Trans Camp 3
a 4-night trans & nonbinary space in the north cascades
organized by local majority-BIPOC trans & nonbinary community members as Seattle Trans Joy <3
Sat July 1 - Wed July 5, 2023
Applications open May 9 thru May 22!
Please read the Q&A's below before applying <3
Please read all of these before applying!
What is Trans Camp?
It's a free, 4-night group tent camping event for trans & nonbinary adults!Our goal is to create trans joy, community, connection to each other, and connection to nature. We do that by providing a special trans/nonbinary-only space in beautiful life-giving natural surroundings with some pretty cool people.We find that creating a majority BIPOC trans & nonbinary community together is amazingly liberating. <3We had two Trans Camp events open to applications in 2022, and they went so well. We're returning to the site of the first Trans Camp in the North Cascades, in an isolated gorgeous spot on the river in an ancient lush forest. Last year, we went in June and had a pretty rainy time, but we expect July to be mostly sunny!
Who is Trans Camp for?
It's for trans & nonbinary adults, using a broad definition of "trans" and "nonbinary". If you think that's you, that's you. <3We use an application process as we want to create a majority-BIPOC community and to prioritize other marginalized or isolated folks in our space. We want to have a vibrant community of diverse backgrounds, identities, abilities, camping experiences, and ages. We also do some basic screening to keep us as safe as we can.We had SO many applications for the two Trans Camps last year, and it's heartbreaking that we have to turn so many down. If you're not accepted, PLEASE don't take it personally! We unfortunately have to send a "sorry" email to so many people -- it sucks. So many of y'all are very cool and we'd love to camp with you. It's just a matter of limited space for tents and cars.We're decolonial, anti-racist, anti-fascist, pro-liberation, and all that stuff. You don't need to know theory -- just try, listen, be open, and don't be mean!
How do I apply?
Submit the form here before the end of May 22. <3
When is it?
Saturday, July 1 to Wednesday, July 5.You arrive between 2pm-7pm on Saturday (later is OK but not advised so you can set up and start to meet folks before sunset). We leave by 12pm on Wednesday.We don't celebrate the J*ly fo*rth holiday at Trans Camp. <3
Where is it?
Trans Camp 3 is in the North Cascades national park complex, about a 2.5 hour drive from Seattle, 1.5 hrs from Bellingham, 3.5 hrs from Olympia, 5 hrs from Portland, 6 hrs from Spokane. See here for some more info on this gorgeous area.We don't give the exact location except to accepted applicants, for safety.
How many campers will be there?
About 45! We're limited by number of tents, so it'll depend on how many of y'all are planning to share with a friend. We encourage you to share and apply together if you're comfortable with this! We won't ask or have you share a tent with a stranger.We had 36 in the same spot last year, but we had a number of cancellations at the last minute, mostly due to heavy rain forecasted last June. I understand, but those folks really missed out! We can fit more. <3
What will it be like there?
There are several individual campsites in our private group campground, each with room for between 2-4 tents. These are along a dirt road with two big group gathering areas in the middle, with lots of picnic tables, big wooden shelters, and big group campfire areas for night.We'll "assign" you one of these campsite areas, probably near someone new! That's great! If you're not very outgoing, it might start off awkward, but most of us find an amazing sense of comfort and ease in the freedom of the trans camp community! Is that joy?It's a primitive car campground -- that means you drive right up to the campsite, but there's no running water, only two pit toilets (it's not as bad as it sounds if that's new to you), and you sleep in a tent. On the ground!It's wonderful. <3
Are there activities?
It's an unstructured time at Trans Camp! That means we don't give you a schedule except a window to show up and a time by which we must leave.An unscheduled several days might feel uncomfortable, but we recommend you embrace discomfort as long as you remain safe & able! What an unstructured space means is that we don't tell you what to do; you and the new wonderful folks you meet decide what to do based on your interests, abilities, relationships, nature, and general vibes.To paraphrase adrienne maree brown, "There's a conversation in this camp that only these people at this moment can have. Find it."That said, there are so many things to do! Meet all the wonderful new people, sit by the river, goon a walk, go on a hike, try to start a fire, see gorgeous viewpoints, share your interests, go to the lake, visit the national park visitor's center, chill by the group campfire, do some art, take some photos, take the ferry across the lake, look at a tree, stop by the nearby town, roast some vegan marshmallows, write in a journal, play an RPG, see a dam, go kayak, lay in your tent, read some zines, write a zine, organize for when you get home, whatever else you and your new community can think of!
How much does it cost?
It's free! You will need basic camping equipment, including a tent, sleeping bag, flashlight or head lamp, water, and food. BUT, we provide mutual aid (ie, free camping equipment) for those who need it. We also highly encourage sharing food and water, so you won't go hungry/thirsty. If you need food/water and have uncommon dietary restrictions, let us know.
How do I get there?
You'll need a ride, as there's no transit going to the campground. BUT, we've been very successful at arranging carshares.That means if you have a vehicle, you'll be ask to give rides to others nearby if you have room. If you have the means, renting a vehicle is a great option and SUPER helpful as it will allow us more carshare space.If you don't have a vehicle, we'll do our best to get you a ride! So far, we've been able to get rides for 100% of accepted attendees and hope to keep that record.It's possible that if there are an unusually few number of campers without vehicles, or if you live far away from others, that we won't be able to get you a ride, but we'll really try. <3Please don't let lack of a vehicle discourage you from applying!
Is food provided?
Not by the organizers. That means you'll be able to have a relationship with food at camp that works for you. I like to bring mostly ready-to-eat food, others love their camp cooking setups, and some like cooking with the fire.Part of the "joy" of Trans Camp for many people is making and sharing their food -- that's encouraged but that's completely optional. You won't go hungry if you let others know you'd like to share a meal.Many trans folks are vegan or have other dietary restrictions. If you have an uncommon restriction that folks are unlikely to have food for, please let us know either in the application or afterwards (we'll have a group chat!).Also, we have very different backgrounds and cultures around food. You're encouraged to bring and share what works for you and not just stick to "campfire foods" from the dominant culture here.
I went last year, can I go again?
Yes!!We are gonna ask returnees to be SUPER welcoming to new campers and include them to the community. <3 No cliques at Trans Camp!We'd like to keep it at least 50% new campers. We'll see!
I applied last year but didn't get in, can I apply again?
Yes! We can't guarantee you'll get in this year, but we very much encourage you to apply again.
Is the campground accessible?
The National Park Service lists the campground and toilets as accessible. That said, it will depend on your needs. The camp setup you bring (tent, etc) or request will also need to be accessible. The individual campsites have varying degrees of accessibility. The ground there is flat, and nearby outings including some beautiful accessible flat paved trails and a gorgeous viewpoint nearby. The trail at our campsite is hard dirt/gravel. If it has been rainy, the ground could be muddy. There will also be smoke around with campfires with smell that sticks to clothes, and noise including music, but we'll all try to be respectful. Please enter any accessibility needs in the applications, including if you'd like your campsite close or far from group areas or the toilets, and reach out with questions!The national park website has info on accessibility here.
Can my dog come?
So. Some folks are not that comfortable or functional or safe around dogs, including our lead organizer (a cynophobe 😤) who is writing this and happens to have a pretty bad fear of dogs, especially large dogs.Last year, a couple folks brought small dogs that don't run to strangers or bark much, and they were fine! Just please be aware that not everyone is ok being really close to dogs unless they're invited.If that sounds like you and your small dog and you really want to bring them, please put a note in your application. Please also put a note if you don't want to have your campsite near dogs.Note that some park facilities and trails don't allow dogs, but the campground does.Service dogs are allowed but please let us know in your application.
Can my cat come?
The forest is no place for a cat, but if you do have a cool adventure cat that knows what they're doing and that you take the woods I'll do anything to have you at camp with me and I'll put your tent next to mine and I'm not talking to anyone besides your cat the entire camp. 😭😭😭
Can my cis partner/friend come?
Can my trans partner/friends come?
Yes! If you're sharing a tent, please submit one application together. Please do what you can to connect with new folks in camp and grow our community rather than sticking amongst yourselves! <3
Will there be cell service?
Probably not, depending on carrier, so you'll have to drive a bit to get service.
Can I get supplies nearby?
There's a small general store a mile away, with limited hours. It's about 60 miles away from the nearest town of size (Sedro-Woolley) that will have most other supplies you'd need.
Will there be substances?
This is not a sober event, but you are very welcome to be sober if you choose! You can bring what you'd like (cannabis, alcohol, etc) as long as you stay in control, don't drive, don't be aggressive, don't make others uncomfortable, don't wander off trails, be very careful around fires, be very very careful around water, and just be safe & cool in general.
What about bears????
There are bears in the park, but they very rarely approach or hurt people, and very rarely come to campsites. The most important bear safety practice is to always keep food (including food waste) locked up in bear canisters around the campground or at least cars at night. See here for a lot more info about bears in the area and how to stay safe.
What about other safety?
We keep each other safe, and that includes you keeping yourself safe! If you don't get too intoxicated, drive safe, be careful around fires and the river, watch your surroundings, and don't wander into the wilderness, the risk is low! We (as in the organizers) aren't responsible for your safety, but as a community let's watch out for each other. <3
Who are you??
We're a BIPOC-majority group of organizers who started in 2021 with organizing the Seattle Trans Picnic. Since then, we've organized several events including Seattle Trans Beachday, Transoween, and previous Trans Camps. We're just some trans & nonbinary folks around Seattle trying to build community conneciton & trans joy!We organize as Seattle Trans Joy.
What should I bring?
We'll send a list of recommended things to bring after accepting folks! Just general camping stuff, though. You're highly encouraged to bring activities, art, and interests to share with others.Required (either bring your own or ask for assistance): Tent, sleeping bag/camp blanket, weather appropriate clothes, flashlight or headlamp, any meds/hormones/health needs, lots of water, food for the entire timeRecommended: Camp chair, sleeping pad or blow-up mattress, sunscreen, bug spray (unknown if they'll be around), first aid suppliesOptional: Games & other activities, art supplies, instruments, camp cooking/boiling equipment, earplugs, etc.
Our e-mail list
We'll send you e-mails about this and other upcoming events. We'll try not to send too many. <3