Many men who come to Gay Spirit Camp find their lodge group to be the most meaningful experience of the week. My own first experience of a lodge group was at my first Gay Spirit Camp. I had led similar groups in other situations, so I was asked to lead a lodge group. There were seven of us in the group. We met on the High Meadow. Fortunately the only rain that week was a few nighttime sprinkles. Harry Faddis gave the leaders questions that served as the basis for each day’s discussion, but I also allowed the group to come up with activities. We hugged. We gazed into each others eyes. We sat in silent meditation.
One man in our group had to leave mid-week, so I asked him if there was something special he wanted from the group. He said he wanted some group massage, so we spread a blanket on the ground. He stripped and lay face down on the blanket. We knelt around him and placed our hands on his naked body. I quietly asked the group to use firm touch and to move slowly - focusing on our sense of how everyone was touching and moving. I had the feeling that we were moving as one person. After about five minutes, the man in the center turned over. When it was finished, I felt that we had given him something special that he would carry with him, a memory that would connect him with Easton Mountain for the rest of his life.
Lodge groups are still a part of Gay Spirit Camp, and I’m sure that connections formed in these groups last for many years.
This summer, Gay Spirit Camp is August 8-14. Our other week-long camps also have lodge groups.