What: Crossing the Thresholds 8
When: Thursday September 26 – Sunday September 29 2013
Where: Four Quarters Farm InterFaith Sanctuary
190 Walker Lane, Artemas, PA 17211 USA
Lat N41º 44′ 41.68″, Lon W78º 22′ 07.71″
Phone: 814-784-3075 and 814-784-3080
Our hosts’ website: http://www.4qf.org/
This event is open to everyone! Whatever your identity, as long as you respect the land and your fellow attendees, you are always welcome. This event is also comprised wholly of what we bring to it. We love stories, songs, any food you might share *, crafts, books, skills, and of course, yourself. Whatever your race, your gender, your sexuality, or your beliefs, you are welcome among us.
About the Space:
Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary is a sustainable farm/campground in Artemis, Pennsylvania. All around are misty mountains, lovely forests, and a winding creek that serves as a natural boundary for the property. There is plenty of space in the Open Camping area, a sand-filled fire circle perfect for drumming and dancing, many different altars for many different faiths, and even a full-sized stone circle in progress. There’s also a labyrinth! It can be seen on google maps!
Four Quarters Farm does have quite a few amenities available to us. The site’s generator provides hot water and some electricity; there are two covered bath buildings with hot showers, flush toilets, sinks and anti-bacterial soap, path lights, and electrical outlets. More outlets and outdoor water spigots for washing dishes are scattered throughout the grounds.
The Farm rents out fire rings: paying a small fee at the Farm house when you sign in allows you to rent one and gives you access to their plentiful supply of firewood. If it has rained recently be prepared for the firewood to be wet or damp and require some splitting (bring a small axe, if you have access to one; there are often some available to borrow) and drying out (tarps are great to keep wood dry once you have done this). Do *not* bring your own firewood, for pest-control reasons.
What Do I Bring? (Camping Supplies!)
Bring a tent, sleeping bag/bedding including an air mattress if you like, a camp chair if you have one, toiletries (please try to keep soaps as friendly as possible; Dr. Bronner’s is an easy-to-find recommended brand if you’re not used to concerning yourself with such things), bug spray, sun lotion, clothes, and food enough for the days you’re attending. Bring whatever you need to keep your food safe, dry, and safe from squirrels!
Bring whatever you need to cook your food, eat your food (plates, bowls, cups, utensils, dish basin, and dishwashing accessories), and tend your own campfire if you choose to keep one.
Our low site fees do not pay for access to Four Quarters’ kitchen and therefore refrigerator. All food should be safe for your consumption without requiring a powered refrigerator or freezer. Coolers usually work well for a day or three in late September weather, but will require ice refills. Ice can be bought at the Farmhouse or, in the rare case they run out, at the Exxon station 4 miles away toward I68. Many of our long-standing regular participants choose to eat a vegan or dry-packed backpacker’s diet while camping to avoid these issues, while others grill over their own individual campfires and rocket stoves or cook just like they were at home over propane-canister stovetops: your mileage may vary.
Water on site is technically potable, but many people prefer to bring their own water jugs (a gallon a day per person is the usual guideline including washwater), as some systems tend to not react well to it.
The weather can vary, so be sure to be prepare for rain or shine! Temperatures can be as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit and as cold as 50 degrees this time of year, so make sure to pack clothing to keep you both warm and cool. Even at the end of September, it may be warm enough to swim in the creek, so you may wish to bring extra towels and swim gear.
Bring a trash bag, too, because there are no on site trash cans, and we always try to leave the campground a little cleaner than we found it. (If you find you didn’t bring enough trash bags or run out of space to pack out your gear, you can buy specially marked bags at the Farmhouse, and leave them back at the house when you leave. You’ll still need to clean up after your camp in general.)
What Else Can I Bring?
Part of what coming together is about is sharing our own individual kinds of magic and experience. Can you play an instrument? Bring it! Do you like to sing? Bring songs! Do you like to cook, or make your own mead or beer? Bring some to share, or a favorite recipe on a card to give out. Do you draw or make jewelry or clothing? Bring that too! We’re all from different cultures. What we have is individually unique, and the act of sharing that can be truly magical. Check out the workshops list and descriptions to get ideas!
What about the Workshops?
There are many workshops, events, and rituals that take place during Crossing the Thresholds. Not all of their descriptions are given to the organizers in time to be on the website, but we highly recommend you do so, so people can be prepared and bring what they may need.
Anyone is free to put on a workshop, and is in fact highly encouraged to do so! Even a round table type workshop is a great way to get conversations flowing.
People try to get the word out when they will be beginning something, going about and “town crying” it out about 15 minutes beforehand, but often if people are wandering further afield, events can be missed. If you hear of something you absolutely wish to make sure you attend, stick closer to the main camping areas when it was scheduled [a loose term in the woods!] to take place.
Would my friend be welcome? (kin or non-kin)
Bring your shiny friends! Most of us have lovers or friends or family that we share this part of ourselves with. Whether or not someone identifies as Otherkin, as long as they are open minded and respectful of others they are absolutely welcome. It makes it more fun, too!
Can I vend crafts?
There is some space in at least one of the large roofed outdoor workshop spaces for participants who happen to vend their handicrafts to set up an ad-hoc shop. There are no vendor’s fees, we merely ask that you participate in the community first, and that providing shiny objects in the marketplace is a secondary priority. Note that there is no lockable fully indoor space other than your own vehicle to store your wares, and that wind and rain are likely to happen. We usually have a vendor or two, as some participants at Thresholds tend to be the sorts of people who make shiny objects and at least subsidize their income vending them online or on the convention circuit.
What are the basic site rules?
We ask that you respect the space and the land, and respect your fellow attendees. Don’t litter, and be aware of the personal boundaries of the people around you. Especially because the Farm is clothing optional, please give extra space and boundaries to everyone, particularly folks you don’t know yet. If someone makes you uncomfortable, please don’t hesitate to talk to one of the organizers.
Alcohol is permitted on site for those of legal age, however Pennsylvania law prohibits drinking it directly from original containers, so bring cups.
While CTT is a clothing-optional event on private land, we and Four Quarters Farm create our temporary community space within a real geographic area with real laws. Please abide by all relevant local, state, and federal laws and wear legally decent attire when visiting the Farmhouse, where visitors and other non-participants are to be expected. In the unprecedented event you may encounter law enforcement officers, particularly on-duty ones, be nice to them. We all share an interest in having this event run smoothly.
Are minors welcome?
Yes! Minor participants (under the age of 18) are definitely welcome, but must have written permission from a parent or legal guardian in order to attend on their own.
Are young children welcome?
Yes! In the decade and a half that there have been Otherkin gathers at Four Quarters Farm, our community has always included families with children. Children 12 and under are admitted free with their parents or guardians. Many of our arts and crafts workshops, formal and otherwise, have been explicitly kid-focused. It is, however, up to individual families to decide whether our event suits their idea of what is and is not child-friendly. As noted, parts of Four Quarters Farm, including our gather, are clothing-optional, and alcohol is allowed on site for those of legal age. If you have ever attended a large SCA or Burning Man event with kids, assume this is a roughly equivalent environment.
Are my pets welcome?
While the farm has several working dogs on the property, by our hosts at Four Quarters’ rules, registered service animals are the only animals allowed for guests to bring.
How accessible is the site for my health and mobility issues?
The portions of Four Quarters Farm that we use for our event are a little too rocky and hilly with gravel roads for the average wheelchair user. However, the bath buildings (one of which is ramped), the main Open Camping site, the Stone and Drum circles, and the Faerie Caern are all very short cane-, walker-, or friend-assisted walks from a road, and the use of vehicles during the event, including car camping, can be arranged. If you have any detailed questions, please contact us on wordpress or tumblr. We’ve had participants and even organisers with a range of health and mobility issues, and may even have an answer based on our own personal experience.
*PACK WARMLY! You can always take your clothes off if it gets hot, but if it gets cold and you’re not prepared, it’s a lot less fun. Bring more blankets than you think you need. It’s better to have to wash the woodsmoke out of them than not have them if you need them.
My question isn’t on the list!
Leave a comment here on wordpress or on tumblr, and we’ll do our best to address it!
Many of us have allergies or sensitivities to certain chemicals, so if you are bringing something to share, it’s always good to bring the ingredient list as well. Some of us are gluten intolerant or soy intolerant, some of us are vegan or vegetarian, or eat as organic/sustainable of food as possible. Some of us are omnivores that will eat anything!