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.