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D5 Organizer Offering
of Transparent Organizing and Decision Making

9/21/11

Dearest Allies and Weavers of Reclaiming Magic,

I can clearly recall in early February 2011 when the request to find a home for D5 was first announced. Perhaps like some of you who considered this inquiry, this stirred our hearts and we were moved by the possibility of co-creation and inspiration. In our community, Satya planted a first seed that perhaps this could be our offering, and Portland witches responded. In April of 2011 our offering was accepted and Dandelion Organizers began to collectively envision the container of this gathering. In April we began the organizing work of creating this vision, and our early discussions were of logistics, timing, location and manifestation of the event. In very early May we began doing outreach to national and international camp communities to inquire about camp dates, with the intention of working collaboratively with our camp allies.

As we were doing this outreach, we were simultaneous doing the important work of determining our group organizing agreements, decision making process and crafting the container for our organizing work. Satya, Panther and horizon, created their intention as anchors:

We would like to share with you our intention as an anchoring group. We are committed to clean communication, which means you should be able to be heard and responded to. We believe we should be held to our commitments and that individuals and the group as a whole are empowered to call us to those commitments. We are hosting Dandelion to celebrate our healthy community and shared values and as a reflection of that we should model the intention we are inviting for the gathering. We acknowledge that there are many talents in the group and we want to call those forth and celebrate them. We see our work as holding the container for Dandelion, tending, nurturing and catalyzing the magic we are birthing together. We hope by setting and sharing this intention that the community of organizers will take up these ribbons and weave a pattern. Together we can build something bigger and better than any of us can individually.

This process work and clarification of group agreements were solidifying as we continued our search for a camp home for D5. In May we scheduled our first site visit to a camp. We continued to look at dates and homes for the event over the next two months, considering and balancing:
1) Community interest in holding Dandelion in the Summer to make it available to teachers, students and families with children in school.
2) Portland's weather pattern and interest in avoiding the rainy season which is a small window of 6 weeks from mid July to the end of August.
3) Accessibility for families.
4) Accessibility for those with different mobility needs (and how to make Dandelion inclusive as a manifestation of celebrating and tending healthy, diverse Reclaiming community—one of the core intentions of Dandelion).
5) Organizer availability to operationalize the event.
6) Working with proximity and scheduling of other camp communities specifically Witchlets in the Woods and Free Cascadia Activist Camp (though we did outreach to all known summer Witchcamps about their planned scheduling).
7) Financial cost and accessibility and
8) Facility availability.

When August 1st–5th became the clear best date after intentionally considering all the above factors, we began engaging more specifically with the Witchlet Weavers Organizing Community about working in collaboration for planning the events. We identified and set a clear intention to work collaboratively with our Witchlet allies in the hopes offering both events harmoniously and not in date-conflict with each other. (This was true with Free Cascadia camp as well, though Free Cascadia Organizers communicated that they hoped to plan their camp in proximity to Dandelion so that their camper community might have the possibility of attending both). Through these intentional conversations, we learned that while the dates for Witchlets were not yet finalized, they had little ability to change their dates (based on their agreements with their campground) and the two camps had a definite possibility of overlapping. (It was also true that in addition to Witchlets, there were a number of witchcamps who did not yet have confirmed dates for the 2012 summer, which made date collaboration more complex). Witchlets planned to see if there was a possibility of switching camp dates with Elderflower, and there was some dreaming about a caravan between the two camps and possibly sending Witchlet attenders off from Dandelion to Witchlets with some intention. All the while we communicated a clear commitment to working harmoniously and in partnership with each other. It was also true that while we deeply wanted to avoid potential date conflict, it was difficult to avoid this with without solidly knowing the final dates of Witchlets and also balance all the considerations we were holding. After much thoughtful discussion and consideration, we made our reservation and deposit at Camp Adams for the dates of August 1st–5th, 2012. We maintain a deep and intentional commitment to working collaborative with our Witchlet allies.

We have been considering for months ways to make Dandelion accessible to families and children. Though these are conversations we are continuing to have in our organizing group, some of the ways we have thought about doing this is reduced attendance cost for families, reduced attendance cost for those attending more than one camp, making Dandelion accessible to those who can only attend part of the event (consistent with last years' gathering) and a continued commitment to working with Witchlet Weavers (and attenders!) about making this balance as accessible and compatible as possible. As we understand it, there is much more demand for attending Witchlets than there is space to accommodate all the families who want to attend. One way to view the proximity of these events could be that offering two different kid-friendly events creates MORE accessibility and inclusivity, rather than taking it away. As organizers, we are holding and tending a commitment to making Dandelion accessible to children and families as well as scheduling it in the summer so that families have the possibility of attending for the week.

We have heard, clearly, some understandable sadness about the possibility of Dandelion being scheduled in close proximity to Witchlets, particularly from families who are especially seeking more family accessible opportunities within our Reclaiming community. These concerns of family inclusiveness are ones we have mindfully considered as we have moved forward with our organizing process, and are important considerations. For the many of us who feel strongly that families need more voice, representation and opportunity in Reclaiming events, and to those of us who honor families with a commitment of solidarity, we hope you can envision Dandelion as one (though certainly not the only!!) forum we have to gather, talk about, tend and respond to our diverse community needs.

As an organizing group we are doing our best to hear all the discussion that is being raised around our planned dates. Please know that we will continue to mindfully and respectfully consider your thoughts as we continue with our organizing work. As organizers, we remain committed to making Dandelion as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. We deeply and sincerely want to celebrate! this gathering of our tribes as we intentionally invite Reclaiming witches from the international community to Oregon next August to dream, celebrate, create, vision, heal, inspire, make magic, raise energy and create/tend connection with others in our tradition. We want to honor and celebrate the diversity that each of us offers as gift to our community--that which makes us the fabulous magical community we are and are becoming. We want to tribute those who have come before, acknowledge those of us today who inspire and co-create this beautiful community, and honor and envision with people from all ages and parts of our community the future of our tradition as we strive to co-create this vision of justice, healing and liberation for all Life in this amazing world.

In Magical Solidarity,
The D5 Core Organizing Team (Craig, Misha, Serenity, Otter, Topaz, Rosemary, Panther, horizon and Satya) and the other D5 organizing allies who are working to operationalize the vision of this gathering









© 2012, D5 Organizing Cell.
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