So I went to MidWest Camp out at Diana's Grove, and I'm back, and my report is, basically, that I thought it was great and I had a lovely time. I haven't taught at a full-week witchcamp in probably about 10 years, and I've never been to the MidWest camp. I thought it might be a good time to come back in, and I thought it might be a good idea to teach someplace closer to home, and the Dreamweavers hired me for MidWest, and so I went. And I loved it.
I had NOT been cheerful about the story line we were working with -- the Ring Cycle?! Were the Dreamweavers nuts?!
Well, no. What was problematic about the story line -- the infinite versions, the messiness, the seemingly totally retro value system -- all worked to make this what was one of the most powerful storylines I've every worked with. We focused on creation of alternate stories, on reinvention, on fluidity, on just plain walking out of a problematic story and creating a different ending. Lovely.
Also Diana's Grove is a real treat -- this is the first time I've worked in a place dedicated so thoroughly to mystical work, always, all the time, every day, and that makes a PROFOUND difference to the energy. (I've certainly worked in places which were, as venues, dedicated to realities compatible with mine, and that's better than working in rented Boy Scout camps; nevertheless, Diana's Grove is specifically empowered Wiccan. Very powerful.) Also, the dog rescue piece of the doings there has now changed my life -- I fell in love with a couple of the dogs, and they'll be arriving on Sunday, to live over at The Beloved's.
There had been glitches, though, in realms I have nothing to do with, and the result was that instead of about 60 campers there were about 15. Other than the obvious monetary impact this had, this had a major impact on the structure of the camp -- instead of the three teaching tracks, we ended up folding everything together. And this meant that, though everybody got to work with all the teachers and nobody had to decide what they WEREN'T going to do, if people had been focused on one track, and completely uninterested in the others, they still had to put up with all of us.
So there were problems for a while whilst things got sorted out. But I think that the smaller number of campers meant that we were able to work much more deeply, in a much more coherent fashion, than I've been able to do at a witchcamp before.
In the years since we invented witchcamps, they've proliferated. I used to wonder when the growth would start collapsing -- it seemed to me that there would be a point at which giant witchcamps going on for a week at a time would no longer be financially viable -- that the structures would naturally start to shift.
I've greatly enjoyed long-weekend intensives, over the 25 years I've been teaching witchcraft, for instance. They're smaller, easier to organize, less expensive, and the work can be deeper (though the high one gets with a circle of 70 people is of course very different). So I'm in favor of that.
And the camper-created structure makes sense to me, too.
In the meantime, though, I'm still willing to teach at regular camps, if they make sense to me. Or weekend intensives, if they make sense to me. Or facilitate at camper-created camps, if they makes sense to me. I'm not dedicated to one form or another. I like for things to shift and change. In a reasonable fashion.
On the other hand, now that I think of it, the Ring Cycle did NOT seem reasonable to me, but I adored it by the end of the week, and got an enormous amount of personal work done. So clearly, I should have an even more open mind than I've managed to create so far.