Friday
Aug 12, 2005

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Volume 33
Issue 32

 
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CAMP marks 10th anniversary
CAMP marks 10th anniversary
Widely hailed program brings together Gay, Bi and Trans men for a weekend of fun and growth

This year marks the 10th anniversary of an innovative program called CAMP that has attracted not only Seattle Gay, Bi and Trans men but also men from as far away as New York and even Sweden. CAMP, which is put on each year by a group of volunteers calling themselves Boyz in the Woods will take place over the Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-5.

Each year, CAMP brings together approximately 150 men of all ages and from a wide variety of ethnic, social and backgrounds to experience the summer camp of their childhoods with some uniquely Gay twists. The event is designed, according to Head Boy Barry Johnson, to let the inner child in all of us come out to play while also encouraging growth and personal interaction.

By holding the event in the natural beauty of the Washington woods, the program enables Gay men to "check their attitude at the city limits" so that they can be open to new experiences, meet new people, and interact with a wide variety of others in a supportive and friendly environment.

While the weekend incorporates many activities resembling those of childhood summer camps, such as volleyball games, hikes, a talent show, and craft programs, CAMP also includes activities and workshops filled with Gay whimsy that would never be offered in traditional summer camps. From Easy Bake Oven baking class to Drag 101 as well as workshops on topics ranging from flirting to how to discuss HIV status when dating, CAMP includes diverse offerings to appeal to a variety of people. This year, more than 25 workshops and classes will be offered on topics from line dancing to drawing and personal finance.

CAMP takes place at a camp facility that normally houses kids, so there are fields for playing Frisbee, a river to sunbathe by and grassy areas to just hang out in or to read. Participants can bring their own tents or stay in spacious heated cabins. All meals are prepared by the camp staff and are enjoyed family style.

Night activities include a dance, a talent show and nightly campfires for socializing, relearning the words to "Kumbaya" and enjoying S'mores. CAMP is a drug- and alcohol-free event.

Produced by the Boyz in the Woods volunteers, CAMP has a new sponsor this year in the form of Q-Squared, which was formed to support and grow CAMP as a community-based organization. Gay City is a co-sponsor.

CAMP registration is open through August 26, although with capacity limited to 160 men, early registration is encouraged. The $165 registration fee includes all meals and three nights lodging. Round trip bus fare from Seattle is available for an additional $15. A limited number of scholarships are available. More information and online registration is at www.camp2005.org.
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