Copy of Fall Camp 2023 Header

Camp FAQ's

Camp FAQ's were sourced from LOIA members who have been to camp. These are the questions that they had, what they wish they would have known, and what they feel is important for you to consider coming to play with us! Further questions can be directed to admin@lesbiansofiowa.org.

357509623_10103538857758199_6749623311632985818_n
Camp Experience

Who comes to Camp? 
Camp is open to ALL members of Lesbians of Iowa. Membership in LOIA is exclusive to 18+ females, trans-folk (both ftm and mtf) and gender variant individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. The identities represented within LOIA are expansive. There is no requirement of presentation or passing. We invite ALL attendees to show up in whatever ways feel affirming to you as individuals.

Why is Spring/Fall Camp open to guests?
We acknowledge that closing our events impacts those of us who exist in relationships (friendships or otherwise) outside of the LOIA community. For this reason, we remain committed to providing several camps throughout the year. From the beginning, LOIA has been a space that includes people from a variety of orientations and identities. Allowing our members to bring outside guests is an act of inclusion, which acknowledges the variety of queer relationships and friendships that we represent.

What is the vibe? Is it a wild party or is everyone zen/quiet?
There's a mix of people and moods, and overall, the vibe is pretty chill. Everyone is super nice. We take over the entire campground, so it's one big safe space. There is enough room for people to spread out and do their own thing. The pool is super chill and relaxing. There are lots of places to sit around the pool, including shaded areas. Some people go topless or nude, and it's a relaxed/chill vibe. You can wear what you want and feel comfortable and accepted. At night, some people drink alcohol and get a little loud, and other people smoke/drink and are quiet. Others hang out in the barn playing board games. Many folks are asleep by midnight, but you've got the option to stay up all night if that's your mood.

This will be my First Time. Will I be welcome?

YES! We’re working to create events for first time campers to Meet & Mingle with one another and the rest of the campers.

If I come, I'd be coming alone. I'm very anxious. 
You're never REALLY alone at camp. You'll be joining 50-100 of your new besties. We're hosting a First Timers Social on Thursday night, to help ease you in to Camp. In addition, we probably also have anxiety and are happy to give you as much space as you need to recover from all of the new-ness! Check out Tracie's experience below and consider stopping by this First Timers Advice Thread, to learn what has been helpful for others!

Hi all!! My biggest advice is to be brave!! You won't regret it! My first campout was Spring Camp 2022 (and if I could do it at 54, so can you!! Stop shaking your head that you can't!!) I had been an LOIA member for a while, but not really active, just observing and trying to sort of get to know the folks that posted (that's advice number 2). I made the decision to go tent camp solo, not knowing anyone for real. It was chilly and there ended up maybe about 24 people. I have (or had) a bit of social anxiety, but I saw Anitta and immediately felt at ease, and Tamra helped me to feel okay about feeling awkward and went with me to my first campfire!! (Advise number 3, find another person and just say hi!) They made me feel so welcomed as did anyone else I came across!! I still had to unpeople from time to time, but guess what, others did too and it didn't matter anyway. I felt comfortable and if I started to feel anxiety, it was okay to take care of me, not an ounce of judgement. By the end of the weekend I made some amazing connections with people I now call friends and I was so excited to have found my people, where I could be 100% (okay, at that time maybe 75%) myself. I couldn't wait till Summer Camp 2022 and every camp since!! I am planning on these campouts being a yearly thing for me. Going to camp and meeting such a diverse and amazing group of humans who love and accept one another is the greatest experience. I have come out of my shell (as many can attest, 😂) and have now tried to go out of my way to meet people I don't know and be a helper (it's in my nature) to the new comers!! So come on, whatcha waiting for??
- Tracie L.
Are there scheduled activities?
Yes, and participation is always optional. Past activities have included board games, movies, karaoke, drag and talent shows, trivia, potlucks/community meals, lawn games, etc. You can find the camp schedule by visiting HERE.
Do I have to go to all the events?
No, none of the events are mandatory. Feel free to join or do your own thing! 

Are there any rules that we should observe while on-site?
YES! Many of those rules are included amongst these FAQs, but for a complete list of LV rules, please head over to: https://www.lvcampground.com/rules

I just drove in and have no idea where to go.
Drive forward directly into the camp, past the barn, then at the T junction at the end, turn Left (L for Lesbian), and then Left again (more Lesbian) pulling up to the concrete patio. The Camp Office is directly ahead.

Is there a Camp Map?
Yes! (Thanks, Abbie!)

358085224_10223957339390036_7391066180121768495_n
Sex, Drugs & Rock n' Roll

Rumor has it that Camp is 420 friendly, is that true?
YES! Please see below for further guidance on where and how folks should be engaging/considerate of others.

What about other substances?
LV has ZERO TOLERANCE for illicit drug use. This includes partaking prior to arrival. If you are found altered or in possession of anything other than 420 - you will be asked to leave camp (when safe for you to do so) and you will not be allowed back to future LOIA Camps.

Is there Narcan available on-site?
At this time, no. LOIA is in the process of acquiring emergency use doses. If you engage in substance use, you do so at your own risk.

Where should people smoke/not smoke?
There is no smoking permitted in any building, at any time, in any form. (This includes cabin rentals. Smoking in cabins will result in damage and cleaning charges from LV.) Please do not smoke anything in the pool or near others who are not consenting. Please be aware of your surroundings and ask permission from others around you before engaging. If needed, move to an open area.

What about vaping?
There is no smoking permitted in any building, at any time, in any form. (This includes cabin rentals. Smoking in cabins will result in damage and cleaning charges from LV.) Please do not smoke anything in the pool or near others who are not consenting. Please be aware of your surroundings and ask permission from others around you before engaging. If needed, move to an open area.

Where is appropriate to fool around/have sex at camp? In your tent? Behind a tree? After dark wherever?
Group culture has trended towards private spaces (tents, cars, showers, etc.) Dealers choice, as long as it's not in the pool/on the pool deck.

Enter

Yo

Are there quiet hours?
While many people are in bed by midnight, this is not a requirement of camp. There are no designated quiet hours at camp; however, we do ask that attendees be mindful of their noise levels after midnight and early in the morning. If you're someone that needs quiet to sleep, consider choosing a campsite at a distance from the Community Fire Pit located in front of the Small Cabins.

Camp Amenities

Is there firewood available, or should I bring my own?
There is firewood available on-site for .50/piece. Please pay the Camp Office for private fire usage. LOIA supplies firewood for the Community Firepit located in front of the Small Cabins. Firewood is located directly next to the pool. You are welcome to bring your own, if you've got wood to burn. 

What is seating like around the campground?
There is not a lack of places to sit in the pool, office, and barn area. There are picnic tables by most of the campsites. There are at least two chairs included in each small (outside) and medium cabin (inside), and at least four chairs in each large cabin (inside). For seating elsewhere, we encourage you to bring your favorite camp chair!

What is the bathroom situation, do I need to bring toilet paper?
TP is provided by the campground. If you find that a restroom is running low on TP, please alert the Camp Office. There are also hand dryers. Sometimes the hand soap runs out, so it's a good item to pack hand soap/sanitizer, along with a roll of TP, just in case. There are two unisex outdoor stalls near the tent camping. The stalls are very clean and tidy and feel more private than expected. There are multiple bathroom stalls in the shower house near the pool, as well.

Is there hot water at the camp?
Hot water is available for showers and the kitchen sink. There is no hot water in the bathroom sinks.

What are the showers like?
While the showers are not exposed to the elements - they are camp showers and we do recommend to bring shower shoes. There are step-in standing showers available in both bathrooms located near the Pool. Each shower has a curtain for privacy and a common dressing area directly outside of them. The dressing area/shower can be separated from the rest of the bathroom by closing a door. No towels are provided unless you are staying in a cabin. 

Are the showers accessible?
Please note that all showers require the person to be able to take a step up to get into the shower. One can prepare by bringing a step stool, if needed. Or, ask a friend for a hand! 

Are food and beverages provided?
Mostly no. There are some coordinated meals/potlucks, and sometimes people buddy up to cook together. But, unless there is a meal that is scheduled on the Schedule you should plan on bringing food and beverages to last the duration of your stay.

Is there coffee or do I need to bring my own?
There is free coffee available all day in the office. But, if you want a liquid creamer, plan to bring some!

Does the freezer make enough ice for cocktails? Or should we plan on bringing coolers for ice?
There is a small ice maker in the Camp Office, that is free to use. It is only accessible when the Office is open.

Assuming we need a cooler, is there a store nearby to buy it or an ice machine on-site?
The closest places to purchase ice throughout the weekend will be either Casey's in Coggon or Walmart in Manchester. There are deep freezers available in the Barn, should you need somewhere to store excess ice.

What is available in the kitchen for preparing and storing food?
In the Camp Office, there is a full size kitchen available for preparing food. Kitchen access is unavailable when the Office is closed. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you make use of your own coolers for food storage. While there is a full-sized refrigerator available for use, space will be prioritized for common meal storage. All other supplies are available for group use. This includes items such as: pots, pans, all kinds of utensils, measuring cups, plates, bowls, cups/mugs, bakeware, etc. There are also two deep freezes are available in the barn, if temporary cold storage is needed.

What's the deal with kitchen clean-up?
Make sure to clean up after yourself as this is a shared space. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE DIRTY DISHES FOR OTHERS TO WASH! Rinse your dishes, wash by hand, and then put them away where you found them. All clean-up should be done immediately following cooking. Leaving dirty dishes unattended attracts flies, and prevents use by others who may need access to the space.

What's the deal with trash?
During the weekend, there are several common rubbish bins around the property available for waste. There is also a dumpster in the middle of the campground. On the day of check-out, please bag your waste and take it to the dumpster, or leave it at the roadside closest to your site for pickup by the Camp Staff.

Can I park next to my tent?
Yes.

If I get a cabin, can I park right by it?
You can unload pretty close to most cabins, but there is limited space surrounding the cabins. You can park your car alongside the cabins and roadways, anywhere that it will fit. Please be mindful of blocking roadways and road access should emergency vehicles need to enter the grounds.

Cabins
If I get a cabin, what size is the refrigerator? Does it have a freezer?
The Small and Medium cabins both have Dorm-sized refrigerators, with separate freezers. The Large Cabins come equipped with a 2/3 refrigerator, with a separate freezer.

If I’m in a cabin will I have access to a fire pit?
There are no designated fire pits associated with the cabin rentals. However, you're welcome to take over any unassigned fire ring, or consider joining any gathered group!

Are the Cabins accessible?
All cabins have between 1 and 5 steps to access them. Space for mobility aids will be limited in the Small Cabins. The Medium and Large Cabins could accommodate wheelchair access within the unit(s). However, none of the Cabins are ADA compliant, as far as we are aware.

What amenities do the Small Cabins have?
Small Cabins are equipped with a Dorm-sized refrigerator, with separate freezer, simple tiny microwave (timer only, no turntable or defrost). The only sitting options provided are plastic chairs located on the "porch" of the cabin. There is limited space within the Small Cabins to add additional seating. No sink or water. If using a camp stove, you should use it outdoors. Each Small Cabin includes one queen sized bed. Bedding and towels are provided. LOIA recommends bringing your own, for personal preference.

What amenities do the Medium Cabins have?
Medium Cabins are equipped with a Dorm-sized refrigerator, with separate freezer. Microwaves are in the process of being installed and are not guaranteed. There are variable sitting options amongst the cabins. No sink or water. If using a camp stove, you should use it outdoors. Each Medium Cabin includes one queen sized bed. Bedding and towels are provided. LOIA recommends bringing your own, for personal preference. AC in the medium cabins are shared via a central control. Individual units do not have the ability to control.

Where are the pics for the Medium cabins?
LV has not yet supplied photos of the medium cabins. Photos will be taken at Fall Camp for future use.

What amenities do the Large Cabins have?
Large Cabins are equipped with a 2/3 fridge with freezer, simple tiny microwave (timer only, no turntable or defrost), small countertop, small dining table and chairs. No sink or water. If using a camp stove, you should use it outdoors. Each Large Cabin includes two queen sized beds. Bedding and towels are provided. LOIA recommends bringing your own, for personal preference.

The Large Cabins indicate that they sleep FOUR guests. What is the bed situation?
Large Cabins are equipped with TWO queen size beds for sharing. There is a fair amount of floor space for those that would prefer to use a cot or air mattress, instead of sharing.

Packing List

Essenials:

  • Tent (with the Poles, Amy!)
  • Tarp for Under Tent
  • Rainfly for Over Tent
  • Air Mattress and Pump
  • Bedding
  • Pillow
  • Camp Chair
  • Food/Snacks - consider prepping ahead!
  • Water
  • Towels

Items to Consider:

  • Shower Shoes
  • Fan
  • Liquids of Choice
  • Swim Wear
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunblock
  • Trash Bag
  • Flashlight
  • Pocket Knife/Multitool
  • Umbrella
  • Warm Clothes
  • Cooler
Registration & Refunds

What does Camp cost?

Cost is calculated per night, plus taxes and service fee. Cabins require a 2 night stay Friday and Saturday.
Day Pass ($15), Tent ($40), Electric and Water ($50), Full Service ($60), Little Cabin ($75), Medium Cabin ($110), Large Cabin ($145)

When do I pay?
All bookings require a 50% deposit at time of booking. Upon deposit submission, you will be emailed a link to complete the final payment. The final payment will be due by September 1st, end of day. If you require an extension to complete your full payment, please reach out to admin@lesbiansofiowa.org by August 25th. If you DO NOT pay your full payment and DO NOT request an extension, your cabin will be released to the Cabin Waitlist.

What payment methods are accepted?
Online, you have the options of paying via card or virtual check. If you require an alternative payment method, please reach out to admin@lesbiansofiowa.org.

Why do Cabins require a 2-night stay, covering Friday and Saturday?
LV is not equipped to turn over cabins between guests who may book for a single night stay, within the Private Booking window that we hold. Booking a single night on a Thursday or Friday, would prevent further booking for the remainder of the weekend. Booking a single night on Saturday would prevent reservations from being able to book Thursday or Friday.

How many people does my registration cover?
Most bookings include the registration cost for TWO individuals. Large Cabins are the exception, which include FOUR individuals. If you want to share space with more than the designated 2/4 people included in your registration, each additional person will be charged on the invoice at a rate of $15/person/day. You are responsible for collecting this from your guests, if you're planning for reimbursement. Failure to submit additional guest fees is consider theft of service from LV and could impact future camping opportunities with LOIA and LV.

All of the Cabins are full. What are my other options?
You can join the Cabin Waitlist at no cost. 
You can register for a tent spot. 
You can rent an RV using a site such as Outdoorsy. (Some owners will even deliver and pick up from the campground!)
You can book at a local hotel. (Check the Surroundings tab for a list of local hotels, including distance, drive time and price for a 2-night stay!)

I registered for a Tent/Cabin, but I am no longer able to attend. Can I have a refund?
LOIA will issue a refund within 24 hours of booking, minus taxes and fees. LOIA will NOT issue refunds after the initial 24 hour period, except for in extreme circumstances and when approved by the LOIA leadership team. This is for all bookings made for camp, NOT just the cabins.

If one registers and pays then cannot attend, may one gift or sell their reservation to an LOIA friend?
YES! It would be ideal for spaces to not be empty. Keep us in the loop and we may be able to help fill the space!
Surroundings
Are there any trails/hiking?
Pinicon Ridge Park
Buffalo Creek Park
- Closed for the 2023 season.

Are there any disc golf courses nearby?
There’s a disc golf course at Savage Park in Coggon.

Where is the nearest grocery store, gas station, pharmacy, etc.?
Cedar Rapids (40 mins via I380) & Marion (30 mins via Hwy 151) have numerous stores for all needs. We recommend you utilize google to find any local stores and services you may need. Manchester is 20 minutes North and has a Fareway, Walmart, Dollar Store, and hardware store.

Below are the locations closest to LV Campground:
Grocery Store
     Walmart, Manchester
     Fareway, Manchester
Gas Station
      Casey’s, Coggon
Pharmacy
     Central City Family Pharmacy
Hospital/Emergency Department
     Mercy Emergency Department - Hiawatha

Alternative Lodging Options: 

Manchester, IA (22 mi, 30 min to LV)
     SureStay by Best Western 
     2 night stay for 2 people: $200 +tax/fees

     Cobblestone Inn and Suites
     2 night stay for 2 people: $300 +tax/fees

Urbana, IA (12 mi, 20 min to LV)
     Urbana Inn and Suites 
     2 night stay for 2 people: $210 +tax/fees

Marion, IA (26 mi, 35 min to LV)
     Marion Inn 
     2 night stay for 2 people: $220 +tax/fees

Independence, IA (17 mi, 25 min to LV)
     Super 8 
     2 night stay for 2 people :$200 +tax/fees

     Comfort Inn and Suites
     2 night stay for 2 people: $250 +tax/fees

Anamosa, IA (11 mi, 20 min to LV)
     Super 8
     2 night stay for 2 people :$240 +tax/fees

Safety & Concerns

My refrigerator does not appear to be working. What should I do?
All refrigerators are turned off between use. Upon arrival, turn the dial in your refrigerator to a colder temperature, in order to kick the condenser on. If this does not work after a few hours, please inform the Camp Office.

The bathrooms are dirty or out of toilet paper.
Please notify the Camp Office.

Are dogs allowed on-site?
Technically? Kind of. Campground rules state that dogs are allowed as long they are kept on a leash, you immediately clean up and dispose waste, it does not excessively bark and does not dig holes in the ground. By default, the campground states there are not animals allowed in the cabins, the office, the barn or the pool. All exceptions to these rules must have approval from the campground directly - LOIA will not be granting this. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to leave your animals at home, for their safety and your fun.

Is there a lifeguard at the pool? Are there people who are trained for 1st Aid and CPR?
There is no lifeguard, the pool is considered “swim at your own risk”, and locked when the Camp Office closes. The pool is rarely vacant, and located right next to the office, so people usually are immediately nearby. Please note that we do often have medical professionals camping amongst us, but they may be impaired as they indulge in their own time away. The closest hospital is a 20 minute drive. Please consider these things before engaging in high risk behaviors.

Who should I contact if I have an issue or concern at camp?
Anitta (Cabin #5) or Cassie (Cabin #6).

I am concerned about another camper’s mental/physical/emotional health and or behaviors. What should I do?
Please bring any concerns to the attention of Anitta (Cabin #5) or Cassie (Cabin #6). The concern will be addressed promptly and any further needs will be addressed by one of us. If there is a medical emergency please let Cassie know immediately, and prior to calling 911.

Please note that LV does not allow the presence of firearms on the property.

Tech & Communication
Is there wi-fi available?
Yes! But, it is only available to a limited range. Network and Password information is posted in the Camp Office.

How is the phone signal situation?
Most phone carriers work fine.
*Mint does not. Users can usually make phone calls and text, access to data may be limited.

Volunteer Info

What are the "to do lists" for the different volunteer roles?
Answer.

Accessibility

  • Be aware that there are few paved surfaces: outside of the office, patio, and pool area. The rest of the campground has gravel and natural dirt/grass surfaces. 
  • Please note that all showers require the person to be able to take a step up to get into the shower. One can prepare by bringing a step stool, if needed. Or, ask a friend for a hand! 
  • All cabins have between 1 and 5 steps to access them. Space for mobility aids will be limited in the Small Cabins. The Medium and Large Cabins could accommodate wheelchair access within the unit(s). However, none of the Cabins are ADA compliant, as far as we are aware.
  • There is electricity available in all cabins. Tent placement can be coordinate alongside of electricity.
  • There are no handicap accessible restrooms on-site; however, the "male" designated restroom near the pool house could be converted to "private use" to accommodate campers who need extra space to access the restrooms. 
  • There is not a lack of places to sit in the pool, office, and barn area. There are picnic tables by most (all?) of the campsites. There are at least two chairs included in each small and medium cabin, and at least four chairs in each large cabin. For seating elsewhere, we encourage you to bring your favorite camp chair!
  • Events held in the barn occasionally use the microphone, speaker system, and/or strobe lights.