The Pacific Northwest District's Young Adult Fall Con, Outside the Box: connecting through honest expression and controversial communication, was October 20-22 at Lions Camp Horizon Park, the former military base in Blaine, WA where Opus 2002 was held.|
Deans: Amber Alexander and Sara Cowling
Attendees from UUYA: Brad, Carrie, Karen, Laura L, Miriam, Oz
- This was the first PNWD con not held in a church, and the beds and showers made us more comfortable.
- The con theme encouraged us to engage in "controversial communication." Questions posed to the group included: Is it ok for money to be exchanged for sex? Have you every laughed at dead baby jokes even though you felt bad about it? and Have you ever masturbated in public?
- No workshops = lots of free time
- Sunshine and fresh air led to outdoor frolicking! People went beach-walking at Birch Bay, climbed trees, spun around in the field, charged at one another like bulls, and otherwise acted silly.
- Group hugs were abundant.
- The coffeehouse (talent show) featured Oz and Miriam's impressive martial arts poses, many guitar songs (one gal whose instrument was passed around lamented, "my guitar's a whore!"), "Jessie-The-T-Shirt-Bitch"'s legendary tunes celebrating different parts of the anatomy, and Elona's traditional Ani DiFranco sing-along.
- Leanne Todd deejayed an awesome costume party/dance. UUYA's Oz and FUUSE's Jonny Fire performed a martial arts sequence to the song Kung Fu Fighting, and a petite "Chuckles the Orca" shook her booty to My Humps. I dressed as a backpacker holding an iconic stick figure and clapboard marked "The Blaine Witch Project" (the con was in Blaine ;-)
- Miriam, Jonny and Stephen streaked through the dance!
- There were lots of jokes about pirates and pirate porn, rated AAARRR!
I picked up Elisa, Brad, and Karen in the U-District, grabbed bubble tea, then drove a couple hours north on I-5. We enjoyed the scenic Chuckanut Drive then had dinner at Dos Padres in Fairhaven, Bellingham's quaint historic district that I've loved since college. We arrived at Camp Horizon on schedule, but orientation didn't occur until a critical mass of folks had arrived a few hours later.
My touch group met by a nice campfire, but after the first night I couldn't find them when we were supposed to meet. This was incredibly disappointing because I longed to have deep discussions in small groups.
I didn't really talk to people since most of them were wild 18 to 20-year-olds and presumably not interested in a shy 31-year-old. I spent my time lying under a glorious tree, walking on the beach with Brad (with whom I became better friends), and trying to cheer up a sad roommate.Having con at a camp was a noble experiment, but I prefer cons to be in churches because closer quarters promote better bonding, imo. I was sad that I didn't get any mail in my mailbox and only got three hugs during the "unrequited love" activity. Finally a kind girl named Kira gave me a piece of mail, a hug, and some uplifting news: at the start of con I had designated an "Outside the Box" Room for anyone who happened to be feeling like a "misfit," and Kira said that she and some others had taken advantage of it, which made me feel good. :-)
On the way home, Brad, Karen and I joined several other con-goers at Bellingham's famous Mallard Ice Cream, which we found has moved from Holly Street to Railroad Avenue. I had a waffle cone with espresso-cardamom and cinnamon flavors. Mmmm! The three of us chatted all the way home, visited Karen's cat, and made some music on Karen's guitar. Solidifying existing friendships is good.