In my many years of being a pagan, up until the Beltane just gone, I had never been to a pagan camp. The reason for this is due to many reasons. For one, reports on some pagan camps led me to believe that some of them were ones I would not want to go to anyway, and the other reason was that, until recently, I used to work in a job that meant I had to work weekends.
For Beltane this year however, I was invited to the Thornborought Hendge pagan Beltane Celebrations by two pagan friends who were going and camping the weekend. I trust both of them implicitly so decided it wasn’t going to be ‘one of those types of camps’. For a different reason not mentioned above, I could not go, but we were invited to go for just the Sunday for the day. My two friends however, were camping the weekend.
It said on the website that they encourage you to dress up in your entire pagany garb; I don’t get to do this very often in situation where I won’t look like an orange in a basket of apples. So, off I went dressed up, with a few members of my coven.
We turned up a little late, so the ‘ritual’ was already underway, the ritual from what we could see from behind the crowd of people was more like theatrical performance. Having said that, it was well done the organisers had clearly put a lot of time and effort into it. Because we couldn’t see a lot, we decided to walk round the amply selection of pagan type stalls set up around hendge.
We walked around the perimeter looking at the stalls and chatting to the very friendly people behind them. Except an ice cream half way round, I didn’t buy anything for no other reason except I already own all the pagan equipment I need and can’t justify buying yet another athame or wand.
After wondering round we then went and sat with my friends outside their camping spot ( it was actually a caravan, posh pagan, oooh eeer!) and had cups of tea and nattered while listening to the music from the central tent on the hendge.
All in all it was a brilliant day, my compliments to all the organisers, it was informal, very friendly, lots of interesting stalls to look at and really great company (thanks Dan, Emma, Glenys, Andrea, ken and Dave.) There were no workshops or other formal ‘stuff’ like other pagan type events I have gone to but this was good; it allowed me to not get too heavy on my first non-camping pagan camp.
I would like to commend the event organisers again especially because to attend the event is completely free. I commend them for hosting the event, from experience I know organising and hosting events like that are, most of the time, a bubbling hotbed of stress, added to that stress is the fact that most pagans work on pagan time, which is usually 2 hour behind normal time.
I highly recommend this event to any who is considering going to a pagan camp for the first time, or even if you have been to a pagan camp but not this one. Because of this, I am now defiantly looking to go on a camping pagan camp.