Monday, August 6, 2007

East Coast Polycamp

My partner, T, and I ended our move week by going to east coast polycamp for the weekend. This was the ninth year this event has been held at Yokum's Indian Village Campground at Seneca Rocks, West Virginia. It was so wonderful to see my polycamp poly friends. It's a sort of "Same time next year" gathering and family friendly. Polyfolk from Massachusetts to North Carolina brought their kids and we had potluck dinner cookouts in the picnic pavilion.

During the day people get together and go hiking, horseback riding, canoeing (water levels withstanding) and caving if we have an experienced caver present to lead and see to safety issues. On Saturday several of us went over to the lovely Seneca Rocks Discovery Center and heard a traditional bluegrass group perform. To my delight, they included Rocky Top in their set, which warmed this Tennessee girl's heart.

We also had a very nice adult group discussion on polyamory and relationship issues. That was a nice mix of experienced polys and poly newbies looking for all the info and support they can get - good for them.

This particular polycamp was blessed with an abundance of variety in terms of those with whom we shared the campground. On Friday night a group of Mennonites held an open air revival in one of the pavilions, which was probably the quietest revival I've ever witnessed, and being a southern girl, I've witnessed a few. In an ironic turn of events, on Saturday PETE' Fest was held, featuring "WV and VA's hottest Metal/Punk/ and Alt. Rock bands." Thank goodness we were camped at the opposite end of the campground, which made the sound level bearable. Some in our group weren't so well situated. This event went on from 4PM to midnight. Surely the wildest screams ever heard at Seneca Rocks took place on Saturday. We sat around the campfire Saturday night with heavy metal music in the background, and T's kids and our friends B and S decided that the screams were coming from the "Yokum yeti". It was a hilarious! And last but not least, there were lots of bikers around in anticipation of a huge bike rally that starts today in Canaan Valley about 20 miles away, so lots of bikers were staying in the cabins and motel.

Next year will be our tenth anniversary, so I imagine a lot more planning and promoting will take place as we try to make it the biggest and best east coast polycamp yet.

For those out west, there is a wonderful west coast polycamp held in the Seattle area this next weekend, August 10-12, 2007.

Oddly enough, our drive up to polycamp began by our witnessing a serious traffic accident which happened right in front of us - had we been two cars ahead, we'd have been hit head on instead of the unfortunate fellow who was. T and I jumped out of the car and ran to assist the injured. I have recently updated my CPR/First Aid training and was prepared to offer that kind of help, but it wasn't needed.

Both vehicles had only one occupant, and both had on seatbelts and their air bags had deployed. As a result, both were conscious and talking and seemed to have only minor injuries, despite the serious nature of the accident. T called 911 and we stuck around to comfort the injured until help arrived and to give a witness statement.

The man who caused the accident by crossing the center line appeared to me to be impaired, though I didn't smell alcohol on him. But the police removed an almost empty bottle of vodka from the vehicle, which certainly told the tale. Since T's teenagers, ages 15 and 17, were with us, it was a very graphic lesson on the perils of drinking and driving, one they both seemed to take quite seriously. They're both good kids, but such an experience still helps to bring home the point.


Quintus said...

Thank you so much for mentioning our Polycamp out on the West Coast... I wanted to mention that we are still around and that the event is bigger and better than ever!!! So many exciting activities, classes, workshops, & entertainment this year... :) Thanks again, and we love seeing that our community is growing back East as well...

Anita Wagner said...

Thanks for writing, Quintus. Actually the east coast polycamp, though not nearly so large and well organized as the west coast version, has been a casual family-friendly weekend that has taken place every year for more than ten years now.

I've often thought it would be fun to come out to Seattle for this event - maybe I'll actually make it happen some day.

Stay tuned for a big announcement soon - Loving More Nonprofit is making plans to hold a Poly Living West hotel con some time in October of this year in the Seattle area. (I'm one of their board members.)