The Arcadia Camp Out was originally scheduled to take place at Arcadia Sanctuary in Amherst, Virginia, but due to circumstances beyond our control we have been forced to change venues.
The Arcadia Camp Out and the Arcadia Sanctuary are two separate and independent entities that coincidentally share the same name and decided to partner up to provide the retreat in 2021. The retreat was to be held at the Sanctuary in 2020, but was cancelled due to Covid. Our first retreat in 2019 was held at a group campsite at Bear Creek State Park in Cumberland, Virginia.
Unfortunately, the Sanctuary is involved in a Zoning dispute with Amherst County. The county has forbidden our Queer Pagan event from taking place at the Sanctuary under threat of heavy fines. While discrimination against Pagans, Gay folks, or both may be at play, the main issue at hand is whether the Sanctuary is zoned as an event venue. The letter from the county came only days after initial announcements for the 2021 Arcadia Camp Out went out on social media.
Arcadia Camp Out made some informal legal inquiries into possible discriminatory intent from Amherst County, but ultimately any legal action would be the decision of Arcadia Sanctuary and not the Arcadia Camp Out since the issue at hand relates to zoning.
We ask that you send Arcadia Sanctuary your prayers, spells, and positive energy that they receive justice and fairness from the county in their current and future endeavors.
To avoid any further complications for the Sanctuary or disruptions to our Camp Out, we have decided to host the 2021 Arcadia Camp Out at a Virginia State Park this year.
Given the need to change venues, we’ve had to make a few adjustments to this year’s event. The event has been moved to First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, Virginia where we have successfully held other Pagan men’s retreats for nearly two decades (i.e. the Brotherhood by the Bog Retreat and its predecessors). We decided not to change the registration costs that have already been advertised. As our up front costs are more, we have decided to shorten this year’s Arcadia Camp Out from three nights to only two nights. The event will run from Friday through Sunday. As an added perk to attendees, we will be providing basic meals with their registration. Parking passes are required in the park and will also be included in regular and day trip registrations. Regular registration is $100 before July 31 and it goes up to $125 after July 31. Regular registration includes one tent campsite and basic meals. Tent sites are limited so we suggest you get your registration in early. We will also offer a $50 day trip option for folks who do not wish to camp with us and have other accommodations. Funds from registrations will also go toward various supplies needed for workshops, rituals, the Samahin party, and the overall event. Due to the change in venue, overall spaces are limited so we recommend that you get your registration in early so you don't miss out!
This year’s theme is “Connecting and Reconnecting,” a slight change over last year’s theme which would have been “The Space Between Us—Making Connections Across the Void.” Last year’s theme was chosen before the Pandemic and was meant to address the physical and emotional space between Queer Pagan men, but took on a whole new angle with the pandemic. As the 2020 retreat was cancelled, the theme was not addressed. Given our opportunity for “Connecting and Reconnecting” after Covid, the current theme seems more hopeful and appropriate. Our patron deity this year is still Hermes.
Given the weekend nature of this year’s Arcadia Camp Out, this year’s event will be a focused retreat. We will have workshops, a main ritual, a costumed Samhain/Halloween party around the campfire, and possibly drumming on the beach. The schedule is evolving and will be updated on our web page as we get closer to October.
Barring any major new twists in the Covid pandemic, we intend to move forward with our in-person camping event this coming October 2021. Many folks are getting vaccinated, restrictions for in-person events are being lifted, and many businesses and events are reopening. We are confident that we can safely host this outdoor camp out.
While we hope to eventually draw large crowds, the Arcadia Gathering is a relatively new and small event, so the smaller size will play in our favor to keep people safe. While we won’t know an exact number until after registration ends, we are expecting this to be more of a weekend retreat than any kind of large gathering. Our focus is on quality and connection rather than large crowds. The event also takes place outdoors in the fresh mountain air, and most folks will be camping in their own tents, so this will also help keep people safe.
We know that after over a year of quarantine and physical isolation many people will be looking for events to attend. Please consider attending the Arcadia Gathering!
Below are some safety and hygiene guidelines to be followed at the gathering
While at the Gathering, the following personal guidelines are recommended:
- Social distancing of at least 6 feet may still be in effect. Please respect other people’s desire to social distance. If you want to signal that you want strict social distancing, please bring and wear a red band, bandana, or strip of cloth around your upper arm. Social distancing shouldn't be a problem in the wild outdoors.
- Bring and wear a reusable face mask of some kind to protect yourself and others. We may or may not enforce wearing this depending on where things stand in October and the consensus of those attending.
- Bring extra soap, hand sanitizer, and wipes. Please consider bringing extra to share with other attendees. We will also try to provide what we can.
- Please stay home if you are sick.
Thank you for Registering for the Arcadia Gathering to be held October 9-12, 2019 at Bear Creek Lake State Park in Cumberland, Virginia.
We should be contacting you by e-mail within the next few days to have you fill out an event Registration Form.
If you do not hear from us within a few days, please e-mail us using the e-mail on the registration web page.
Your payment is a flat fee that includes your registration fee, space for one 6-person or smaller tent, breakfast and dinner (lunch is on your own), and parking for the entire gathering.
Please note that oversize tents (larger than 6-person) and extra tents are an extra cost (separate PayPal button on the Registration page).
Please bring a copy of your PayPal receipt with you to the Gathering! While we should have this on record, this provides you with added verification should it be needed.
All registrations are non-refundable after August 15, 2019..
We look forward to seeing you at the Arcadia Gathering in October!!!
Below is a list of confirmed organizations and vendors for Arcadia 2020:
- The Mystery Shop -- Books and photography prints by Mel Mystery.
If you would like to have a vendor or organization table at this year's Arcadia, the cost is only $10. This can be paid on the Arcadia Registration page.
We are hoping folks will consider donating or sharing the following items for this event. We are coordinating with the campground and some of these items may already be available there. We will mark off items when they are confirmed.
- Extra camp chairs
- Extra fold up tables
- One or more medium or large canopy pavilions (for shade and in the event of rain)
- A statue of the Greek god Hermes
- A disco ball and some battery operated lights (for the social event)
- Your favorite disco, new wave, dance, pop, Pagan, and Halloween music - CD's and MP3's (for the Samhain party)
- A CD / MP3 player with Bluetooth streaming (for the social event)
- Some outdoor rechargeable or battery operated Bluetooth speakers (for the social event)
- Extra charcoal and firewood.
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