any right to be.
Also, as soon as I got into the airport I had the weirdest version of culture shock (straight shock?) where most women were actually straight and how most people with a short haircut and a button-down are actually men and not MoC ladies. It was very strange and I’m still sort of in that state.
You totally slid into a base at kickball. :) so fun.
i also want to thank you Evey for playing the violin for us every morning. it was such a great way to start the day!!
i didn’t get to hear you play every morning, but i was insanely impressed at the talent show and so happy for the music on sunday morning while i was trying to get busses together. <3
yes violin feelings.
This was my favorite.
You are lovely, fellow unicorn <3
SO TALENTED. Come back to the next camp and I PROMISE you I will bring my saxophone and we can jam together.
WHO RUNS THE WORLD??
The Misfits have a way better answer for this.
It can’t possibly be better than the following:
“CATS! RUFIO! RUFIO! RUFIO!”
Okay, Lanie, you win life.
no no Robin and the “PETER PAN REMAKE” (more commonly known as Hook) wins life.
I ‘rufioed’ every time they yelled ‘snatch’ even if I did it quietly.
I logged in specifically to + this. MISFITS! (We had no real chants: living up to our name.)
we were adorably accurately named
No no, your chant was “mis” callback “fits” designated by your fellow green teamers, Hump St.
Green team (humpfits), what’s up!?
Even though I totally did the “Mis-” “-fits” thing a couple of times I do feel like a REAL cabin callout has to be created by the actual cabin itself, and not the sister cabin.
That said, go team green.
Ok, my mistake. How about calling it our cheer for y’all.
for the misfits, another cabin creating anything for us would’ve been appreciated. misfits weren’t on our anything though maybe on some other people’s something.
A few girls thought we were saying “Miss-Fists” & wanted to meet her. Go green!
And this sometimes sounded like “FIST FIST HUMP HUMP”
Which everyone was ok with.
On behalf of the Misfits, thank you to 21 Hump Street for carrying us in Rainbow Wars. Although Misfits did win a thing which we are very proud of! (Girls Gone Wild, I guess? I was too busy in the awesome Carmen and Crystal Listening/Dance Party.)
I missed the pow-wow game strategy planning session but was informed that it was quite clear that we were not the “athletic” green half. Which we all basically agreed with so it worked out.
Oh, hi there Courtney! Pictures are going up on Facebook soon from the weekend!
Yay to pictures, cause i didn’t take a single one. Hump Hump!
I’m still thoroughly impressed with our swing set skillz, Misfits.
We should have won Rainbow Wars points for inventing pinecone bowling. And naturally, for swinging.
Ugh, I can’t believe pinecone bowling didn’t catch on with anyone else.
SNATCH. Don’t hate it cause you ain’t it, Misfits.
Whatevs, obviously the Little Rascals were the most adorable.
They really were. So dewy-eyed and dapper.
Dapper cuddles forever.
dapper rascals forever
SNATCH!!!! 4 LIFE <3
SNATCH! (And honorary Snatches!)
Yes!! Honorary Snatches and mini-panels and feelings in the Snatch cabin for the win!!!!
I’m an honorary Snatch! Thanks for including me, you all are lovely (and good kissers ;) )
YES. this is my favorite comment of the thread. (Valencia had some good kissers too!)
My default answer, is the misfits but I’m also tempted to just say thatyou run the world because your piece at the talent show was breathtaking
omg thank you! <3 I was truly floored at the response!
i was so scared that looking at photos and hearing words about a-camp after not physically being there would break my heart, and i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t sad and envious while reading this post, but my heart is not broken, just the opposite in fact — my heart is so full of love and excitement and possibility and i can’t wait to see more photos and hear more words and to know what we are creating, which is a community and a safe space and a family and a home. and i WILL see you all on that mountain in may, and i just can’t wait for things to get bigger and better forever.
and btw, riese, those photos look amazing — i assume you took them with the new camera — what kind did you end up getting?!?
we got a cannon rebel T3i and it is AMAZING! we all took turns taking pictures of things so i can’t take credit for most of the ones up there, but needless to say, YAY FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN
SO glad you went with the T3i, so much room to grow into it, totally goes with the theme of getting bigger & better forever. now i really can’t wait until may so i can participate in the taking turns of taking pictures. <3
I couldn’t agree more! For the first A-camp I was totes disappointed about not being there and afraid I would be bitter. After reading all the updates and seeing so many awesome pics I couldn’t help but smile! Camp seems heavenly and I am so glad it’s a place that is growing and thriving and hopefully a place I will get to experience one day. I can’t imagine how wonderful it’d be to retreat with my partner to the that mountaintop and kick it with the team and so many other interesting queer peoples in the space you all have created!
Vanessa, I totally have a surprise for you I’m putting together…
I LOVE YOU VANESSA. That’s all.
I just got home after a delayed red-eye, so am not my most articulate, but camp was amazing. Words can not express my thanks to the whole A-camp team. If I had one word to sum up camp, it would be empowerment. Time and again, we gave each other permission to be ourselves. Permission to stop shopping for women’s underwear, to come out, to be silly, to take risks, and lots more. I feel like the “permission” is an important first step, hearing from someone else that you like and respect that its OK to make your own rules. But beyond that, Acamp also provided encouragement and positive feedback. I spent every moment of camp relishing in the diversity of the beautiful women there, in each of us special snowflakes being our unique selves. I’m so thankful for that space.
Literally all the feelings.
I went to A-Camp with my cynic hat on: that I’d probably have fun, meet some cool people, enjoy myself, but it’d be nothing special.
And certainly nothing life changing. Whoops. Forgot to foresee that.
I’ve spent a lot of my life on the move, transient between places and never really forging real connections with people because leaving people behind really sucks. That’s why it was so confusing when I would hang out with all these lovely ladies and just want to find some way to always have time to hang out with everyone. Can you pack 300 people into a roll case and ~run away~?
I could have never guessed that despite being somewhat active in the gay scene in San Diego I would meet two different people who live less than three miles from me and now we have to go get pho and go dancing.
I could have never guessed I would hear “This is how we live, no fucks to give,” the article I read and held in my wallet like a talisman when I sold everything I owned and moved to California to pursue my dreams with no plan on how, exactly, that was going to happen. And that I would lose it.
I could have never guessed that the parts of me I dislike the most would be the ones others would find the sexiest. I couldn’t predict that I would have this huge moment of clarity that I had been settling to some degree all my life in relationships when I met the most awesome lady ever (and now I’m kicking myself for not remembering her last name because I can’t book all the faces. :( Find me and we will seriously nerd out and talk poetry and sing badly to each other! )
I could have never guessed that I would finally let all my stereotypes in my head of who I should have to be or what I need to do fall by the wayside because seeing all these lesbros and dandies and hard femmes finally gave me some mental reinforcement that you can present however the fuck you feel like and it will be AWESOME.
I could have never guessed that sometimes, yeah, you just need to smoke that cigarette. When I come back in May (as I am now officially a convert), I’m seriously bringing at least three cartons of cigs so no one has to pray to the cigarette gods.
So many feelings. So much lifechanging. I’m going to have a hard time adjusting. I went to the grocery store last night and being back in the “real world” was such a blow. Thank you so so so so much, A-Team, for making this happen.
smoker’s circle ftw.
also this was so deeply moving, i love this
I smoked an insane amount of cigarettes in the last few days, my voice is completely gone and I’m pretty sure my lungs have stopped functioning. It was worth it though. So much win in the smoker’s circle.
Courtney, we need to eat pho together like, immediately.
I have to run to work, so all of the feelings I’m processing will have to be condensed, but THANK YOU. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone there. The amazing people that helped plan this, the panelists, the people who put their time and effort into teaching us crafts, and to my fellow campsters. I learned so much from you.
It was really something special. The bond, the community, the sense of good will and well being. Everyone so supportive of everyone else. It was truly a safe space – and I don’t think I’ve ever felt something quite like it.
It’s hard being away from that now, but I’m going to try to bring that light and that way of living back into the real world. Start trying to apply camp attitude to my own life.
Top 3 Things I Learned at A-Camp:
3.”It’s a Thing”
2. No Fucks To Give
Also, altitude is very real.
blame it on the a-a-a-a-altitude
is it ok to say in this space that while i did feel that some things about camp were great, my overall feeling upon leaving was sadness? and not sad because i was leaving, but sad because i didn’t find camp to be amazing and awesome. i felt disconnected a lot of the time. i was overwhelmed by how many people were there, and i felt pressure to have a really great time.
i went to a camp 1.0 and had no expectations. so the fact that i came away having met some of the writers i admire most and made a couple new friends was really exciting and totally enough.
i came back for camp 2.0 feeling ready to really engage, to become a part of the larger camp culture. but it didn’t feel right. i didn’t want to drink as much as the people around me seemed to. i just wanted to connect, and instead all i feel is disconnected.
i walked around camp thinking ‘it must be me, there must be something wrong with me, why can’t i break this barrier and feel a real connection?’
sorry to put a damper on all the happy in this thread.
This is also a question for me, a reader who loves what the autostraddle community brings into the world. I think it is so awesome you gals are bringing it into real life out of the internet. I wonder though what it would be like to have a totally sober a-camp. Would it be possible? Would it shift the community-building potential exponentially?
There was a sober cabin at camp, which I was part of, and it was wonderful. I thought everyone coexisted really well, and I didn’t feel like my choice to not drink was ever an issue. So I would encourage signing up for the sober group if that is a concern for you!
Thank you for being honest – it takes guts! I’m sorry camp wasn’t as enjoyable an experience for you as it seems to have been for a lot of folks, but I have to say There Is Nothing Wrong With You. I’ve never been to A-camp, so I am completely unacquainted with its supposed magical qualities, but I can definitely relate to feeling totally out of the loop when it looks like everyone else is having the best time ever. Maybe next camp will be better? When I’m in a situation like this, I hate to tell anyone that I’m not having a good time because it makes me feel so whiny, but I think it’s worth saying what you feel because there’s almost certainly someone else having the same experience.
Yes, this. Also lessthanenthused, make sure you fill out the post-camp survey (which will probably be sent in the next few wks) so that we know what to improve next time. The AS staff pays serious attention to the feedback so it’s not something to take lightly if you had a less than super time. Sending hugs!
I can relate – I remember going to the sober space the first night and finding no one there. I do drink, but not much, because when I get beyond tipsy I get sad/cranky and that definitely happened at A-Camp. I didn’t really get the nighttime bonding thing many people did because I was too out of it or sleepy to participate.
Also my cabin people were lovely, but we were all so independent that we never did the whole cabin bonding, salute/yelling, group cohesion thing. So there was still a feeling of disconnect. People were generally friendly and lovely but it did feel like I had to fend for myself a lot.
I hear you on the sadness. I peaked after the talent show and then crashed badly halfway through the dance. Everyone else has been connecting with each other even back home and supporting each other and I feel rather cut off from it all. It feels like I just happened to be at A-Camp but I never fully integrated as an *A-Camper* if that makes sense.
<3 feel free to contact me if you want to chat. me[at]creatrixtiara[dot]com
Your “is it me? it must be me? what is wrong with me? why can’t I make these connections!” feelings about disconnection resonate with me. I felt like I was having a lot of processing feelings but they didn’t exist in a space that could be accessed by others. I felt a strange sense of rejection and distance, which was still there regardless of the drinking.
So I don’t know. The purpose of this comment was to say, I feel a connection with your isolation/disconnection.
Hey Emily, I know our cabin wasn’t necessarily as cohesive as the others were, and I’m sorry if I contributed to your disconnect. I had similar feelings of disconnect and sometimes it made it hard for me to get over myself to connect with someone else. I was worried about you and am sorry I didn’t make more of an effort to check in. I hope you’re ok.
No one’s fault, yo. Don’t feel bad or anything because I’m sure someone being like I FEEL YOU would make me automatically feel a connection or anything, ya know? Anyway, this is to say, don’t sweat it.
don’t worry! there’s nothing wrong with you. i know i usually go home from camp with mixed feelings. usually i’m happy because it all happened but sad and/or overwhelmed because i’m around all these amazing people for such a short time and it’s just intense enough to bring out some of my insecurities. not that that’s necessarily how you feel, but i just wanted to let you know that you’re not the only one who doesn’t feel funny.
but yes, please please please fill out the post camp survey. we want camp to keep getting better and we want everyone who comes to feel like they have a place.
Just wanted to re-iterate the request to fill out the survey! I just wrote it and a link should go out to you soon. There will be lots of spaces to express your feelings (good and bad) and to provide any suggestions for improvements if you have them.
The survey is a huge tool used by the ACamp team to try and make the experience better every time so filling it out really will make an impact for May.
echoing everyone’s comment about the survey! also i’m sorry you felt disconnected — you too, emily and tiara. i wish that i’d had a chance to talk with you about it while it was going on. sometimes just telling someone that you feel left out can be what helps you eventually feel in.
i met some campers at different times over the week/end who talked about feeling overwhelmed to the point of anxiety, and we discussed how therapeutic it was to just walk away from everyone so the only thing filling your head was trees and mountains, instead of all the faces and sounds. even rachel practiced her favorite exercise of “lying facedown on a mattress for a little while” to regroup and center. i don’t know if that advice would’ve helped in your case, but i would really have loved to talk with you.
for what it’s worth — and i acknowledge that might not be much — i was also somewhat disappointed in the way a few things went. there were a couple of returning activities/situations that had been so electric for me in april but fell a little flat this time. i’ve been thinking of some ways to make those things better for may, but also i’m trying to just come to terms with the fact that each camp is its own camp, and no two camps will have the same kind of energy. nothing will ever feel like the first camp, but also nothing will ever feel like this one, and that’s definitely not because you failed somehow.
rawr i just wish we’d talked about it.
Laneia, thank you so much for noticing my comment/disconnect. I tried posting about it on the FB group and no one noticed, which just sealed the disconnect for me further. It feels like I just passed through while everyone else has zillions of friends who noticed them and misses them already and making plans etc etc.
I don’t mean to sound petty. I really appreciated people coming up to me and telling me they liked my comments or my performance. I was especially touched when Linney talked to me about how she felt like I represented her during my performance because she wouldn’t have the guts to do so. And I talked about my story with Daniela downthread. But here I am having way too many feelings about A-Camp and wanting shared processing – and I feel like there’s no one there to listen. I don’t know.
So thank you for noticing. It goes a hell of a long way.
I don’t think I knew then or really now how to talk about it? I mean, it’s not like I feel like I got picked last for softball, but more like, I had taken myself out of the running before the roster picking even began?
Like Brandy echoed below, I am quite sure that I am the source and not A-Camp. I didn’t mean to imply that. More just like, maybe I have chronic bitchface and other intimacy issues that A-Camp sort of brought out?
Anyway! I did make amazing moments with a lot of people, I just don’t think I was making ALL THE MOMENTS ALL THE TIME WITH ALL THE PEOPLE like a lot of people did and I expected myself to do.
“I did make amazing moments with a lot of people, I just don’t think I was making ALL THE MOMENTS ALL THE TIME WITH ALL THE PEOPLE like a lot of people did and I expected myself to do.”
I don’t really think anyone is to blame, per se – it’s just a really unusual situation and for some of us it’s harder than others to make head or tail about it. I know my feelings only came crashing down Sat night/Sun all day though I did try to talk to a few people about it when I got the chance.
It’s tricky, and difficult, and there’s no clear answers. I just want to send some love and say you’re not alone, disconnected people.
This is EXACTLY what I said to my girlfriend when I called her – camp was amazing in SO many ways, and there was such a sense of community and love and I didn’t know that A-Camp would let me find this thing that has no name but is related so happiness and contentedness and safe spaces and even though I don’t even know if I’ll ever be able to make it to another A-Camp, I’ll always have it with me.
But I think I was expecting to meet all the friends and make all the connections, and that never managed to click for me – I don’t know whether it was jetlag, my sore tooth mucking things (my mood) up, or missing the first night because of Acute Lack of Sleep. Or the simple fact that I am an introvert and that I think A-Camp was just too BIG for me to find someone to REALLY connect with.
I loved it. But if I do come again, I have to remember that chances are that I won’t necessarily leave having made all the friends.
But obvs next time I’ll just bring my girlfriend.
I went to sleep the first night too because I wasn’t sick at A-Camp… but suffering from fatigue problems. So, I didn’t drink or party that first night.
I felt really left out by my cabin, because they all bonded over sharing alcohol the first night.
It brought out a lot of my self-esteem issues and insecurities, because my cabinmates were so beautiful and awesome. I felt like it was me, I must be weird/unattractive/stupid… I felt like because of my sheltered upbringing (extremely Mormon) that maybe there was something I just *didn’t get* ..
And, I felt like girls were sometimes mistaking my bubbly extrovertedness or compliments for “I want to make-out with your face.”
I didn’t make any friends… and now on the cabin fb group they’re all professing their love of a-camp and I’m left at a loss.
Damn. It’s like school when everyone finds their friends the first day, and you’re left asking, “How do people make friends?”
I did talk to people and loved A-Camp, I tried to put myself out there a lot, I am an extrovert, you can just walk up to people and hang-out there, I LOVED the panels…. it just wasn’t the feelings/bonding/talking-about-feminism/activism/LGBTQ/friends I was hoping for.
Mostly left me with lots of insecurities and feelings.
I drank a ton at A-Camp (obviously) and I felt disconnected at times too. Maybe it was because we were at the first A-camp and looking for that same intimacy?? Or maybe it was just us?? For me, I’m quit sure I was the source of my own sense of aloneness. I don’t want to presume to match your feelings with mine, I just wanted to say that there were times I felt exactly what you’re describing.
My comment is completely superfluous at this point because Laneia exactly expressed my sentiments in hers. So- what she said!
For what it’s worth, whenever I remember a moment from the past week that makes me feel weird or empty- I just look for the nearest animal and snuggle it. And then I try and think of something from the week that made me smile.
next time i will take a shot during the day with you, brandy. it’s going to be so intimate.
At one point I was feeling just like lessenthused described and then BRANDY FUCKING HOWARD took the time to introduce herself to me…I honestly don’t remember what I said but hopefully it was my name?
I’m sorry you had lonely moments, Brandy, but I gotta say, you made my whole day by telling me I had a sexual name, lol! I’m glad you were there and popped into my class.
I had an incredible time this week, but I picked up on the difference in tone between the two within the first 12-18 hours, to the point of thinking, “uh oh – this is going to be a long five days.” There was some definite engineering going on in terms of the pacing of the events and therefore the emotional impact of those events, but I thought it was masterful – hundreds of queer women, each with the capacity to become attracted to each other, or having never been in exclusively queer spaces where they could express their feelings before, put together in tiny cabins for five days. That could have gone south easily. Thankfully, no feelings were hurt. I wound up really appreciating, strange as it sounds, the lesser level of intimacy – there was still plenty of time to fall in love with my cabin mates and to stop and be friendly to people.
But then – crucial factor – I was there in April and I just kept talking to people and cheerfully kept faith that it was going to work out, which it did. April was and is sacred ground. There was mix of hope and fear that caused us to all lean on each other. I will remember the beauty of it forever. But things change. I don’t think I’d have been screaming with eight other women like a drunken frat boy on Saturday night EXCEPT for April. I’m sorry there are people who didn’t have such a great experience.
Meredydd and Taylor had suggested a panel of older campers last time and I really think it’s due. I think we have just the humor and sensitivity and candor about our fears to give the anxious perspective.
And the GG’s were always there, and always will be, for whoever chooses to stop by. But I am carding anyone who stops by for a drink in May (no, that’s not a joke).
I could have written your comment, Brandy…except the animal snuggling part.
Brandy, you were drinking? ;)
You were lovely and entertaining and I am so glad you were there.
Glad to share my Jameson with you when I wasn’t there. =P
…and this why the next A-Camp needs a camp therapist.
*is why. Blah, you know what i meant, you weirdos.
tiana I love you, but you’re totally right.
we were chatting in the airport later waiting for planes and morgan was saying that having a camp social worker or accredited therapist would have been really perfect.
and someone whose position in the camp is to be that approachable presence where people know that they’re not distracting them from another job or when someone else might need them more. (and someone who is trained for that so they’re not totally overwhelmed by the feelings and a camp isn’t liable)
we did have a therapy-type counselor/social worker at camp! her name was sarah and she was fantastic and hopefully she’ll be coming back in may.
Sarah saved my life. Thank you for bringing her to camp!
I didn’t find out about that until the last day! Too bad, because I was experiencing an intense case of lesbian over-processing all camp long. I hope she comes back, I predict that she will be needed.
wow, while i was at work it turns out i wasn’t alone in my feelings!
laura, laneia, emily, tiara, vikki, lisa: believe it or not i talked to you all while at camp. i actually talked to a lot of people. but people kept asking “what was your favorite thing about today?” and i just didn’t want to be the debbie downer that said, ‘well, honestly, i was really sad today, and found it incredibly hard to engage.’
as for the comment about there being a counselor at camp, there was. we became friends. but i’m not the type to go to a counselor to be counseled.
and trust me, staff, my survey will be as detailed and critically honest as it was last time. but i’m not saying that y’all did anything wrong. i was seriously impressed with how well camp ran this time. but i think it ran away from me, for a lot of reasons.
after a great day of work and taking some distance, i feel a little more at peace with my camp experience. i realize that my comment earlier echoes as sort of a desperate beacon, and knowing that i was not the only one to feel what i felt is a really helpful thing.
let the processing continue.
OH GOD PLEASE NEXT A CAMP. I want to be there!!
We’re gonna be there! <3
Can we have A Camp South? Too poor to travel somewhere that isn’t home for Christmas :(
Can we have A-Camp Midwest? For all those in the Midwest who wanted to go but couldn’t, for whatever reason.
We could definitely have some sort of meet-up. There were three or four of us from Kansas City at A-Camp this time.
Kansas City camper right here!
We’re pretty awesome. (Look at me finally getting my login information figured out.)
Loved camp & having all the feelings today. I especially loved the quiet moments of great conversation. QWOC panel is life. BOMB GRRLS forever & also so much love to the Jetpack cabin. I can only think in fragments because of all the feelings.
JAMIE i just got your package. i love you so, so much. you guys jamie knew i was sad about not attending a-camp this time around so she made me my very own journal and mailed it to me with a note and a sticker that made me cry. i cried in my girlfriend’s bedroom last night when she handed it to me (i have to get mail shipped to my girlfriend’s house because the mailman refuses to acknowledge my existence at my apartment in brooklyn.)
fyi jam, i am in the midst of making you a purple and green friendship bracelet and i will be mailing it to you asap.
you guys, camp friends are forever.
jesus, jamie. i just love you, is all.
So, there’s a possibility that I can go to camp this spring, but I honestly don’t know if I want to go. I mean, I do, but I have so many reservations about it. I have a lot of feelings.
go. no but seriously, you should go! i’ll give you many hugs
Rachel you should go!! It’s the safest most accepting and life changing thing I have ever done. Hands down the best experience ever.
please come! i want to meet you and know you and learn from you and then miss the hell out of you, like i do the rest of these weirdos.
ugh. i hate how much i miss y’all already.
FOUND YOU. Sorry I had just been wondering who my purple partner in crime was at trivia.
The first time I saw the hunger salute I was like WHAT?! HITLER?! WHAT’S HAPPENING?!? Then realized what was actually happening.
Y’know it took me until these comments to realise what the salute was, and I had just seen The Hunger Games. At first I also thought there was some weird Hitler knockoff, then I was like “girl guides? seems apt.”
ohmygod, yes, lina and I were irritated to the point of screaming at campfire. it had to be explained to us, even though both of us had seen the hunger games…
german collective guilt ftw
it is scary but it’s so worth every minute of it. everyone is so lovely and loving that you can’t help but feel good about it.
Definitely go! Don’t make it a thing where you put pressure on yourself to have fun… some things aren’t (such as the exhaustion you get just by sprinting across camp in that altitude) but you learn so much, and everyone is so accepting that even if you don’t have as much fun as you think you will, it’s still worth it.
You should definitely go! Definitely.
Go. If you can go, go. Real talk: you will probably get overwhelmed at points, cause I think everyone I spoke to did. I know I got tired/sad/overwhelmed/anxious a few different times. But then you just go back to the cabin or into the woods and timeout, and come back when you’re ready. I would not have missed any of it for the world.
I mean basically, I think camp is like anything — if you go into it expecting a MAGICAL LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE almost anything would fall short. But if you just go in and let it happen, you can find magic and have your life changed by accident. I did not expect basically any of the good things that happened, or any of the feelings I came out of it with. I didn’t even know what was missing, it turns out, until A Camp was it. Someone said something about that it in one of the readings actually — was it Laura? Something about realising where your holes are, and learning what to do to fill them? Which obviously fnar fnar holes, but actually — yeah, that.
If it makes you feel better I thought I was going to pass out when I first stepped out of my car, but everyone is so, so kind.
My girlfriend and I were first time campers and we ended up in the most amazing cabin #misfitsforlife
We were so nervous that when we arrived and saw all of the A-Campers congregating in the airport for the shuttle we, like, bolted in the opposite direction, I had to smoke a cig and compose myself before heading over there. What happens when we finally did? The incredible and amazingly talented Gabby greeted us with the warmest hug ever and Laura checked us in and made us wonder if her nickname, Hot Laura, was shortened from Hot/Sweet/Adorable Laura because she was all of those and seriously so much more.
They really set the tone for the trip because everyone was so friendly, which is mind boggling considering how much stress they must have been under.
All of the events I attended were super fun and interesting, sex panel and talent show definitely being standouts.
All in all, we met some very cool friends and hope that everyone, including the staff at Alpine Meadows, knows how much we appreciated your hard work and open hearts.
okay you guys but really, it took me 26 hours to get home via my weird and complicated trip and now i’m just straight chillin’ on a new laptop that will allow me to write things for you and i just want you to know that i loved meeting everyone so so much and that getting to know more campers than i did last time was so much fun. i’m making that smoker’s circle facebook group but also i just wish we could hug? i didn’t even really get to say goodbye and i wish i had.
how are you awake carmen
I slept for eighteen hours as soon as I got home
are you a robot for real
i slept for 30 hours total after camp i think with little 30 minute breaks. i am not a robot but that’d be cool
I am so happy I got to know you and that I was entertained by Hungover-Carmen for hours the very first day. You are the coolest.
It’s so hard being off the mountain, but in addition to feeling sad I also feel very energized, like I can deal with all the stuff I have to do better than I could have before I went. A-Camp was an immensely affirming experience, thank you to everyone who made it happen.
i need the staff at alpine meadows to just admit that it’s all decaf. i mean, really.
I hydrated with the coffee.
I am still processing.
Before A-Camp, I knew about 12 other lesbians, and never really got the concept or importance of community- NOW I TOTALLY GET IT AND LOVE IT AND NEED IT IN MY LIFE AT ALL TIMES.
I was so comfortable on top of that mountain with all of those gaymos and my cabin was beautiful. Fucking beautiful. They felt like old friends after an hour, and I want them in my life for always! #misfitsforlife
I think the most important thing I need to remember is how precious those four days were and to never take them for granted. I learned so much. So much. I thought my head and heart were going to explode ninety-seven times daily – in the best way possible.
P.S. Misfits belated chant: “MISFITS GIVE NO SHITS!”
god you guys were so fucking badass, you know? i’m so proud of my misfits
I’m speaking on everyone’s behalf when I say yeah, we know we’re badass.
Yes yes yes yes re: never understanding the importance of community before, and now wanting it at all times. My theme song for camp was “I’m going to go home and BUILD THIS”. I want my own group of amazing people I can share meals and crafts and feelings with, and I am going to make this happen, and without A Camp I don’t think I would ever have realised it was missing. So basically probably my whole life will be better from now? I mean it is already.
also the things you said at the body image panel resonated with me. <3 FEELINGS!!
I was lucky enough to be able to go to both camps. Both were amazing but this one seems to be a lot harder to kick as I sit here in my apartment.
I went to a lot more panels this time and several discussion groups and I THINK I actually learned all of the things. There is something so safe and confidence inspiring about this place. I actually stood up in groups and asked questions/shared stories that scared me. I actually went up to a girl I thought was cute. I hope to be able to carry some of that into my “real life”.
I can’t wait to get back although I’ll have to leave early next time.
Also, my favorite quote from the sex panel (paraphrased) “I don’t care if you throw me up against a wall or I throw you, just as long as someone is doing the throwing” Pretty much as awesome as strap on quotes from last time.
Did anyone happen to record Marni’s cover of “Do It Like A Dude”? I would like that in my life every day, please.
Also I just wanted to say that I have never met a more nurturing, wonderful group of people than the A-Camp staff. They are all made of kittens. :)
I think I recorded it! I will upload it tonight and then post the link here :)
I am bookmarking this comment thread and checking it constantly.
I’m pretty sure during the talent show I said, “I hope this goes on iTunes.” So, I would like this put on the internet, too.
The quality of my video probably isn’t very good because it was so dark. But maybe it can tide you over until (hopefully) a better version is uploaded?
Yes Marni’s cover of that yes forever.
Here is my video of Marni’s cover of Do It Like A Dude!
holy shit! thanks
I really hope you guys do a whole long recap post(s) like last year!!
you guys, camp just keeps getting better. i met so many more of you this time and did at least 3 things that terrified me and i’m already counting down the days until next time. everyone there was so talented and beautiful and so good at being themselves.
you were the nicest. I loved that you came over and sat with us during the femme luncheon!
i loved that y’all invited me.
i met so many more of you this time! you’re so brilliant and giant, like your love and excitement is just as big as the mountain. a few times i was the me i was hoping i could be, sometimes even better.
the only thing i could think to do on the (6 hr) drive home was make zine pages in the front seat, and when i got home all my living room furniture had been rearranged (who does that?) but instead of getting upset i just wrote a letter to you and drank one of the IPAs that celeste had left in wolf lodge and made a million lists and plans for may.
like what if we do a period panel. what then.
omg periods, periods, periods
ohmygod. period panel.
I love punctuation.
If you do a period panel I will volunteer to talk about diva/silicone cups, and dealing with periods and sex.
A-Camp forms families, builds community, and makes you feel the feelings. If you want to know what it feels like to be loved just for being you–go up the mountain.
Also, Tierney’s face is priceless.
hunger salute forever
(p.s. look at me commenting n’ shit. #acamp)
and you just won at life.
Soooo…. when exactly will the commune be a real thing?
i’d start a commune today tbh
yes, commune. yes to this. it would be my queer dream come true.
I mentioned the commune as many times as it was applicable on the survey.
I’d move to an autostraddle commune in a heartbeat. Life would be amazing if it turned into one long extended camp.
I want to hear people’s Magic A-Camp moments, because I love collecting this sort of thing.
My personal one: Hearing Daniela’s story about her relationship dynamic during the Non-Monogamy panel. I was almost *shaking* because I am in the *exact same relationship* – plus/minus 3 years -and I had NEVER heard, seen, read about anyone else who was in a similar relationship structure. For ages I had felt like a *freak* because of it, like I was doing relationships wrong or something. I talked to Daniela about it, with all these pent-up feelings I never got to really share properly with anyone, and she *gets it*. EVERYTHING we talked about, I had been through, all the qualms and worries and wtf-is-thisness. If there is one thing I’m taking away from A-Camp it’s meeting Daniela because FINALLY FUCKING HELL I am NOT alone. <33333
One I witness: at the QPOC panel:
Dena: I don't know any Persian queers!
Someone a few seats away: I am!
I cried a little bit when that happened.
Yes, that was definitely an amazing moment! You could just feel the joy in the room.
I had a few great moments.
Everyone cracking up as the camp guy talked about “bear” precautions.
Me noticing that groups of people were listening when I was first playing violin in the morning. And then somewhat related, is me playing underneath a giant flower parachute in the woods with sunbeams and gently shifting shadows.
This is a small one, but it matters to me: Seeing that there was a coffee machine/when the machine ran out and the kitchen guy immediately replaced it.
During the all-camp photoshoot, the sequenced process of everyone getting super quiet, then the tiny click of the camera, then wild applause, and then doing that whole thing over again three more times.
OMG THE BEAR THING I had to explain to Adam why we were cracking up so hard.
THANK GOODNESS SOMEONE DID. I was wondering about that.
I just had to explain to my roommate why that was funny.
Also, Evey! You made me so happy when I was sprawled in the hammock one morning and I heard Irish fiddle playing. It was so awesome, and your talent show performance was beyond amazing.
I cried when that happened too.
the “right here”-moment, one of the best moments of all!
Camp is everything wonderful in the world condensed into less than a week of panels and bonfires and hoppers and feelings. It’s hard to explain this to anyone who wasn’t there or doesn’t “get” autostraddle, which makes coming home crazy hard. Experiencing A-Camp 2.0 with old and new friends, hanging with our staff outside of gmail (and of course, my Forever 21 campers!) give May’s camp a lot to live up to and to look forward to! I’m not even bothered by the amount of embarrassing and awkward pics of me that have already been posted. <3
whoaa had no idea. thank you for the correction haha
Klub Deer Forever!
as the official klub deer dancer i gotta say it was one of the highlights
I loved how you used that 1/2 inch ledge of the hearth as a stage for your go go dancing. xo
I need the video of Marni’s “Do it like a dude” because feelings. Jessie J cannot compare.
Also… 21 hump street!!
werd! that was amazing.
All of the things. Hump! Hump!
I have a million things to say. I will narrow it down to three.
1. This morning I woke up and was epically sad that I wasn’t starting my day in the smoker’s circle.
2. A-Camp got me writing again.
3. There are no words to explain what happened to me at camp this week. The world looks different now. Maybe the world is the same and I just found my home. I’m not sure which. All I know is that May cannot come soon enough.
Also, I have never wanted to be a chair as bad as I did during the talent show. Just saying…
PATRICE! PATRICE! i miss smoking a cigarette while envying your fucking look.
OMG Patrice, I was SOOO sad that I didn’t get to smoke with you before you left, thank you so much for always needing a nicotine rush at the same time I did. You are amazing, and we are going to have to do more SPIDER demos next camp.
oh god. I did that, didn’t I? Thanks A Camp for allowing a butch to attempt to shake her booty against a wall.
Patrice!! I miss you already, and all you guys!! Smoker’s circle FTW! I feel like so many just hilarious things happened over there! Also, I have all these pictures that you took, “ninja-style” and they keep making me laugh upon closer inspection.
patrice you owe me a dance off
and I owe you a lot of cigarettes
Yes, Patrice, all of this.
you have the most amazing hair!
also amazing, you had cigarettes when pretty much nobody else did.
if somebody finds my fucking rolling paper I still want that. I ‘d even pay for the int. shipping
if anyone wonders why lina couldn’t find her rolling paper, I have a picture of her bedspace.
ALSO ALSO!!! MORGAN. CHANGED. MY. LIFE.
*blushes color of own hair*
I came home and gushed about camp to my queer 17 year old little sister and when I talked about you twirling onstage in that shimmery skirt I started crying!! <3
When I was talking about the twirl to GF afterwards, she was like “OMG you’re Katniss!”
I cried when Morgan read. I tried to hide it by blinking rapidly but had to blink so rapidly I almost took flight.
Now I’m crying! I guess it’s only fair. :) Thank you for making me feel at home in all your arms.
I totally hid in the woods after that.
I will keep this short at sweet.
+ thanks to the entire autostruddle staff for making this camp happen (yes the typo is intended, riese will get it)
+ it was amazing meeting everyone, you are all beautiful unicorns.
+ this was my first A camp but definitely not my last.
autostruddle was the first time my head exploded of cute at camp this time around.
OMG Thanks Christie for learning that song that we didn’t even get to listen to because my ipod was having issues. Thanks for putting up with my possible day drunk forgetting of lyrics at rehersals at 6am, 12pm, and around 3:30pm.
Autostruddle = pure magic
can there be a Listling Without Commentary of autostraddle-based words? i really enjoy those words.
… i’m sure there are more!
I love you for remembering that.
5. quddle puddle
aussie aussie aussie
OI OI OI
As an A-Camp veteran I was surprised by how much I learned this second time around. Like, Gabby and Katrina taught me to embrace my “swag”. Katrina and Stef helped me realize I could be a big spoon or a little spoon. I could be a tea spoon or a slotted spoon. Hell..I can be a ladle if I want! I learned I suck at lesbian jeopardy and Autostraddle trivia. I discovered I actually enjoy tea and that speed dating is something everyone should try at least once. The sex panel taught me that my sex life has been surprisingly tame..Like, really! I learned some of you actually read my comments? And just as the first camp did, this camp showed me how beautiful you all are. All of you! I want to hug all the A-Campers and Autostraddlers so hard! Marni and Robin still rock. Riese is just amazing. And Laneia: I. Can’t. Even….(my Internet crush lives on. Sorry Megan) The entire A-Team did such an amazing job. Thank you all! I took so much away from the first camp. The second camp helped reinforce it all. I have gotten the very best thing from it that I ever could have imagined or hoped for. And all because in July 2010, Riese woke up at 3am and wrote “CAMP – THIS WILL BE OUR THING” on a notepad. (I’m so going to buy you a pony!) I won’t be returning in the spring. I have passed the torch to Marika. She is now where the whiskey comes from and has a tshirt to prove it! Wear it well my young successor. I love you all. Truly.
but digger i will miss you so much come back one day please?!?!
you have to come back, like seriously.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU WON’T BE RETURNING. do you not know what ‘returning’ means? did you confuse ‘returning’ with ‘free burning’ maybe? because ok like, that happens to everyone — you can’t just free burn constantly. you should definitely take breaks every now and then. i think the spring would be a great time to slack off on the free burning. good call.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
Thank you. I won’t let you down.
DIGGER. I SWEAR TO YOU I WILL BE AT THE NEXT ONE. I WON’T HAVE A WEDDING TO GO TO AND I WON’T BE ON STRIKE AND I WILL BE THERE.
Just…think about the glory this IRL friendship could become.
oh no, I didn’t meet you and say hi to you at camp. that was totes on my to do list. ‘go up to the person with the gun and say ‘hi, your comments make me laugh a lot”‘ but you didn’t bring the gun so I couldn’t figure out who you where
thinking about it….where you on of the girls I borrowed a cork screw from after I broke my 99cent store one ?
Nah Lina, Digger wasn’t in the cabin when we borrowed a corkscrew from the Golden Girls :(
well I did go there a few times tho …. I had several bottles of wine to open tbh!
did you guys have a good trip? back in sf yet?
I’m smoking all by myself right now, saddest thing ever
That’s true, I completely didn’t think how those bottle of wine magically became uncorked. And yeah, good trip back, nearly no traffic.
Smoking by myself is the saddest thing ever, especially since a week ago, I was surrounded by so many smoking queers.
So, I had an epic emotional breakdown during my second trip to A- camp, and I don’t regret going. It still is the most magical group of people ever, and I still love all of you. Goes to show how accepting this community is, that I was allowed to be broody and depressed, and no one was bothered by it.
I came to camp expecting to have a good time, so I could possibly forget about a long list of personal issues I’m currently experiencing. I left camp with the realization that I can’t forget my personal issues. These issues are big issues, and camp really highlighted that for me.
As an introverted person who is uncomfortable with their own intense emotionalism, the experience of being surrounded by 300 lesbians in the middle of the woods is going to be fucking profound. The feelings, they are limitless.
Also, Jetpack for life.
i really hope that things work out <3
thank you for coming and i’m so glad you still found it profound. i also hope the times you spent in the smoker’s circle really helped, because those were my highest times.
Carmen, you are a raspy-voiced angel. The smoker’s circle was the best. High times, indeed.
yes i really loved us. we were so beautiful.
JETPACK FOR LIFE! PURPLE TEAM for the win! You guys, I have jetlag, but for gayness. Lezlag? Jetfag? I don’t even know. I am having all the feelings about all the things, specifically:
– I can’t believe all my 90’s knowledge finally paid off in trivia magic.
– I have a lady boner for the Wild Stallions.
– I wish I had thought of something smoother to say/not been so fucked up, but instead I just walked up to Carmen and said “Hey girl Carmen Rios.” And then walked away. Blame it on the altitude.
“- I wish I had thought of something smoother to say/not been so fucked up, but instead I just walked up to Carmen and said “Hey girl Carmen Rios.” And then walked away. Blame it on the altitude.”
if there is anyone on staff who understands the altitude struggle… it is clearly me. thank you for even being intrigued by my drunk ass. there’s always next time!
Make sure to drink water!
EVERYBODY DRINK WATER
your drunk ass ftw
also did you find your phone?
Carmen, all of the smokers knew your phone was missing, and no one in the cabin did. I brought it up at breakfast, and everyone was like “Carmen lost her phone?? What??”
Guys, I went to Wal-mart for a gluestick at 1AM because I had an overwhelming desire to craft.
idk why this was a reply to anything.
1. Without your 90’s knowledge, Orange team would have won color wars (but I am glad that if we lost, it was to purple).
2. Wild Stallion’s have a huge lady boner for you. You need to come visit Chicago.
3. Blame it on the altitude.
Btw, my Acamp medeal fell out of my bookbag that I took to work today and I literally almost cried thinking about how much I miss you guys. Faggity Fued was a ridiculously good time.
I accidentally read that as “my A camp medal fell out of my boobs” and I thought that sounded completely feasible for it to get lost in your glorious tits.
Wild Stallion pride! <3 <3 <3
So angry I live in the UK, right now! I wanna come tooooooo! sad me, very very sad me
We had a bunch of Brits – come along
Also an Irish lady. *cough*
A-camp was the most amazing experience of my life. I love all my cabin mates to death. I danced in public for the first time in my life and found out that I love danceing. I only slept 3 hours each day, because I did’t want to miss a minute of camp. My cabin and I got to talk about feelings with Riese and Laneia! Piercing won the war (inside joke).
yes 3 hours of sleep is the best amount at camp i think
Niki !!! We love you
I’m writing this on marnis phone in the car
Niki!! I can’t wait to see you again!!! <3
we love you, too!!
love you!! <3 so much
niki, every time i think about you dancing for the first time in public and loving it, i feel my whole life flashing before my eyes and then my heart exploding and i hope you carried that no-fucks-to-give dance-it-out attitude back down the mountain with you because it is the most important thing.
let’s go dancing, is what i’m trying to say
^my username is not the name I go by, if you met me at Camp you know me as Dana.
I had a really amazing A-Camp. I feel like I learned a few things and became less shitty at being a human with feelings, so there’s something. I’m a little worried that I freaked out some of the staff by fangirling a bit but I was just really excited to meet these amazing people who put their words on my computer, so I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable.
I had an appointment with my psychologist this morning and I had kind of a huge breakthrough/down, and I feel like having been the non-judgmental space of the camp let me stop judging myself so hard. I finally allowed myself to feel the ALL the feelings that I deserve to feel about some really fucked-up shit in my past, so thank you, especially to the little rascals who supported me during my emotional outpouring. I wasn’t really prepared for all of that but I’m glad that it happened. I will definitely see you all at San Francisco pride next summer!
The gender panel was UH-MAZING, I had all the feelings! Also I learned that a)I look really good in bowties and b)how to tie one, so I’ve been to the thrift store and will be rocking one on my date tonight. Thanks to Katrina and Gabby I can turn my swag on to really impress her. Also, Jacq, we need to get in touch and talk winter wear, cause I’ve found some awesome jackets that will actually stand up to winnipeg winters.
dana, can i just say that i loved what you said at the gender panel?
also your smile really is the cutest. you get that girl.
Ah thank you!
YES thank you lady! I refuse to accept the fact that it’s impossible to dress well/andro in the dead of Canadian winters. And that just won’t do.
What is your facebook name?
Jacq Bonneville :) If you can’t find me, I’ll creep you.
AHHH Dana, you are so awesome!!! And yes, you look amazing in bowties! :)
Thank you! You’re such an awesome surfer chick, I’m jealous of that ability
I know there was talk of an east coast A-Camp. Is this still a thing? Next fall? PLEASE
you will just have to come west , julia
A-Camp was exactly what I was looking for. Lately I’ve felt really disconnected and annoyed at the queer community for like somanythings and I went to A-Camp because I wanted to once again embrace my queerness. And that’s exactly what happened. I feel more queer than ever. Which is pretty great ’cause I’m pretty queer!
It was the perfect mixture of feels, fun, and meeting so many people. I have never been surrounded by so many people who I felt were totally accepting, intelligent, and non-judgemental.
Thanks to everyone for the amazing four/five days. I even got sick in the middle of it and you-know-what, it didn’t even matter!
Hope to make it next time, love all y’all!
I think my wife really needs an A-Camp experience. Ever since we moved for university she’s felt so alone; not a femme or lady appreciator to be had in this town :/. And now she’s totally convinced she’s the only gorgeous gal out there who loves to curl her hair and wear floral prints.
I think we’re going to sign up for this lovely outdoor gay-palooza :D
HAVE YOU READ MY BIO?! I LOVE FLORAL PRINT.
please come in may. my girlfriend and i will be there and we want to meet you and hang out and be friends and wear floral (my gf will not be wearing floral so that part is totally not mandatory but i will be in only floral all day every day).
I WORE FLORAL PRINTS and I was not the only one. <3
Curling my hair is quite honestly one of my fave past times. You two should totally come. There may be more femmes in your town than you realize. Seeing as there is that whole femme invisibility thing.
Femme Appreciation happens at camp! A lot!
Can we talk about how fantastic Elli and Marika’s shirts are???
Thanks! I was surprised to see that picture up so soon. We wore them the day of the spooning workshop- Marika went to it, I didn’t…
PRETTY FUCKING FABULOUS. If I say so myself.
you know what else was fabulous? the embroidery we all did. I loved your “science bitches” cross stitch.
omg thank you for letting me borrow your embroidery stuff! That was so much fun!
but of course.
I DON’T HAVE TO BE 21 TO COME TO CAMP
I am very happy that I went to A-Camp. Even if everyone was walking around repeating “So.MANY.Feelings” over and over again with tears in theirs eyes. Like robots that magically,suddenly became capable of feeling emotions (yeah I’m a jackass).
For me this is just the beginning of many great friendships and experiences. I was excited to meet everyone but I’m most excited to see the ongoing friendships and impact of that.
A-Camp is a great place to see what a safe, accepting space feels like, where you really can feel all those “feelings”, and hear others tell their story, while feeling like they are telling your own.
It’s important to experience that outside your everyday life. A camp reminded me how many people don’t have a safe space, and don’t feel accepted. It made me think that maybe I need to start connecting with some of my own feelings.
All of the feelings. All. Of. The. Feelings.
all of the everything, guys. Just blame it on the altitude.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SO. MANY. FEELINGS. AND SO. MANY. BREAKTHROUGHS. OMGAH
and so much good hair.
Okay actually yes can we have an open thread for hair appreciation? Or a proper post? The haircuts, they were glorious.
yes yes yes this a-camp haircut changed my life!!
for realsies. the hair-dos and outfits and hotness all around. The Avengers were all in pretty strong support of using the big white tent behind eagle for a fashion show. It could showcase all the new alternative lifestyle haircuts, the stylings of the fashion workshops and I’m sure there are plenty of crafty queermos out there designing/sewing their own clothes.
TENT IT! LA fashion week!
AAAAAALLLLLIIIIICCCCEEEEEE! Hey girl, can I get a lime real quick?
For you always!
Hair panel next camp?
I totally thought we could have an entire hair panel!!
i have written this down.
THUNDERCATS HOOOO! #feelings
I didn’t know what to expect from my A-Camp experience because most of my (Chicagostraddle) friends who went the first time are a bit on the crazier side. I get all anxious and introverted and uncomfortable. But I went knowing that it would be a safe space… and I could hide in my cabin if I needed to! I took breaks when I needed, but also forced myself to do things like speed dating and singing in the talent show (even if I only sang a teeny bit, I got on stage and didn’t die!) I went to the queer women of faith panel and had so many feelings and cried my eyes out in public, but felt ok about it. I even danced some which doesn’t happen very often. It was so good to see the team members that I haven’t seen (mostly) in years, and to meet a couple that I hadn’t met before. I wish I wasn’t so overwhelmed by Saturday night because I really wanted to meet Julie and Brandy and get a picture. Next time! And maybe next time I won’t ‘accidentally’ forget my uke so I can’t perform in the talent show. But really, I love how no matter how I felt, no matter what I was wearing, no matter what activities I chose to do or not do, etc., I didn’t feel judged. It was a very welcoming safe space that I wish I had more in real life (not that Chicagostraddle doesn’t give me that, but that’s not the real world…)
Ack, but I am a little bummed with myself for not doing better at Autostraddle Trivia!
I love you Elli B! I was really happy to get to meet you and you were the best team mate at trivia. I was also bummed that I wasn’t as knowledgeable as I had once imagined, but that just means I have more reading to do. I can’t wait to come visit Chicago:)
Camp is my number one feeling for all of time. My heart is still on the mountain. Staff – thank you for being the hardest working, hardest playing and hardest loving people I have ever met. Campers – thank you for your enthusiasm and acceptance. I’m completely devastated that I can’t go to the next one. Thinking about not being there makes me feel all weird and awful inside.
things i lost at camp and then found later include:
– my blazer
– my captain’s hat
– my charger
– my headlamp
– my binder
– my chord charts
and then this morning i left my phone in a cab and it had so many pictures of mollie deflating the shark with her entire lower body and now i’m really sad.
you guys i loved my cabin so much and i loved all the new writers so much and i loved coffee with grace and champagne toasts for breakfast and roadtripping with annika as my copilot and GETTING IN THE VAN and i can’t believe i have to wait so long to see you babies all over again.
i’m already making so many plans for may.
things i am still missing from camp:
-my blue a-camp 1.0 shirt
-my black kenneth cole sunglasses
-JILL talking about plumbing and cows
-marni’s DIY tips
-making up imaginary tumblr accounts with brittani
-every single human and feeling on that mountain
but for reals, if anyone found my shirt or sunglasses i’ll pay to have them sent back to me.
if you find yourself in nyc i can do a really great carmen impression.
i hope i find myself in oklahoma soon so i can see jill’s gabby impression again.
OMG, Jill’s Gabby impression. I will def seek you out in NYC. Hopefully before May camp!
I hope you saw the “impression” the first time I did it, not the reenactment, which was not very good. I was kinda nervous because Gabby was present for the reenactment…and she is kinda my hero now.
I’m wearing the Jamaican Bronx bracelet she gave me right now btw.
Jill saying I’m your Hero is like Chuck Norris allowing Indiana Jones to stand next to him. I am HONORED, dearest gentlequeer. May our paths cross again very soon.
omfg, your Carmen impression is probably in my top ten things I love about life.