Would people be interested in a big gathering?

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Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  ravenkaldera on Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:47 pm

I'm turning around the idea of running a large gathering, ideally at a campground with both cabins and tenting in the MD area (where I happen to be sitting right now), perhaps during the fall of next year. While there are Heathen events like the Things and so forth, there aren't any large regional events for NT Pagans and just general Pagans who want to concentrate on Norse stuff for a weekend. Especially mystic-friendly, queer-friendly, all-Gods-friendly events.

I'm thinking of a gathering that would have a number of "tracks" - concentrations where small groups of people could work together for a day or two, plus periods of random workshops on various subjects, plus rituals, etc. Already had someone volunteer to help run a Loki track, a concentration on working with sacred trickster energy.

But the big problem is numbers. Unless I got at least 120 pre-registrants I couldn't pull it off. Who would go? How many people do you know whowould go? Who'd love to be on staff and help out? How far would people travel for such a thing? What's the upper limit that people would pay for a four-day weekend? I need to get a feel for whether my demographic can financially support such an undertaking. Sadly, most of the NT Pagans I know are unemployed andor disabled. So let me know what you think...

-Raven Kaldera

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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  Shawn Cameron on Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:27 am

Honestly it would strongly depend on the when and where but I would defiantly make a great effort to make it to such an event. though I am just one person you could count me in.
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Post  OuttaThisPlace on Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:24 am

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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  Darkamber on Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:08 am

I'd be interested in coming over from Norway for such an event.
A campground with cabins would be brilliant, since there's a limit to how much camping gear I could bring by plane.
How much would such an event cost to join? It's easier to say either "yes" or "too much" than name a price, since I have no idea what it would cost to arrange such an event in the first place. Smile
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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  Lokabrenna on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:18 pm

I assume you mean the state of Maryland? That's a 10h+ drive from Montreal, but I'd almost certainly make it. Maybe I could get 1 to 3 people with me, depending on costs. My folks either don't have a lot of money, or would have difficulty taking the time off. But it would be very cool.
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Post  OuttaThisPlace on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:00 pm

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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  Lokabrenna on Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:33 am

Yes Jalkr, that seems to be the most direct route. But Albany is like an hour out from the highway.

My main issue is I don't do well with long drives on my own, I need an hour's rest for every 2 hours of driving. So if you can drive, then that would make the whole trip much easier on me, as we can alternate resting and driving (if I don't bring my own relief driver). I normally do my drive to Massachussets over two days, and sleep in the camper in between.

So in principle, yes, I'd be happy to give you a lift. I like road trips and I love company. Smile

Linda

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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  admin on Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:37 am

I could drive up from Virginia for something like that and I'd love to meet everyone. We would just have to plan it out find a park and see about pricing maybe look up a few cheap nearby hotels for people who don't want to camp. I don't know much about parks in your area, but there are a few great parks in the northern Virginia area. I know many parks in my area have a lodge with lots of beds that can be rented for large groups if everyone chipped in on that it might be doable for more people also most cabins sleep between 4 and 6.
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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  Refr on Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:32 am

I'm planning on saving up to attend at least one Heathen-related event next year (preferably NT-flavored, so I was eying Ettinmoot). That said, I live in the Midwest, so I'd have to travel a ways, and I don't know what my finances are going to be like. :/
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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  ravenkaldera on Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:00 pm

I'm currently presenting at two events in a row (I'm on the second one right now) at Camp Ramblewood in Darlington, MD. I'm going to check out their pricing policy, which I understand varies by weekend and by group numbers. I'm thinking of this one because A) they've already had lots of Pagan events and are Pagans friendly, so we'd have no problems with that, and B) there are cabins with cots and electric for the non-tenters.

I'm thinking that it would be a four-day gathering, and run probably around $150 per person not including meals, perhaps give or take $20 in either direction. Here you can engage the cafeteria and a meal plan as an option or people can bring and cook their own food over camp stoves or whatever. I'm poor so I'm doing the second option. But for a gathering at a decent campground with buildings, it's not so bad. The Pagan gathering I just finished was Free Spirit and they charged around 250 for a 6-day gathering, I'm sure we'd do much cheaper than that.

-Raven Kaldera, seriously thinking...

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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  Darkamber on Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:14 pm

If I start saving now, $150 + meals would be doable. Smile

What's the nearest international airport?
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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  Lokabrenna on Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:25 pm

Around 150+ $ is fine with me. I believe a few of my people could afford that.
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Post  OuttaThisPlace on Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:27 am

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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  Shawn Cameron on Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:21 am

$150 this far in advance is very do able and you can count me in as well.
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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  ravenkaldera on Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:38 pm

The nearest *international* airport is BWI, between Baltimore and Washington DC, about an hour and a half drive south. For international folks, if people all managed to come in with a few hours of each other, maybe we could work out a ride ... it's possible.

I'm thinking one all-day of a focused intensive, you pick one (and can do others the next year) and one all-day of random workshops. Possible talks/workshops/panels:

NT homesteading
Beyond the Iron Age: Northern gods and spirits back to the Paleolithic
Coping with Dual Traditions
Integrating Personal Gnosis Smoothly Into a Group (or some such)
Specific workshops about specific deities, with small rituals
Home funerals and green burials in this tradition (Hela's workshop)
Being the guiding light of a community (Njord's workshop)

Possible tracks:
The Loki Track (because no one has done it yet!)
The Odin Track #1: Warriors
The Odin Track #2: Ordeals
The Frigga Track: Handcrafts! and more...
The Mengloth Track: Healers
The Runic Track

It will, of course, come down to what teachers I can wrangle. Plus rituals, plus I'd like to see temp shrines put up. I'd actually love to see a temp shrine put up underwater in the swimming pool for the Sea Gods ... you'd have to submerge to see it properly ... (grin)

-Raven Kaldera

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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  ravenkaldera on Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:12 pm

Just talked to the owner of the campground ... here's the thing; if people are willing to do it in the late fall - like October - I can get an excellent deal. The question is, are people wiling to do living in little cabins in MD (which is like a zone 6, I think) in October? No snow yet, possibly a bit of frost.

Hey , I figure this is Norse, right? A little cold is good. And cold = cheaper. Will get more info soon. So, looking at October of 2012. More than a year for people to save up.

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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  Darkamber on Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:42 pm

How much of the program will take place indoors? Nice to know how much clothes to bring Smile

What is the nearest national airport (in case it's possible to get closer via plane from the nearest international airport)?
Are there no trains/buses going from the nearest airport to Darlington?

What exactly is a "track"?

Personally I think a talk/panel on being a solitary and urban pagan would be interesting. Smile
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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  ravenkaldera on Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:16 pm

Darlington is rural MD, on the edge of nowhere, which is what we want - it's quiet and away from onlookers. But no buses. I think that the best bet for plane flights is for us to run a shuttle (like someone's minivan), which wouldn't be any more costly than a bus and would be more pleasant.

A "track" is a series of workshops that all revolve around the same theme. But at this point I'm thinking that it would be a 4-day gathering, with one day for coming in and one for going out, and of the two middle days, one that is all random workshops and rituals, and one that is all "intensives" that people will pick from.

I've run the numbers and currently it looks like $150 for no meal plan and $250 for being on the meal plan (9 meals). We'll see how it goes when I figure out all the hidden expenses. Right now I could manage it if I figured out how to get 5K up front and 100 people registered. With a year to advertise, maybe it could work....

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large gathering

Post  Salena on Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:34 am

So here is a question- kids.

Any thought on including children, recommend no, etc? Makes a difference for single (?) moms.

I understand either way- my kids are included in many of the things I do but certainly not all.
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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  lokisthrowpillow on Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:46 am

I asked Raven about this a couple of days ago. I think the deal is kids under 13 can attend the event for free, but parents still would have to pay for the Ramblewood meal plan if the kids are on it. He said there would be no special programming for children, and that child care is up to the parent(s). Some of the workshops, etc. may not be child-friendly, like the ordeal stuff, while others might be more inclusive.

Ramblewood does have a nice swimming pool, and is fairly spacious with lots of grassy areas, a basketball court, a labyrinth, a pond, and paths to explore through the woods, so it's not as if it's a kid-unfriendly place in and of itself -- some children might be happy to play there all day while parents are doing other things. I suppose it depends on how old your kids are, and how self-sufficient they can be for periods of a few hours a day.
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Re: Would people be interested in a big gathering?

Post  ravenkaldera on Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:26 pm

*smile* I don't want to end up banning parents (having been one), and I think that having kids (especially older kids) around to see what we're doing helps to build the next generation. But we don't have the wherewithal to provide child care or kid programming this year, unless someone(s) wants to volunteer their time to do that, and possibly miss much of the rest of the gathering.

When this comes up in event discussions, I unfortunately hark back to my own daughter, now grown, who was a high-need learning-disabled ADHD terror and could not be left unsupervised till she was around 9. I missed a lot of events when she was young. I forget that not everyone's kids are like that...

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thanks

Post  Salena on Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:51 pm

Thanks for the reply.

No- didn't expect anyone to provide childcare though I understand why you had to write that. Some people do expect others to take responsibility for their hellions. Don't think I'm up right now for volunteering for a 'kiddo track'... maybe sometime in the future though. Could be fun but I'm really not a kid person if you understand that one Smile

Was just curious as to the thoughts on this. Four days is too long for even very well behaved 7 and 8 year old children! We'll see what I can arrange- almost too far out to work on that right now though.
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