1. What kind of campsites are available and how many tents can I set up? Your registration cost includes space for one 6-person tent or smaller. We will allow larger tents and additional tents for an added charge as they will likely require us to reserve overflow spaces.
2. If I don't like to tent camp, will there be other options? If it is available and there is enough interest (at least 7 people) before our preregistration deadline (June 15), we may consider reserving a bunk house near our campsite for those who don't wish to tent camp. This will be an add-on cost and will be the cost of the bunk house divided by the number of people staying in the bunk house (up to 14 people). The cost would likely be anywhere from $20-40 extra per person.
3. Do I have to camp if I attend? You are not required to camp with us. You are welcome to secure your own accommodations in the park or nearby. To ensure our costs are covered for the weekend, we cannot discount your registration price if you decide to stay elsewhere.
4. Can I pay at the gate? We will not be accepting at-the-gate registrations to this event. We need to have an accurate count of guests, tents, and vehicles at least 6-8 weeks ahead of time to determine whether we need to reserve overflow camp sites, and if so, how many. If you miss our registration deadline (August 15), you still might have the opportunity to attend. We will accept late reservations on a case-by-case basis depending on how much space is still available after the deadline. If accepted, you would still be required to pay before the event, and not at the gate.
5. Are there bathrooms and showers with hot water? Yes. Bear Creek Lake State Park has two restroom facilities with showers and hot water.
6. Do I have to be a gay or bi to attend? While our activities are aimed at Queer men, we welcome men of all orientations and masculine identified Transgender folks. We welcome men of all orientations who believe they would gain from the weekend.
7. Do I have to be Pagan to attend? No. We welcome all respectful seekers. Our activities and workshops are geared toward Pagan and earth-centered religions, and we will be hosting a few Pagan rituals during the weekend. If you are okay with this and if the topics of the weekend catch your interest, please do join us for the weekend. Most of us don't bite! We are hoping to offer a Paganism 101 workshop for Pagan newbies and for those who attend with their Pagan partners.
8. I'm a woman and I really resonate with the theme and topic of your retreat. Can I attend? We will not turn anyone away who feels they would gain from the weekend. That said, the focus of our weekend is brotherhood and our workshops and activities will be largely focused on gay and bi men.
9. Are vegetarian meals an option? Yes. One of the retreat planners is vegetarian so this is always a consideration. We expect to provide breakfast and dinner, with lunches on your own. For those meals we offer there will be vegetarian options. If you are vegan, have food allergies, or other diet restrictions, please let us know before the retreat and we will try to accommodate you.
10. Why did you pick a state campground over a private Pagan or LGBTQ campground? While we had hoped to find a private Pagan or LGBTQ campground for the event, those we were able to locate in or near Virginia were either too expensive with upfront costs, wanted a minimum guaranteed number of attendees, or did not get back to us (sometimes after a large number of requests). We would like this to be an East coast, mid-Atlantic gathering, so while there are other friendly campgrounds in the U.S., they were further from our target zone and often had their own similar established gatherings.
Not knowing how many people will attend our first gathering, we also wanted something scalable regardless of whether we get a dozen attendees or a hundred, and we also wanted an affordable price for both ourselves and for our guests. Bear Creek is good on these counts, and should provide a mostly secluded feel during the dates we’ve picked. Having most of the event on weekdays outside of the prime summer season should help. Bear Creek won’t afford us as much privacy as a private Pagan or LGBTQ campground, and the rules might be a bit more restrictive, but it gives us a place to start. We hope that as this event grows and as we establish a core attendance that we can reconsider the location and perhaps find a more permanent home for the gathering.
11. In your side menu, you have "Arcadia" in front of each menu item. Wouldn't it be easier and more readable to leave the "Arcadia" part out? Thanks for noticing. Our website front end only allows unique names for menu items, and doesn't allow duplication of menu item names on different menus. This has something to do with database integrity. Because our website hosts more than one event with similar menus, including the name of the gathering before each menu item seemed the best way to go.