AGM 2008 - Celebration of Spirit
A 16 night/17 day camp from 15th to 31st August 2008
Coordinated by Annie (Events coordinator), Weasel (Kitchen coordinator) and Kestrel (Crew, gate and finances coordinator). Held at Bradley Nook Farm near Ashbourne in Derbyshire.
Was generally appalling. At tat up there was hail, and during the camp we had nearly 2 inches of rain during one night, a decade record for Derbyshire. In general it rained most days, often heavily, and even when dry it was often overcast and fairly cold for August. We thought that numbers would have been greater if weather had been better.
We managed this camp without an active Welcome Dome. This was not intentional – the Welcome Dome was one of the first structures to go up. But torrential rain over the first weekend left the field gate next to it a quagmire; vehicles could only cross if towed by a tractor.
Instead vehicles came on and off the field via the gate next to the kitchen. This worked very well; there was usually someone around the kitchen area, and it was the best place to get a welcome cup of tea. Not having an official Welcome Dome also saved us having to find someone to man it all day, and instead the peripatetic gate coordinator toured round the site with the gate book, magik hat and disclaimer slips.
The kitchen managed to turn out a vegetarian hot meal every evening, mostly on time; and some days enthusiastic volunteers produced breakfast or lunch or both as well. At times the kitchen area was quite a hive of social working activity with teams of wood choppers, fire tenders, washer uppers and veg preppers, as well as the actual cooks.
Despite the damp weather almost all the cooking was done over an open fire, which was also used to produce endless hot water for drinks; with supplies for tea and coffee being provided from the magik hat throughout camp. The only time the catering bus was used much was when we needed ovens to produce roast potatoes, pizza, scones and cake – all well worth the gas!
The No-Wheels field was a great success and allowed people to escape vehicle politiks. It wasa tranquil area, and an ideal spot for the Big Lodge, our flagship structure to celebrate the 21st year . It turned out this field was more poorly drained than the main field so it’s just as well it was No-Wheels, otherwise it would quickly have become a boggy morass.
This camp was ran on a strictly magik hat basis. There was no spare reserves of money available if the camp failed to pay it’s way, and if no one volunteered to do something, then it simply wasn’t done. No one was guilt tripped into doing anything, or needed to fear that they would be roped into doing something just because they came to the midday meeting.
At the end of the day, financially the camp was a great success, raising a cash profit of £1,238, all of which has gone into Rainbow Circle funds. Fuller details of the finances of the camp will be in the Treasurer’s Report. The camp was attended by 180 people, and every night the official numbers increased from 26 on the first night, right up to the final night of camp with 107. In general the feeling was that whatever number was present – that was the right number for this camp.
The Softpot garden was very busy this year, travelling first to three Rainbow Circle fundraisers. Firstly the Sunrise Festival, followed by Sunrise at the Big Chill, then finally the Northern Green Gathering, followed by two weeks at our own Celebration of Spirit Camp. Considering the dreadful conditions of wind and rain we encountered throughout the summer, it was amazing that the plants continued to look as good and healthy as they did. Thanks go to the many plants that travelled to the events, and all those who helped with the Softpot Garden.
There was an abundance of workshops at camp this year. Everything from‘adult story time’ to ‘quantum physics’ including ‘dance of life’, meditations. shamanic journeying, nature walks, Buddhist Lotus Sutra, massage, heart share, Tai Chi, dream interpretation, the 12 step programme, children’s story time with cocoa, children’s craft workshops, singing, drumming, chanting workshops, daily divinations for the camp and lovely opening and closing ceremonys. It was great!
The cabarets were well attended, and the final evenings cabaret offered a choice of venues with the cabaret proper in the red and yellow and the “fringe festival” at central fire, both locations connected with an amazing runway of Chinese bag lights.
Our thanks go to everyone who shared their knowledge and skills with us.
This contribution was an invaluable part of the camp experience and was truly appreciated by all who attended; thank you!
The daily meetings were fixed at the solar significant time of midday every day and were generally conducted in a spirit of timeliness and good energy. The meetings all started pretty much on time at midday, with meetings all over within one hour and the talking stick rounds generally worked very well with attunements and songs at start and finish. There were refreshments every day for all attending.
The tat up was done by a very small crew in just three days in appalling weather conditions. Nevertheless camp opened with all necessary structures up and running except for the healing dome.
The tat down at the end was done very speedily by a large and hard working crew. After close of camp on Sunday, it was all over by Wednesday, and would have been done even faster, but for poor weather.
Generally the camp appears to have been hailed as a success, although that’s really for other people than the coordinators to judge, although there appeared to be plenty of positive energy and a good vibe throughout.
The coordinators would like to thank everyone who made the camp a success. Thank you to the crew including all those who helped build, furnish, decorate and maintain the structures. Also to all the people who contributed to the hat, either directly with money or by contributing food and other stocks. Also thanks to all those who ran the many and varied workshops, those who entertained the children, and those who entertained by playing instruments publicly. Also thank you to those who washed up, prepped veg, maintained the kitchen fire pit, were servers and took on responsibility for facilitating meals. Also thanks to those who disposed of rubbish and dealt with recycling, fetched in wood and other supplies, those who sawed and chopped wood and those who maintained the shit pits. Oh, and thank you to the crew again, for taking the camp down speedily and in good order.
Annie, Sue Weasel and Kestrel.