Summer Camp East 2016 Program
Diving Into Connection – Sara Ness, Friday, July 8
Let's find out who's here and what we have to offer each other! We’ll spend much of the time moving around, meeting new folks and deepening existing relationships. Participants can engage with the group and get quick, direct feedback on issues they care about. We'll also have time to go deeper in one-on-one connections. This is a quick, fun, easy way to meet lots of people, get a sense of the diversity of the group, and dive into connection.
Opening Circle – Saturday, July 9
The community gathers to share vision and intention for creating a New Culture.
Finding Friends – Debby Sugarman & Sarah Taub, Saturday, July 9
In this session we’ll help new and returning campers get to know each other and share questions and experiences related to camp. Sometimes groups of people who already know and love each other get perceived as “cliques” – this event serves to break up that impression and welcome new folks into community with all.
Safe Sex Conversations – Michael Rios, Saturday, July 9
In a sex-positive and body-honoring community, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves on how to keep ourselves safe while having fun. This workshop presents up-to-date scientifically and medically sound information on how to manage health issues for anyone who has multiple sexual partners--including how we can have *safe* sex, not just "safer" sex. We cover specific techniques, brands, and concepts that allow responsible sex without damaging pleasure or intimacy.
Boundaries & Cuddle Party – Sarah Taub & Monique Darling, Saturday, July 9
Mmm, that glorious moment when we are giving exactly what our partner wants to be receiving! Sometimes we find that “sweet spot” spontaneously—but more often, we find it through clear communication and feedback. How many of us say “yes” to things we don’t actually want out of guilt or a fear of losing connection? In many ways, “no” is the most daring and intimate response possible – if I can hear your “no”, I can trust your “yes.” Sarah helps us practice finding that sweet spot of mutual “yes” through a series of juicy experiential exercises.
Then dive into a Cuddle Party led by Monique! Participants engage in communication exercises, explore touch in a non-sexual space, experience personal exploration and intimacy, and have fun with like minded friends from the community. Nurturing and consensual loving touch is good for maintaining healthy blood pressure, a strong nervous system and a balanced emotional health. One’s ability to connect with and develop greater trust in others is emphasized during the group exchanges during Cuddle Parties. Self-care is a cornerstone of Cuddle Party experience.
Sarah’s bio / Monique’s bio
ZEGG Forum – the Forum Team, daily
Forum (http://www.zegg-forum.org/index_en.phtml) was created at ZEGG, an intentional community in Germany, and its sister communities as a way of promoting transparency and mutual understanding among community members. ZEGG members found that decision-making meetings often got derailed because of emotional conflicts and undercurrents that were not known to or understood by all. In Forum, each individual’s experience could be seen and understood, leading to greater empathy and creativity in the community. Now, many residential and non-residential intentional communities have adopted Forum as a way to maintain ongoing connection, intimacy and understanding.
The goal of Forum is to reveal what is alive but not known to all. The community sits in a circle, forming a stage for one person at a time to stand and show what is true for them. Facilitators may assist the person (or “presenter”) to reveal themselves more deeply. Afterward, community members may offer reflections, or “mirrors,” on what they saw.
One of the gifts of ZEGG Forum is that it allows us a space to appreciate every perspective without taking it on as “truth.” Every voice has its own poignancy, its own wisdom, its own truth, that does not negate the wisdom and truth of other perspectives. Allowing all voices to surface and be known can lead to a profound and unexpected integration within a community. We tend to think that events leading to painful experiences and conflicts are bad, because they feel bad in the moment. However, when we open ourselves and compassionately witness what is happening for everyone, these experiences can be gateways to greater closeness, understanding, and love. When conflict emerges, whether or not we are in a formal Forum space, we can choose to listen in this way. This deep listening sustains and nurtures community life and relationships.
The Hidden Power of Vulnerability – Ben Farris, Sunday, July 10
Being guarded takes a lot of energy. What if we could let our guard down by being vulnerable and use that vital energy to create a more exciting and vibrant experience in life? Using experiential exercises we will explore new ways of being in the world, new ways of loving ourselves and our bodies. We will connect with others and see what we learn from the experience. As we get more comfortable with ourselves, we can begin to let our guard down and expend our energy connecting, not defending. The workshop will create an environment where we can be as vulnerable and real with each other as possible. The goal is to step past the judging part of our nature and into the place in us which can appreciate our differences and focus on our commonality. In order to do this we encourage people to try on new ways of being in the world, but also ask that people not do things that will cause them to "check out" or just go thru the motions. Say "no" when you mean "no" and 'yes" when you mean 'yes', and maybe try on a '"yes" when you usually say "no" to see how it feels to you. Sometimes taking the risk of being vulnerable is where the excitement and joy is hidden!
Authentic Relating – Sara Ness & Mark Boughton,Sunday, July 10, and Wednesday, July 13
Authentic Relating Games (www.authrev.com) are a safe, fun, and powerful way to practice skills like empathy, compassion, and self-expression. They invite us to delve deeper into ourselves and our relationships with others in a joyful and loving way and form meaningful, lasting connections.
In these mini-interactions, we engage in conversations about how our connection unfolds, who we are, and why we're bothering to talk with each other. You might feel silly, curious, transcendent, moved, and anything in between as you practice your capacity to authentically share your world in the present moment. What if your greatest strength is exactly who you are?
Sensual Temple Orientation and Opening –Sunday, July 10
The Sensual Temple is a warm and inviting space to explore connection and intimacy by engaging all of the senses. This is a space to lounge together after spending the day learning communication and intimacy tools - the perfect place to practice communication and share affection in a relaxed and sex positive atmosphere. Sarah will give an introduction to the space and we will practice the “Safe Sex Elevator Speech.” The introduction will take place in our main meeting area and is open to everyone.
After the Temple Orientation, those who wish will proceed to the Temple for its official opening. All are invited to explore the Temple Space – the opening activities will be sensual but nonsexual, and there will be a clear transition when the space becomes open for sexual connection.
Intimacy Lab – Multiple presenters, Monday-Friday
Our theme for camp this year is “Deep Intimacy” – sharing our deepest, most real truths with each other. Many of our major presentations support this theme, and we’ve also gathered a team of co-creators to design programs throughout camp that we’re calling “Intimacy Labs.”
Over the years we’ve been building a culture that supports intimacy by teaching skills for healthy boundaries, handling painful emotions, holding space for others’ process, and so on. Now it’s time to take it to the next level. When the need arises to give difficult feedback or address something that’s getting in the way of getting close to another person, many times we still let it go, not wanting to ruin a happy moment or create a rift. But in reality, we’re keeping ourselves from intimacy when we could have it. When we’re willing to tell another person what’s keeping us from getting closer, we actually get closer.
In the Intimacy Labs, we’ll have a chance to share difficult truths, intimate appreciations, and vulnerable parts or ourselves. Let’s get beyond this kind of sharing being an extraordinary experience, to where it’s an ordinary everyday thing. Every day we deepen our connections. Consider the possibility that we have no idea who our closest friends could be once we start sharing at this level. We have no idea what could happen when we really give our relationships our deepest attention.
Intimacy Lab co-creators:
Dance Party – Monday, July 11
Move your body to tunes and grooves laid down by camper volunteers!
Reinventing Organizations – Melanie Rios, Tuesday, July 12, and Wednesday, July 13
Clarify your intentions for creating a more beautiful world, reflect upon what has worked well and not so well in working towards your collective visions thus far, and then explore new collaboration approaches to effectively and joyfully manifest our dreams. We will learn to recognize the shadow and light aspects of old organizational paradigms, from tribal clans, domination power structures, bureaucratic institutions, and modern, science-based organizations to consensus-based cooperatives. We will then explore an emerging way of organizing ourselves for life and action as described by Frederic Laloux in his book Reinventing Organizations, learning ways to work towards shared goals in self-managed, trust-based, and whole-person affirming teams.
Fundraiser Auction – Tuesday, July 12
Expect to be amused and surprised by the variety of unusual items and services donated by fellow campers for bidding. Previous auctions have included such offerings as "1000 kisses" and "a morning serenade." Auction proceeds help to provide scholarships and improve future camps.
The Gift of Puja – Monique Darling, Wednesday, July 13
How would you like to step into a world of acceptance, of sensation, a world where ALL of you is utterly and radically welcomed? How would it feel to be completely held, and have your deepest humanity plus your greatest divinity given a space to dance and to merge in sweet union?
This will be a Sacred Gathering for people who are willing to show up in their greatest vulnerability, willing to see and be seen as they are in this moment, open to the beautiful reflections that they can offer one another. We will get to practice and play in the areas of acceptance, adoration, unconditional love (first of yourself, which then showers on all in your field), and sensuality/embodiment (giving yourself full permission of Heaven on earth in THIS moment, in THIS body).
This will be a Puja that includes Tantric principles. A Puja is a prayer. In Tantra a prayer is a way of honoring and adoring the divine that dwells within each of us. The subtle sensual energies residing within our bodies are invoked, revered, and welcomed as honored guests at this feast of love. The entire evening will be spent diving deeper into devotion, adoration, honoring the divine union between divinity and humanity, masculine and feminine, and especially sexuality and spirituality. In this unique experience you will find many opportunities to connect and enjoy other people's company throughout the night, but our intention is for you to walk away with a much deeper love for YOURSELF!
Open Sessions – Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16
Join in as the entire camp self-organizes for concurrent events, inspired by your own passions and interests. Open Sessions are an opportunity for campers to convene dialogue groups on topics they've been wanting to explore, or create group massages, or do a music jam together. Participants are free to move from session to session, honoring their instincts and natural enthusiasm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Space_Technology
Open Mike – Saturday, July 16
Come one, come all, and show us more about you! No talent is required – “if you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing!”
Closing Circle – Sunday, July 17
Honoring the experience of the past ten days, we will connect, reflect, and bid farewell to this incarnation of our community.
Lighter Side - as the mood strikes us!
Participants create and perform skits to illustrate humorous events that they have observed or experienced at camp.