CloudCatcher 2017-2019 - An Experiment for All Ages:

Reclaiming’s Principles of Unity state that ‘We welcome all genders, all gender histories, all races, all ages and sexual orientations and all those differences of life situation, background, and ability that increase our diversity. We strive to make our public rituals and events accessible and safe’.

At CloudCatcher we’ve striven to create an inclusive and accessible space. Each year our radical village experiment has grown more graceful in welcoming and celebrating our diversity of needs and experiences. Our camp community has always been blessed to include a range of ages, from young adults of 18 through to glorious self-identified crones. Also in the past years we’ve been graced with infants at camp, as some of our campers have become parents.
As organisers for camp we considered how we could continue to foster an inclusive experience for parents in our community. Continued interest from other parents in the past, and ongoing discussions in our community highlighted some of the barriers posed to parents in attending camp.

We also considered how important the powerful intensive nature of camp and the deep work we get to do together is to CloudCatcher.

We pondered together this tension of a powerful “adult” experience and a wish to strive for inclusivity. How we could reconcile and nurture these core values in this maturing communal experiment of camp. In alignment with our intention to serve the principled goals of our Reclaiming community, to strive for inclusivity and radical work of life-changing magic, the CloudCatcher organisers decided to experiment with opening our 2017 camp up to all ages. Specifically this meant allowing children and young people to attend with their parents. This has continued into 2018 and 2019.

We see this as distinctly different to a “family camp” in that the main focus of the camp experience is still the familiar “adult” centred model of past years, that “child” centred paths or activities will not be offered, and that young people will be in the company of their parents and remain their responsibility at all times. All the usual aspects of the adult cultures we’ve fostered such as the Bower, and intense and edgy ritual work, will remain the same.

This did not create a dramatic change in the experience of camp. In 2017 there were only a few young people under the age of 18 attending, with more in 2018, and a range of ages from babies and toddlers to teenagers. As organisers we committed to facilitating this experiment with strategies in place to ensure the magical and mature experience of CloudCatcher that we’ve come to cherish has been as potent, fierce and volcanically sexy as the day it was born. We continue to review the discoveries of this experiment, with feedback from campers, when considering how to approach this in future years.

The CloudCatcher organisers welcome anyone to contact us to discuss any questions or concerns.

Parents - before registering, please carefully read the FAQ section of our website for information about attending camp with your young person, including what to expect at CloudCatcher and our requirements for parents attending with young people.

 Information for parents:

We welcome parents to contact the organisers directly if they have any particular concerns. Our intention is for parents to be able to make the most informed choice possible when deciding to participate at CloudCatcher. Also please discuss camp with your young person and ensure this is an experience they understand and would like to participate in.

WitchCamp is run as a structured intensive of powerful magical work. CloudCatcher is not a slow-paced, ‘drop in and out of offerings’ kind of camp. Our rituals and paths are participatory and experiential opportunities for intense growth. We expect that all campers will participate in the full experience of camp as they are able.

We ask that parents understand this and accept the following to support our camp’s workings:

- Supporting their young person’s experience of camp will be the responsibility of parents. We ask that parents carefully consider their ability to engage both their own camp work and be available as a parent. Especially if it’s your first Witchcamp, consider if you might not prefer to experience it alone.

- There will be 1 adult (over the age of 18) per 1 child. The child’s legal guardian must be present at camp.

- The supervision of children is the responsibility of their paired adult at all times during camp, including path, rituals, meals, affinity groups and optional offerings. “Child centred” activities, entertainment and supervision will not be provided.

- The parent must commit to be with their child at all times.

- This year there will not be a path offered specifically for young people. Children and their paired adult are expected to take the Elements of Magic path together. It might be possible in the case of a teen-parent pairing that they might take another path, by negotiation with the organisers and path teachers, IF they have both previously taken Elements.

- Parents should be aware that CloudCatcher has until now been for over 18s, and there are some cultures and spaces we have fostered, such as the Bower, and the option of nudity at times at camp. Parents need to be aware of this when considering whether camp is an appropriate environment for their child. Please see our website’s FAQ section for more information about this.

- Please see CloudCatcher’s Safer Spaces Policy and Code of Conduct.