A B O U T W I T C H C A M P
C A M P A C T I V I T I E S
Camp is an intensive, immersive experience of community, nature, and transformational magic. Anywhere from 60 to 100 people, some new to camp (and perhaps to magical practices altogether), some who trace their participation back to the camp’s founding, spend a week together engaging in all manner of sacred drama, mystical adventure, earth worship, and wildly powerful personal and communal growth.
A typical day includes a two-hour “path” session after breakfast. Path is your course of study and continues consecutively each day. After lunch, campers meet in small affinity groups to share their camp experiences and/or enjoy other bonding activities. The rest of the afternoon is free time for lake play, optional offerings, napping, volunteering, etc.
Most evenings there is a powerful ritual for the whole camp community, led by the teaching team with participation from campers. This ritual reflects and builds on the camp intention and story, and each follows, thematically, the one before it, creating an arc over the week. Ritual may include deep trance, sacred theatre, storytelling, spellweaving, movement, emotional intensity, and of course the raising and release of energy.
Much more than this happens at camp! Below you will read about the Temple, the Marketplace, the Talent Show, and more. Nothing is compulsory—a central tenet of camp is “you are your own authority.” We add to that, “…in community.” People considering attending camp should also know that at camp, magic has political intention, aimed at dismantling all systems of oppression and restoring reverence for nature as the centre of all we humans do.
L O C A T I O N
Evans Lake Forestry Education Centre is brimming with magic, nestled in the aptly-named Paradise Valley. The camp’s heart is the tranquil lake which generously provides swimming, canoeing, paddle boarding, and ritual dips. There is an iconic willow tree, mossy rainforest, trails in the woods, a big field for spiral dances, ritual, and hanging out, and a ring of majestic mountains all round.
A large recreation hall provides space for indoor ritual, meetings, and our talent show, dance and other gatherings. The food hall offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The camp is an hour and a half drive from Vancouver, 15 kilometres north of Squamish BC. Click here for a map.
T R A N S P O R T A T I O N T O C A M P
Carpooling to camp is highly recommended, because of limited parking, to lessen the impact of cars on the environment, and because it’s a great way to build community. This year we are setting up a new on-line ride-sharing system which we plan to have operational by July; we’ll let all registrants know.
A C C O M M O D A T I O N
The cabins have bunk beds and sleep eight to 12 people. They are electrically heated. Campers must bring their own sleeping bag or sheets, pillows, and blankets. Toilets, sinks and hot showers are in a separate building. Our washrooms and cabins have no gender designation.
There is tenting space in the woods for people who want privacy and/or a deeper connection with the forest. The registration fee is the same as for cabins. Space is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Campers are welcome, upon arrival, to organize and negotiate sharing cabin space with other campers to meet their needs. Please use a top bunk if you can, and offer bottom bunks to people with mobility limitations. One cabin will be dedicated as 100% scent-free (it is a camp goal to be 100% scent free everywhere; but we may not be there yet).
M E A L S
Three delicious meals are served daily in the dining hall with vegetarian and some meat options. The Evans Lake kitchen offers non-dairy and wheat-free meals for those who require it and will be responsive to allergies and other issues; however, please know that it is not possible for the kitchen staff or within our budget to meet every dietary requirement. For severely restricted diets, please consider bringing supplements. There is no fridge space nor any cooking facilities guaranteed for campers. Please complete the “food” section on the registration form.
Also, it is important to note that the cost of preparing all the varieties of special meals is the primary driver for increased costs and resulting increased camper fees. When considering selecting special diets, please make your selections based on physical need rather than preference. In this context, a vegetarian diet that includes eggs and dairy is not considered a special diet.
A C C E S S I B I L I T Y
The BCWC community is committed to working hard, being creative, and continuously learning in order to make our camp fully accessible to all people. We work within limitations of budget, geography, infrastructure, and the challenge of balancing differing needs. This is a nature camp with hilly terrain and other barriers. If you are concerned about physically managing camp, email us for more information, including photos.
We are a scent-free camp. Scents and perfumes cause life-threatening reactions for some members of our community. We ask ALL campers to not bring any scented products to camp, and to phase out use of scented products in the weeks leading up to camp. If you need essential oils for genuine medical reasons, get in touch with us and we will discuss options.
We recognize how complex it is to create a truly accessible space. This topic is essential to our magic and is one we will continue to discuss, keep emergent and reconfigure based on our various individual and collective needs. Like all community spaces and gatherings, we are in this together; let’s do this work together too!
D I V E R S I T Y A N D E Q U A L I T Y
We honour the diversity in all people and welcome all races, sexual orientations, genders, and differences of life situation, background, identity, and ability. BC Witchcampers are learning about the ways systemic oppression manifests not just in the world but in our own community, and we are embracing change in our practices to serve our goal of dismantling all forms of oppression.
Ongoing work at camp and throughout the year, such as 2017’s workshop led by members of the BCWC Liberation Working Group, have brought energy and magical intention to the ways camp supports and doesn’t support diversity, and how it can grow and evolve. This work belongs to the whole camp community and is ongoing. We invite all campers to consider ways they can contribute.
We accept adults 19 and older; exceptions are occasionally made for mature teens (16-18) with written permission from parents or guardians. We cannot accommodate children at this time.
M A R K E T P L A C E
Our vibrant and colourful market reflects the creativity of our community and provides a lively meeting place. You must be a registered camper to be a vendor. Vendors contribute 13% of all sales and services to our Financial Assistance Fund. Also, we have The Witches’ Funk Trunk Boutique, a very cool and funky place to shop. Donations of used-but-good ritual wear, costumes, and accessories for the Funk Trunk are welcome.
As well, campers can offer body work and healing, divination, and other services, also with 13% tithed to our Financial Assistance Fund.
Please indicate when you register if you wish to be a vendor of wares or services. You are welcome to promote your products and services inside the Marketplace and on designated areas outside the dining hall. We ask that you refrain from making promotional announcements in other spaces.
O P T I O N A L O F F E R I N G S
Aside from the formal camp offerings of paths, rituals, affinity groups and a few meetings, all campers are very welcome to offer activities of any kind—yoga, chanting, crafts, boy band worship, discussions, workshops, skills-sharing, and much, much more. There will be a sign-up sheet outside the dining hall where you can enter your optional offering into the schedule and post information.
T H E T E M P L E A N D S E X U A L I T Y
BCWC includes a sacred space for opening to beauty and delight—the Temple. This space can be reserved by individuals or groups seeking privacy, and it also hosts facilitated workshops, events and optional offerings.
Camp is a sex-positive culture. This means we affirm and celebrate sexuality’s role in our collective magic and healing, and we honour everyone’s right to define their own relationship to their body and sex. Sex positivity is a spell working to weave together visions of healing, desire, autonomy, respect, choice, reciprocity and presence. What sex-positivity looks like is different for different people, and different at different times, and it doesn’t mean anyone has to have sex or want sex.
We believe everyone has the right to sexuality without violence or shame, and that sexuality begins with consent. Only yes means yes, and yes should come from an enthusiastic and engaged partner. The honouring of others’ boundaries is essential at camp. BCWC is working towards a code of conduct to provide a framework for dealing with concerns.
F A B S W A G !
You can pre-order t-shirts, water bottles and other items so that you have something to bring home to remind you of camp. These sales are also a form of fundraising and support scholarships. This year, we have sourced products we believe are good quality, and at this very moment long-term camper and student teacher Moss is working on artwork, based on this year’s potent intention, which will decorate these items.
A very limited number of t-shirts and other ‘swag’ will be available to purchase at camp, but you’ll get a better price, and certainty, if you order when you register (also it works out better for our fundraising). See the registration form for more detail.
N U D I T Y
Yes. However, not in the dining hall or near to where staff resides.
S M O K I N G
Smoking is permitted only in the smokers’ tent, with these limitations: no smoking 15 minutes prior to or after any ritual that is on the field; also, smoking is prohibited while path is in session near the dining hall and/or the willow tree. This is a new policy based on extensive feedback and discussion.
We recognize that this may be difficult for smokers. We highly appreciate everyone’s cooperation to ensure camp is fully accessible, and that the magnificent forest is protected from the very high risk of forest fire.
C E L L P H O N E S & I N T E R N E T
There is limited cell phone reception and no WiFi at camp. The use of cell phones is limited to designated areas only (outside the staff cabins; in the parking lot). Please honour this. For many campers, the retreat from technology deepens the power of camp.
P R E R E Q U I S I T E S F O R C A M P
Please notice that the path descriptions include skill level and prerequisite information. If you are new to the Reclaiming Tradition or to witchcraft in general, know that you are welcome at BCWC. Know also that your experience at camp will be greatly enriched by some preparation before camp. Consider reading The Spiral Dance by Starhawk, or visiting and reading the content at www.reclaiming.org.
C O N T A C T U S
BC Witchcamp is organized each year by a five person volunteer team known as “the Org,” with lots of help from campers. Contact us at email@example.com. Phone calls can be arranged via email.