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It is officially festival and camp season again. I want to share some practical advice to make your festivals and campouts safe, comfortable, and fun.
My qualifications are these:
I have been to many festivals over the last 30 years or so. I am a Girl Scout outdoor educator. I was a Girl Scout and attained First Class, the highest rank possible at that time. I am the daughter of an Eagle Scout. I have been camping since I was a toddler.
Pace yourself. If you go full speed all the time, you will crash hard.
Get enough sleep. Expect to wake with the sun or shortly thereafter. Tents do not have blackout blinds.
Stay hydrated. Seriously. Drink LOTS of water, even if you are not thirsty. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Bring sunscreen (50 SPF baby sunscreen works for face and body, so you do not need two products) and USE IT. REAPPLY OFTEN.
The Norfolk Polyamory Meetup group held a roundtable discussion on May 7. The event was held afterhours at a local restaurant and the topic of the discussion was “Why are we Poly?” Sunday’s discussion drew about 20 people.
Polyamory is a form of consensual non-monogamy where those involved have relationships with two or more people. These relationships can take many forms including open relationships, closed relationships among a small group of people, and various combinations of open and closed relationships. Polyamory requires a great deal of communication and honesty, and those in polyamorous relationships generally set their own agreements and terms for their relationships. Some consider polyamory a lifestyle choice, while others consider it an orientation.
Mystic Moon of Norfolk held their annual May Moon Festival this past weekend, May 5-7, 2017 at the Mariner’s Museum Park in Newport News. The event celebrates Beltane - one of eight Pagan sabbats (seasonal observances and festivals) that make up the Pagan Wheel of the Year. Beltane is a celebration of spring, fertility, and sexuality. The festival coincides with May Day which is a secularized version of the holiday.
The 14th Annual Dining Out for Life will be held this Thursday, April 27, 2017. Dining Out for Life is an annual fundraiser for Access AIDS Care and other AIDS organizations in 60 other cities across the U.S. and Canada. Money raised goes to help support HIV / AIDS services.
A minimum of 25% of the profits from participating restaurants in Hampton Roads will go to Access AIDS Care. Access AIDS Care provides education outreach and prevention for men, women, and at-risk youth, testing and support services, and also runs the LGBT Center of Hampton Roads.
Aries Apothecary held its grand opening at its new location this past Saturday, April 15, 2017. The shop moved from the Norfolk Flea Market on Military Highway to Hunter’s Mill Shoppes on Virginia Beach Boulevard just across the Norfolk border into Virginia Beach. The apothecary has been in business for three years and opened its doors at the new location on January 16.
Aries Apothecary sells herbs, stones and crystals, candles, essential oils, and all-natural soaps, among other offerings. The shop also features books from local authors including Grace Gemini, Aurora Thornton, and Annaliese Harris. They offer consignments for local authors, artists, and craft persons.
The Mother Earth Spring Festival was held this past Saturday, April 15, 2017, at Oyster Point in Newport News. This is the first of what organizers plan to be an annual event. The event was hosted by Mother Earth Herbal Apothecary and featured a number of vendors, food trucks, and entertainers. The festival celebrates the Earth and the coming of Spring. Vendors included folks selling fresh produce, candles, essential oils, herbs, clothing, jewelry, and other items. There was also henna and body painting, tarot readings, and inflatable slides and bounce houses for the kids. Proceeds went to charity.
The Kim Person and Lana Puckett Concert at the Rainbow Cactus on April 8, 2017 was a breath of fresh air over the standard gay bar fare. The crowd was moderate compared to other concerts I've been to at the Cactus. It seemed to be made up mostly of an aging Lesbian demographic - with a few men in the crowd too. The white haired women at the table across from me could have been grandmothers but were just as likely to have been a longtime couple. Some in the crowd have been following Kim and Lana since their earlier days performing at Shirley's, a Lesbian bar that once existed in Norfolk.
On Thursday, March 30, 2017, a Feminist Activist Fair was held in the North Lobby of Old Dominion University’s Webb University Center. A number of feminist and women’s support organizations participated including the ODU Women’s Studies Department, Hampton Roads NOW, the HerShelter, Transition Family Violence Services, Planned Parenthood, the League of Women Voters, and other such organizations.
Among the organizations represented were a handful of LGBT organizations. These included the ODU Safe Space Committee, the Tidewater Queer History Project, and Access AIDS Care that runs the LGBT Center of Hampton Roads.
March 31 is the International Transgender Day of Visibility. This day is devoted to celebrating transgender folks, and raising awareness of transgender people and the discrimination they face worldwide. The holiday was created by Rachel Crandall in 2009. Crandall felt that there was a lack of LGBT holidays celebrating transgender people. The only other well-known Trans holiday is the Transgender Day of Remembrance that focuses on the deaths and murders of Trans individuals. The Transgender Day of Visibility instead celebrates their lives and achievements.
Eastern Beach Kindred hosted Mystic Moon’s Ostara Ritual this past Saturday, March 18, 2017. Eastern Beach Kindred is a community of families in Hampton Roads who follow a path of Norse Paganism dedicated to the Northern Gods. Besides rituals, the group teaches Norse lore and holds regular classes on Norse magic at Mystic Moon. Ostara is one of eight Pagan sabbats (holy days) making up the Wheel of the Year. Ostara is a celebration of the coming of spring. It is the pre-Christian “Easter” celebration and where all the rabbits and eggs come from. Ostara celebrations take place at or near the spring equinox.