2017 Registration: Context and Explanation

Dearest dreamers, changemakers, witches,

Free Cascadia Witchcamp wants to first express gratitude for all of you who have been a part of our camp and our extended camp community. We work in a sacred web that extends across worlds and is held and fed by you. We honor all the love and magic that has brought us to where we are now.

This year we are trying something different, and we want to be transparent with why and how we have decided to follow this path.

2017 REGISTRATION PROCESS

We are changing our registration just for this year in response to clear feedback and insights we have received since last year’s camp. This year the organizers have decided to cap enrollment at 80 people including organizers and campers but not facilitators and their buddies. This is significantly lower than previous years.

Due to the 80 camper cap only priority reg campers are expected to be accepted as they are skipped to the top of the list. We will be giving preference to returning priority campers in the case that priority registration fills beyond our cap, and we ask that no non-priority reg first-time campers apply.

We will create a space on this site for anyone and everyone to submit visions, wishes, dreams, and more for FCWC 2017 and future witchcamps, with the option of having your words included in a zine that will be shared and referenced at camp. Your magic will still be with us.

CAMP TRANSITIONS

We have also decided to change the flow and structure of camp away from the overbooked, time tight model we have used, instead moving towards ease and space. This might mean there is less time for some of the things you have loved (like official optional offerings), and that there may be less scheduled activity.

Organizers have been working since a month after last year’s camp, including gathering for our annual Fall/Winter Face To Face organizing conference in December. We have had abundant feelings and expect that some of you may have strong responses to hearing that the camp you love is not going to be the same this year.

We have made these decisions with full understanding that many of you amazing, committed, powerful people will not be with us this year. It was not, and is not easy for us. Our decisions have been informed by two related strong conversations.

One conversation comes from the acknowledgement that we organizers have been working in an unsustainable pattern: that camp as it had become was being held at the detriment to our bodies and well being. We see our patterns as directly related to patterns throughout camp as well as in relation to those in the overculture. It became clear that continuing as we had was unhealthy and perpetuating dynamics that are not in line with our values and goals. Having less people at camp is one action we are taking to lower the amount of work it takes to host camp.

A second strong conversation influencing our path can be explained in a series of questions. Who is camp for? How is camp creating liberating experiences and patterns, and how is it reproducing those inherited from the overculture? Specifically how is it reproducing settler colonialism, racism and white supremacy? As we organizers asked ourselves these questions we found a lack of a strong, clear answer. We have opened again and again to uncertainty and mystery, and settled in a place of experimentation and compromise, and setting clearer boundaries.

Free Cascadia Witchcamp is in its 13th year, corresponding to the Death card in the tarot. We organizers have leaned into the spirit of camp, into the dream of radical change, into the action it takes to live and create the world of that dream, and we have listened. We have received feedback from you, our camp community, we have had our own knowing from our experiences at camp, we have listened to the voices speaking up across our communities and the continent, and we came to a place of knowing we had to make changes. We do not know the way forward. We do not know if what we attempt will manifest as we desire. We do know that it is this mystery that we walk in.

With the way things in the United States are going, some of us feel the need for more camp (more people at camp, more camps in general!). We feel urgency to connect with you, with people we’ve never met, to do magic and dig into our knowing and truths. And also we know that we need to be grounded and connected to spirit and the earth as we open to change.

Freecamp has been a place where we intend to welcome all who make it into our circle. We have also been talking and working to examine who feels called to come and why, how our patterns of invitation and inclusion are limited, and we are trying to be more upfront about this work. We are in the slow work of learning to deconstruct and dismantle white supremacy, while still putting on camp. Our practices are not perfect and we are inviting change. As it is, some people are more welcomed, more comfortable and more centered at camp than others. We are predominantly white and practicing the radical edge of Reclaiming magic that has strong european roots. We are predominantly youthful adults, with only a few elders and a handful of pixies. As a camp we make steps each year to support and center our friends and community members with different access needs, and still there are ways we are reproducing what we have learned in the overculture. We want to unsettle and unspell the racism of white supremacy and settler colonialism, as well as patriarchy and capitalism.

This year’s camp will be a place for the continuation of these dialogues, a place to change camp culture. We invite you to ask yourself how these questions have sat for you in previous years? How does the work of camp mirrors other aspects of your life? We know you are a powerful being and we invite your magic into this work. We will be using camp to deepen into the identity of camp and what it wants to become. We envision having greater space at camp to sink into ourselves, into each other and the land, will feed and nurture these conversations and magic. What will come from a co-created space of conversation, passion, courage and spirit? We open to not-knowing.

This is the place of change.

This is the “Yes. And…” that we weave. We fail and we succeed. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for and this is the way the work looks at the moment. We are holding camp, again, because we know we must change the world together. We need you. And it is our sacred magic to walk this path of questioning, listening, healing and culture creation. We don’t know what is to come and we know that the work done at Freecamp this year will ripple out in ways we can’t understand.

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