In 1997, a handful of friends decided to go camping one hot and humid weekend in May. What we discovered that weekend was a beautiful and most magical place to camp on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Since then, our group has grown in many ways and we continue to camp at this wonderful place we now call Brenda’s Farm. We have no agenda or purpose other than having a fabulous time in the woods with our friends. We are a very diverse group of people that live our busy and sometimes stressful lives here in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The one thing we have in common; we are all friends of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgender people (GLBT).
The only other common bond we all share is our mutual desire to spend a weekend of fun in the sun, swimming, relaxing, and making new friends, and memories for a lifetime. And yes, Drag Queens do go camping. In the beginning it was just a casual group of friends that would make last minute plans to go camping on the weekends. After about 2 years of regular trips to Brenda's Farm, the attendance started to get real popular some weekends, the regular campers needed a method to connect and see when, where, and who's going on the next camping trip. So we decided to build a website; we wanted to be able to post upcoming camping trip information for our regular campers.
The website started in 2001 and it took no time at all for it to be listed in all the major search engines and start receiving visitors from around the world. The Internet has attracted many gay campers who drive long distances to attend our weekend events. Over the years we see regular members come and go as people’s lives change. OutCamping.org now enables our group to continue to grow by helping to get the word out about gay camping and this magical place on the Shenandoah River.
Most commonly are gay men who attend our weekend camping trips. We have always welcomed and encourage more women to attend but it seems that when it comes to primitive camping, even the butchest of lesbians, draw the line in the dirt, at no hot showers. Living in the woods for two or three days, with no hot water, is just not for everyone. Even for the guys, this type of gathering separates the men from the boys. These camping trips are for people who really want to disconnect from everything for a few days. A long weekend of playing hard and relaxing on the banks of the Shenandoah River, really helps you appreciate the luxury of modern day living.
Up until a few years ago, we had no cell phone reception; it was a peaceful oasis, now days AT&T wireless will work on the farm. If your cell phone is not on the AT&T network, make sure to turn it off when you arrive, it prevents it from searching for no service, which can drain your battery fast.
For the straight people who happen their way upon our group we want you to know, you are welcome to join us anytime, it’s all good. Many straight people regularly join our camping trips. We at OutCamping.org all get along with our fellow straight friends, we understand you, we have a lot in common; our parents are or were once straight too! The best part about being a straight couple at our camping events is all the free fashion advice you can receive and you never have to worry about your better half cheating on you. Well, hopefully not ;-).
In 2005 the regular members who were showing up religiously for the camping trips being held every other weekend, all summer long, decided to throw a big party in the woods. Why not? So one early August weekend, we broke free from our disconnected camping oasis and brought a big generator, a RV, a satellite dish, wide screen TV, a sound system, disco lights and balls, hundreds of fireworks, and of course, lots of booze. It was a very impromptu party and all who attended have everlasting memories of the most fantastic weekend with great friends, food and fun!
That weekend was the beginning of what we now call The FAB Festival. Since then, our big annual party seems to get a little bigger and grander every year. We now bring in a quieter and more powerful generator, a stage, laser lights, a catering company, coordinated group activities, and clean restrooms. Every year we enjoy delicious meals, fireworks and live entertainment next to the campfire in the evenings. Please join us and have the time of your life. The annual FAB Festival is an event to remember and not one to miss. It is held the 1st or 2nd weekend in August every year.
OutCamping is a Not-For-Profit Organization run by an all volunteer member staff.