2018 Season Announcement
A personal note from Benefitz:
In the summer leading up to camp, a close family member went through some personal health challenges with a chronic condition which, 10 days before camp, escalated to a point of urgency where I needed to go visit with my family halfway across the country. Immediately after camp, I packed everything into storage and left grad school and Brooklyn altogether to join them again... and I have been care-giving full-time since.
My family and I are now on the west coast making slow but hopeful progress. We have our needs met and our care team well stacked. Please imagine us all as healthy and thriving, and strong, celebrating a full recovery. And yes, feel free to send loving, healing, joyful light our way. While they are often insufficient in today’s world, in this case, I’m literally inviting your thoughts and prayers.
I now feel a longing that defies words for the community we started to build together last summer, and I cannot imagine this summer without another go ‘round; but I thought you should know that I’ve been deeply inwardly facing and that is why I have been relatively radio silent. I dearly wish it were different and I’m excited to emerge.
NEW FOR 2018 - we got great feedback from staff and campers alike. We put this into action with the following adjustments and much, much more!
CHILL TIME - camp will have a more relaxed schedule. We were rather eager the first year to make a diverse and generous offering and it may have been a little zealous. A campfire on the beach was good… two campfires in two different places, one right after the other was, maybe, a lot. One way we’re addressing this is by extending camp overall… There will be plenty of options all day and night, and plenty of space to expand and relax as well. We’ll still have late night play-shops too - seems we liked those. (Prospex can sleep when he gets home.)
STRUCTURAL IMPROVEMENTS - we made several requests about Timber Trails infrastructure after this first year and our hosts, Friends of Dance New England, are really going to bat for us. In addition to other improvements, we will have electricity on the main field so we can run more programming in a more centralized place, and cabins and other facilities will receive upgrades.
MA'S BASEMENT - Ma’s will have a new home on the main field! That means some evening flying trapeze, centralized music, and no more long walks in the dark - unless you want one; in which case, go for a long walk in the dark. See if we care. (We do.)
PAPARAZZI - like the schedule, we may have gotten a little eager with the docu-tech. We believe it was worth it to get the photo and video we got - we can’t grow camp without proof that we exist! We’ll still be sure to witness some special moments with our tech and share them with you, and we’ll also endeavor to be less visible and audible with cameras. In addition, we’ll make sure everyone is aware of and prepped for the all-camp-photo.
FEED ME, SEYMOUR - we heard some of you craved more flesh for food. Okay! We’ll prepare and serve more high-quality meat in addition to plenty of organic, local veggies of course. July in the Pioneer Valley will offer an abundance of edible plants the likes of which will go down in the annals of camp-foodie magazines the world over.
CAMPUS SAFETY - we are still committed to creating an environment at Camp Wonderful that feels safe and inclusive. To that end, we will publish and post our anti-harassment policy and behavior expectations and have clear protocols for anyone that has a comment, complaint, or compliment.
SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES - camp is a community endeavor and we believe participation is a key access point for a true experience of belonging. We also believe in sharing rather than hiding what it really takes to make it happen. Several campers raved about the kitchen dishwasher dance party and one camper actually reported that sweeping and resetting the dining hall after the dance was a highlight of camp. Beautiful. Let’s do more of that! This year, we’ll invite you to contribute to some kind of production, logistics, maintenance, and/or other aspects of making it all work and we’ll include a questionnaire in the registration process to help you choose how you’d like to participate. For example, we’ll ask you to join the team that puts the dance together, breaks down the barbecue, builds a campfire, or checks and fills the hydration stations.*
DEMOCRACY, WOW! - these are just a few specific updates that come to mind right now. In addition, we will schedule at least one pre-camp virtual town hall meeting about a month or so before camp. If you’re registered for camp, you’ll be invited. We’ll reveal more of the new plans at that time and we’ll ask for your input too!
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT GETTIN’ YOUR FRIENDS TO CAMP! - Please send your pals our way. We know camp will be full of the most wonderful campers and staffers because our community will grow through you. And we will happily reward your referrals with camp swag like limited edition hoodies (custom silk-screened Alternative Apparel), beanies, mugs, music, credits at Ma’s Basement, and more!
Camp now offers three nights, four days, and unlimited stars - you, among them!