Sarah's Thoughts on Magic Hat

For the first time in rainbow circles history we are putting on the family fun camp at Whitsun and a three-week main season camp as magic hat.

Hurrah!! As many of you know Beltane has a tradition of being magic hat but not the other two and it took many, many hours of debate and discussion to decide about the main season. It went from maybe magic hat, possibly magic hat, definitely ticket camp, to finally definitely magic hat. A very interesting process to observe and be a part of. The wonders of a circle working!

Consequently a lot of thought, fears and hopes were aired and it was suggested to have a number of articles on magic hat written by various different people to try to cover some of the points of interest and information that arose during those debates and subsequently.

On a ticket camp in the past there has been the division of responsibility. Paying participants supply money energy. Workers supply work energy. On a magic hat camp we are all responsible for both money energy and work energy. Last August we had the biggest number of people working for rainbow circle ever but the smallest number ever working in the children's area and site crew and the cafe was understaffed also.

There is a model which I believe is interesting and true called Maslow's hierarchy of needs which is demonstrated in a drawing of a pyramid it looks like this:

As we all know a pyramid has a large firm foundation and base without which it could not exist in a stable state and so it is with our lives I find. And what is a camp but a microcosm of the macro cause them of life.!!

What I am saying is we must all remember to attend to the base needs of us all and be careful not to let our heads takes too far ahead so that we neglect are base needs. Practically this suggests to me that if we all decide that nothing is beneath or beyond us and all skills are just out there waiting for us to learn them we will have a more balanced camp.

I have a dream (as someone else once said)

My dream is: That all hungry children will be able to eat porridge by eight o'clock in the morning because the adults like myself who like early mornings will pop into the cafe and put on the water to boil at 6:30/7:30. That there will be a lovely lunch of soup and home-made bread steaming and ready to eat in a communal circle at 12 o'clock. That at 6 o'clock the conch will have been blown for a glorious feast for the whole camp to eat in yet another circle so that the little ones are watered and feed well in advance of the traditional storytelling in the big lodge at 730.
By the way for this to be achieved (with no one person having to too long hours) the cafe will need 40 to 60 volunteers a day working in staggered sessions. Many different skills are needed such as ordering and buying of food, stock control and rotation, bookkeeping, vegetable preparation, cooking, washing up, serving, table clearing, rota making etc. etc. skills that I am sure we will have coming forward in abundance.

My dream is: That the children's area will be a calm creative area central to the camp near the caf not tucked away behind anything where every day 20 to 30 different people will be happily sharing themselves with our young people (who are our future). Hopefully many people who are able to put on workshops for adults will find a way to share their skills with the children so that they can benefit from the wealth of knowledge brought to the camps.

My dream is: That we are all site crew prepared to do what needs to be done. But I wonder about the idea of circles of approximately six to 12 people taking on particular responsibility for structures or areas such as one marquee one dome of the toilets or sinks nearest them, showers etc. I say this because marquee guy ropes need checking and tightening sometimes several times a day, also domes need opening and closing depending on weather conditions and at the beginning and end of use, at today's end etc. Anyway it's just a thought what to other people think?

My dream is: That the gate dome will once again be a beautifully decorated warm dry space where at least two people (one of whom is experienced in working in the welcome dome for rainbow circle) will be waiting to greet new arrivals and make them a drink before putting their details into the gate book and explaining about the magic hat philosophy.

My dream is: That once again there will be enough people to help with all the camps first aid needs and we will once again have a wonderful selection of alternative therapies available.

My dream is: That there will be only one magic hat. And that is the rainbow circle magic hat. Which you can contribute into at the gate dome or at the communal food circles. There shall be no other magic hat. This means you need not carry money around the field with you except to meals. When you have a drink in the cafe or at the sacred fire we simply ask that you remember to put a little extra in to cover for these items that you or your children consume when you contribute to the food circle magic hat.

The winter working group has decided to carry on with the traditional rainbow circle no trading policy which means that no one on camp receives financial reward for sharing their knowledge or skills with any one else. However it has been decided to carry on with the tradition of internal trading at a Saturday market usually located around the big cafes marquee (please do not turn up just to trade on Saturday). I am so excited about all the ideas and plans for this coming season. I so enjoyed last year it is difficult to conceive of having a better time than I did. But I believe going magic hat will definitely make the camps even better than they have been so far. Over the years I have grown and learnt so much through my involvement with rainbow circle but I know I still have a lot of growing to do and much still to learn. I can't wait for us all to be together in a field again. By the time you read this it won't be long till the Beltane camp. So till we meet again (all my old friends, and all my new friends waiting for me to meet) take care of your precious selves.
May love and peace be with you always.
Love Sarah.

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Updated 17th Feb 2001