Olympus Campground and Resort is a private members-only resort. We primarily cater to LGBTQ, Pagan, and other adult alternative communities, with a special focus will be on LGBTQ and Pagan men, and men involved in the mythopoetic men’s movement. While these are our target audiences, we welcome anyone who is open-minded and accepting of us and who is interested in taking part in our private adult space.
Admittance and Memberships
Admittance to the main campground and resort requires resort membership. Membership is required to reserve a campsite, cabin, or RV site. All persons in your camping party must obtain a membership, if they are not already members. The same goes for guests at both internal and external gatherings and special events. Some gatherings and events may charge additional fees including registration and cover fees.
A variety of membership options are offered including lifetime, annual, and one-time memberships.
Prospective members and guests of current members will be allowed a one-time one-day admittance without membership. If they wish to return after the one day, they will be required to purchase a membership. All guests must sign in at the main registration desk.
All new members will receive a copy of our Campground Policies and must sign a waiver form when they join. Olympus will also keep current contact information on file for members, including one or more emergency contacts. Members are encouraged (but not required) to include any relevant medical information such as allergies or medical conditions so that Olympus staff can make an informed decision in the event of a medical emergency.
College students, active and retired military, and senior Citizens over 65 receive a 10% discount on access passes, overnight accommodations, and store purchases, but not memberships or other rates. A proper ID is required to validate discounts.
You must be over the age of 21 to partake in alcohol.
Access and Building Hours
Membership cards will be issued to members. These may include a card swipe or you may be given a key code for access to certain buildings.
Members should check in by swiping / scanning their membership card anytime they enter the resort.
Some buildings and services close at certain hours. Self-service options such as self-check-in / checkout may be available outside of regular desk hours. For your convenience, bathrooms and shower facilities remain open at all times.
Camping, cabin, and RV reservations may be made by phone, online, or in person. Advance reservations are encouraged to ensure availability, especially for weekends, holidays, and special events. During the off-season advance registrations are required as we are operating limited hours. Resort membership is required to make a reservation. If you are not already a member, a membership fee will be added to your first reservation.
During Prime-Season, a minimum two-night stay of Friday and Saturday night is required for weekend reservations. During Prime-Season, a minimum three-night stay of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night is required for holiday weekend reservations (Memorial Day and Labor Day). There is no minimum stay Sunday-Thursday, and during the mid and off-seasons.
Reservations must be guaranteed with a security deposit equal to half your stay. Security deposits will be taken at the time the reservation is made.
Cancellations must be made at least 10 days before your scheduled arrival. A cancellation / rebooking fee of $20 will apply to all cancellations. However, the fee will be waived if you cancel at least 10 days before your scheduled arrival and opt to apply your refund to a future reservation within 6-months. No refunds will be given for cancellations made within 10 days before your reservation. However, the deposit minus the cancellation / rebooking fee can be used on a future reservation within a 6-month period.
No refunds will be given for early departures.
Check-in / Check-out
If you need to reserve a tent space, cabin, or RV space, you may do so online, by phone, or at the registration desk in the main lodge.
If you have reserved a tent, cabin, or RV space or if you are attending a weekend or week event or gathering, you should check in at the registration desk during our regular desk hours.
Check-in times for tent sites and RV spaces is 1pm; Check-out time for these is 12 noon.
Check-in time for cabins and the bunk house is 2pm; Check-out time for cabins and the bunk house is 11am.
You may check in any time after check-in time, but generally not before. If you arrive after the registration desk has closed, self-check-in options might be available. If you know or expect that you will be arriving after our regular desk hours, we will try to accommodate you. The more advance notice we have, the more likely we will be able to make arrangements for late arrivals.
Outside Groups, Conferences, and Gatherings
We encourage outside LGBTQ, Pagan, Men’s, and other groups to host retreats, conferences and gatherings at Olympus. During prime season, these events are usually held on weekdays (Monday through Thursday), as we have special themed weekends throughout the summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day. During the mid and off seasons, retreats, conferences, and gatherings may take place on a weekday or weekend depending on availability and other scheduled events.
All attendees must be an existing member or purchase a membership prior to the event. We offer an inexpensive one-time membership effective for 10 days that you can easily add to the registration cost for those attending your event.
Costs to outside groups is determined by the number of memberships needed, the cost of overnight accommodations for your guests, and any meal plans purchased. Group rates might be available to groups with more than 30 attendees.
Meal plans are offered through our dining provider.
During your event, you are welcome to reserve available outdoor meeting spaces, stages, and shelters within the campground / resort for workshops and activities at no additional cost.
Off-Season and Mid-Season Camping
While our most popular time of year for events and camping is the summer, our cabins and bunk house are heated so we accept reservations for these as well as our RV sites in the mid-season and off-season. We allow tent camping during the mid-season, but not during the off-season. If you’re looking for a winter get-away or to host an off-season event, we hope you’ll consider us.
Depending on the weather, be sure to pack heavy blankets or sleeping bags and warm clothes. While the cabins and bunk house are heated and can be quite cozy, they can get cold when the temperatures dip.
Not all facilities are open in the winter and some may only be open limited hours.
Our Prime season runs from May 1 – September 31. Mid-Season runs from October 1 until December 31, and from March 1-April 30; and Off-Season runs from January 1 until February 28.
A camp store stocked with convenience items is located at the main registration desk. The store stocks bottled drinks and prepackaged snacks, hygiene products, first aid items, bug spray and sunscreen, batteries, charcoal, firewood, and common camping accessories. We also stock t-shirts and other promotional / gift items related to the Olympus Campground and Resort.
Quiet hours will be in effect in the campground areas between the hours 10pm and 7am Sunday through Thursday; and midnight and 7am Friday and Saturday nights.
Outdoor concerts and other events that might generate noise should take place before quiet hours.
Olympus is a clothing-optional resort. No one is required to be nude. Nudity is allowed in designated areas. Nudity is not allowed at the gatehouse, or any areas visible or within view of the public outside and not affiliated with the resort.
As a courtesy to others, those enjoying the nude experience should always carry a towel and place the towel down on any area where they sit. They may also use the towel to cover up should other non-resort persons enter the resort (example: utility meter readers).
Public sex is not allowed in the resort, though folks are welcome to take their escapades back to their tent, cabin, or RV. While a large majority of resort members are sexually open-minded, we do have some more reserved members, as well as outside contractors and workers who sometimes have work or business to do in the resort.
Hot Tub / Sauna
Please shower with soap and water before entering the hot tub or sauna.
No glass of any kind is permitted in or around any of these areas.
Drinking alcohol is fine so long as you are over the age of 21 and so long as you do not get out of hand. Individuals who become a problem will be asked to leave. Multiple warnings may result in your membership being revoked without refund.
For your safety and in consideration of others, please do not use the pool, hot tub, or sauna if you are more than slightly intoxicated.
Olympus is largely a smoking free resort. This includes vaping and similar practices. Smoking is permitted in designated areas near the main lodge and recreation center. Smoking is not permitted in cabins, at tent sites, or on nature trails as they have the potential to start a fire if they come into contact with dry leaves or brush. We also don’t want the cabins to smell of cigarette smoke.
If you smoke, please dispose of your ashes and cigarette butts in designated ash and butt cans.
Ceremonial smoking associated with specific spiritual practices (such as smoking peace pipes) may be allowed as part of specific activities or workshops, but must be approved by the Olympus management. The same goes for smudging and censing with incense. We are open to this type of practice, but wish to minimize our risk of fire.
Illegal drugs are not allowed on the Olympus property. If you have a special permit to use specific drugs for medical or ceremonial purposes, please seek approval in advance of your visit so that we may consult with our legal counsel.
Fire is only allowed in designated fire rings and fire pits; and in the fire circle area(s).
Personal grills and fire bowls are also allowed so long as you use them responsibly. A 12 foot or larger diameter around the fire source should be cleared of leaves, brush, and other flammable items. A bucket of water or fire extinguisher should also be kept on hand.
Pets are discouraged, but not entirely prohibited. Pets are not allowed inside any of the buildings or facilities including the bunkhouse, bathhouse, and cabins. Exceptions will be made for seeing eye-dogs and other service animals. Owners are solely responsible for their pets, including picking up their waste.
Pets must be on a leash at all times and owners must pick up their poop!
Pets (and their owners) will be asked to leave if they become a nuisance with behaviors such as excessive barking, destruction of property, aggressive behaviors, or not cleaning up their waste.
There is a pet fee of $15 per pet per night.
Photography and video are allowed, but you must get the consent of every person framed within the photo and video including any background people in order to use or keep. Any photos containing nudity should not be posted to social media or other means of mass distribution.
Photos should be taken for personal use. Any photos or videos taken on premises for professional or commercial use should be approved by the management in advance.
Foraging and Destruction of Natural Resources
Foraging for firewood is not allowed. We offer firewood and charcoal for sale in the convenience store. You are also welcome to purchase treated firewood from the store of your choice. Please do not cut, destroy, or mutilate trees, bushes, and plants in the campground for firewood or any other purpose regardless of whether they are alive or dead. Please do not bring untreated firewood from off-site as these may bring bugs and other pests not native to this habitat.
Please dispose of trash in proper trash receptacles. If you are camping or staying in a cabin or other overnight site, please remove all trash and debris from your site and take it to the main dumpster before you check-out.
During your stay, please remember that food and food debris have the potential to attract wild animals to your campsite. Please do not feed the wild animals as it encourages them to expect food from campers.
Firearms and Weapons
Firearms are not permitted at any time.
Ceremonial weapons such as swords and athames are permitted provided they are used for ceremonial purposes.
Pocket knives and other such tools are also acceptable.
Parking is in the main parking lot near the main lodge only. Automobiles are not permitted in the campground / resort.
RV’s and campers should reserve an RV spot and park in the RV area.
We offer wagons and carts to make it easier for you to haul items to your campsite.
If you have a medical condition or disability that makes walking difficult, please let us know before your arrival and we will attempt to locate you at a convenient site closer to the parking lot or to make other accommodations.
This is an abridged summary of steps necessary for the creation of the Olympus Campground Resort, and our current progress toward attaining these goals. For a detailed checklist of milestones and tasks required for their completion, please see the Business Plan (available to potential investors upon request).
Current stage of progress:
Initial Research and Development
We are currently in the research and development phase. Mel has taken a few small business courses from Tidewater Community College and is currently taking online courses related to starting a business and small business funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and through Lynda.com.
Online research into similar LGBTQ, Pagan, and other campgrounds was completed in the Fall of 2016. Mel has previously visited Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary in Artemis, PA; Wisteria Campground in Pomeroy, OH; and Big Bear Family Campground in Windsor, VA. Mel is also looking to visit Thor's Hollow in Cross Junction, VA and to visit an LGBTQ specific campground or two in PA and / or WV. Mel has attended gatherings such as the Earthweaver's Festival; Cophi Nia Gathering for Gay and Bi Pagan Men; and Between the Worlds Gathering for Gay and Bi Pagan Men.
An initial business plan has been completed as of February 2017. The plan has been revised to a simpler and less expensive "bare bones plan" as of July 2018. The newer plan will be easier and cheaper to implement. This will continue to be tweaked throughout each stage of development.
A website for the campground resort was created in May 2017. This will be used to generate interest among potential investors and customers. Some intermediate events including fundraisers and gatherings will be promoted on the site to cultivate interest.
After the initial research and development stage, the remaining stages have been broken into milestones. Milestones allow each stage to be broken into manageable action steps, and for each stage to mark completion with the attainment of a tangible goal.
Milestone #1: Land Purchase
This phase will be marked by the purchase of a suitable parcel of land to create the campground resort. A number of counties in central Virginia will be researched and visited to determine an appropriate location. A second partner will be sought who is interested in co-founding and co-managing the business. The land itself will be purchased by the owner(s) who will secure personal loans or other means to purchase the land. Initial land preparation measures such as clearing, drilling a well, and installing a septic tank may take place at this stage.
Milestone #2: Incorporation
After the land is purchased, Olympus Campground Resort will incorporate, secure a business license, establish a bank account, and take other actions necessary to become a business.
Milestone #3: Reach Fundraising Goals
Once the land has been purchased and the business incorporated, funds will be needed to establish initial buildings and land features, and to market the campground and its events.
Fundraising efforts may include seeking small business loans and grants; selling shares in the business; crowdfunding; soliciting donors; hosting fundraising events; and selling charter memberships to the campground resort. Once the resort is within 6-months of the grand opening, we will begin taking reservations for camping, special event weekends, gatherings, and outside group events.
If we should decide to sell stock, a financial advisor will be consulted to determine the best way to sell stock and distribute dividends. Stock prices will be set at this stage.
To find out how you can help, please visit our Investor page.
Milestone #4: Buildings and Grounds
With funds in hand, initial buildings and land features will be constructed. Essential buildings will include a gate house, bath house, and dining pavilion. In addition to a well and septic tank, essential land features will include a gravel parking lot; some cleared campsites; a small number of RV spaces; one or two outdoor stage areas; a fire circle; and a handful of sleeper cabins. Additional buildings and land features that are not essential at first, but highly desired, include a main lodge with restaurant, a recreation building with a snack bar; a pool; a couple of bunkhouses, and a handful of deluxe cabins. Desired recreational facilities include a pool, sauna, hot tub, and recreational field.
Milestone #5: Grand Opening
A grand opening will take place at the start of the camping season in the spring. By that time, the buildings and grounds should be mostly in place and furnished (some buildings and land features can be added later); reservation, security, payment and other systems should be in place; a food vendor should be contracted; staff should be hired and trained; the first season of events should be planned; marketing and promotions should have been done; memberships and reservations should be taken.
An opening festival with prizes and giveaways will take place.
Milestone #6: Turn a a Profit and Pay off Investors
This milestone only applies if we decide to sell stocks in the company. It is hoped that the campground resort will start turning a profit within the first couple of years of operation. Once the business becomes self-sustaining and profits are made, the business will begin to pay investors their dividends on a set schedule. Within 10 years of opening, it is hoped that the business owners will be able to buy back the remaining shares in the business from the shareholders.
Mel has a B.S. in Sociology and an A.A.S. in Computer Electronics Technology. Additionally, he has taken some small business classes and Small Business Administration courses. Mel currently works as an archivist at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
Mel was born in Newport News, Virginia, but grew up in the rural parts of western Virginia. When Mel was five years old, his father, inspired by the movie “The Wilderness Family”, purchased land in Patrick County, Virginia and built a log cabin. His family lived in the log cabin without electricity or running water on a dirt road miles from the main road for three years. After that his family moved back to modern “civilization” in the next county. Mel spent the rest of his childhood and adolescence in a rural town in Virginia. He spent his free time hiking through the woods, climbing trees, running up and down creeks, and being close to nature.
Mel returned to the Hampton Roads area when he started college at Old Dominion University in the late 1980s. Mel came out in his second semester at college and was an active member (and later president of) the Gay and Lesbian Student Union on campus. With the exception of a couple of years living in Roanoke, Virginia in the late 1990s, Mel has lived in Hampton Roads ever since.
In the early 2000s, Mel became involved in Paganism. His Pagan interests include Druidry, Hellenism, and Norse Paganism. Since that time he has been instrumental in coordinating a number of men’s retreats at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. He has also attended other men’s retreats such as Coph Nia: A Spiritual Retreat for Gay and Bi Pagan Men that was held for a couple of years at Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary in Artemis, PA. Mel also runs a podcast for gay and bi Pagan men, and founded a media site for LGBTQ folks, Pagans, and other alternative communities in Hampton Roads.
Mel has always felt an ambivalence about living in the city. He is very inspired by nature, but being gay has traditionally been easier living in a city where there is an established LGBTQ community.
The idea of establishing a positive LGBTQ affirming community in rural Virginia is not a new idea. It has been Mel’s dream to own and operate some kind of men’s campground since around 1998. Originally Mel looked into the possibility of intentional communities. He also considered the possibility of running a men’s fitness spa should he remain in the city. While taking business classes at Tidewater Community College around 2010, Mel created business and marketing plans with the idea of a men’s campground or men’s fitness spa in mind.
In 2016, Mel decided to take hold of his dream to create a men’s campground resort. He researched other campgrounds and realized such a plan is plausible. The biggest obstacle is the startup funding required to purchase the land and buildings.
For more information on Mel, please visit his podcast site at www.melmystery.com
Olympus Campground and Resort will be a private, alternative, adults-only membership-based campground and resort in Central / Eastern Virginia.
The campground will operate similar to a number of existing LGBTQ campgrounds that cater primarily to gay and bi men. However, the primary audiences and event themes of the Olympus campground will be expanded to include the greater LGBTQ community, Pagans, and other alternative communities. Secondary markets may include fetish communities, polyamorous folks, sci-fi / fantasy groups, and so on. There will be a special focus on Queer and Pagan men, and men involved in the mythopoetic men's movement.
Events will include themed weekends and conferences coordinated by the resort itself, as well as conferences and gatherings hosted by outside groups. Events will mainly cater to our primary and secondary audiences. Live concerts and other special events will also take place.
The campground resort will feature tent campsites, cabins, and RV sites. Initial buildings will include a gate house, bath house, and dining pavilion. Later buildings may include a main lodge and restaurant, a recreation building, and bunk houses. Other recreational features may include a pool, sauna, hot tub, and recreation field. An outside food vendor will be contracted to offer meal plans to campers and conferences. Stages and fire circles will be set throughout the campground for special events.
Overall, the resort will have a Greco-Roman theme. A separate, but interdependent, Hellenic Temple open to Hellenists and Pagans will likely be built on an adjacent property. If so, this temple may offer community events such as solar and lunar observances, workshops, and classes.
A comprehensive business plan is available upon request to potential investors.
A non-disclosure form must be signed to view this document.
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