August ‘21 Queer Campout Report

Thank you for making Queer Campout such a great success this year! We want to share the feedback we got from the Sunday morning planning session (8/15) and post-event survey. Here’s what we learned…

What went well

The majority of folks shared that the main motivation in coming to Queer Campout was to connect with other queer folks…and we feel like this was a success! Folks had the opportunity to see old friends and make new ones.

For us organizers, having folks pre-register was a huge help, as was having volunteers sign up in advance. We’ll definitely do that again for future campouts.

The gate greeters were a huge success! Folks felt welcomed and that helped set the tone for the weekend.

The community fire we had on Saturday night was a hit as well. We may start doing one on Friday as well. 

Campsites were left in great shape! Y’all did an excellent job disposing of trash and taking all your stuff with you. We didn’t have a lost and found box to bring back with us.

No one had an encounter with the mamma bear and cub that were reported to be in the area—phew!

The weather was beautiful! 

Folks enjoyed the privacy of the campground and being surrounded by trees (though more shade would be nice.)

Your donations helped cover the cost of this event and then some! We have enough left over to buy some much-needed equipment and to cover the campground rental fee for the next event. 

What we can improve or do more of

Folks felt that 4-hour work shifts were way too long, and we agree! In the future, work shifts will be 1-2 hours long, and for some positions we’ll have two folks working together. We’ll also have thorough descriptions of what each position entails, what tasks need to get done when (e.g. we need someone to safely store away the shared food in the Community Pavilion every night).

We had a ton of leftover firewood, and shared food and water. None of it went to waste though! The food and water were donated to the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, and the firewood was left behind for the next group of campers. Nonetheless, we’ll try to coordinate so that we have fewer leftovers at the next event.

We’ll adjust the quiet hours so that folks in Rowdy Town can stay up making noise later, and sleep in the next morning.

Several folks asked for more structured activities planned ahead of time to provide opportunities for folks to meet and interact with each other. Some proposed ideas include hikes, potlucks, yoga, and specific get-to-know-you activities; as well as ways to integrate folks who may be camping alone, are shy, introverted, new to queer community or camping, etc.

We’ll be better prepared for handling emergencies—we’ll develop a plan for what to do in different severity scenarios, from minor scrapes to major injuries, and how to avoid attracting bears and other wildlife. 

We want to find ways to streamline the registration process—how do we make it easy and accessible while also thorough and secure?

Now that we’re more used to living in a pandemic, we’ll be better able to begin organizing earlier and more efficiently (with a shared calendar, leadership roles and assignments, etc.)

Thank you for making August ‘21 Queer Campout a success!

Do you want to help organize future campouts or volunteer during a camping weekend? Fill out this form: https://forms.gle/Loxham4pPYGcuRqHA

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