What is a Gay Island Camp?
It's easy to answer:
A Gay Island Camp is a unique opportunity to spend a summer holiday with other gays.
But we would also like to give some more details about what a gay camp may be. The weeks are different from year to year. This depends among other things on the number of participants and who they are.
Who do you meet at a gay camp?
All ages between 20 and 70 are represented, but the majority are between 30 and 50. There will be all kinds of gays from all over Denmark and also from abroad, mostly Europeans. On previous camps there were, among others, teachers, computer scientists, engineers, high school teachers, artists, college students, unemployed and workers - just to show the diversity. A few use the refuge - which the camp also is - to put on a dress for the evening parties. To put it briefly - all kinds of gays attend the gay camp.
What is camp life like?
The island camp is light and air - both outside and inside - which you don't find in other places. You will always have a high ceiling!
The camp is located right by the beach, which in spite of its stones, is a lovely and usually undisturbed place to swim. On the three other sides ripe cornfields surround the camp. Sunbathing, bonfires, ballgames, touring along the coast and around Omø are among the possible activities.
We have agreed with the local bicycle rental shop that we can rent bicycles at a very cheap special rate. Well, the bikes have seen their better days, but they function--and what can we demand at that rate? Of course, you are welcome to bring your own bike.
A hike around the island takes 4 hours for the fast ones and about half a day at a strolling pace, so all distances are within reach. And the stars! The camp is completely isolated and very far away from electric light, when the sky is clear, you will the most beautiful 'dog days' night sky above you! How about a bonfire or a nocturnal swim in the moonlight?
Socialising is the core of the gay island camp, also when the practical chores have to be done: cooking, dishwashing, cleaning, etc. It can be quite a party when 4 gays together do the evening's dishwashing!
Music and singing are big hits in the gay camp. One of the regular participants normally brings his accordion to the camp. Everybody sings in his own way - at any rate, at the gay camp we have room for everybody. If you can play an instrument then bring it! The camp has got its own songbook with a mixed bouquet of known and beloved songs in Danish and English. But of course, the book also contains anything else than standard songs. For instance, every year it's a tradition that a song is written about exactly what happened that summer.
You can also visit the local pub. The names and locations of local pubs may vary from summer to summer.
The village church is a popular stop when hiking to the harbour.
A shower doesn't knock out an island camp.
There is a lot of room in the large kitchen tent and in the 150 sqm large so-called dance tent. Even in all-day rain the gay camp has its qualities: for instance hot tea and coffee with freshly baked cake and conversation in shelter with the rain drumming on the canvas.
An island camp has it all: if you wish to be a bit alone and read the daily newspaper or the mammoth novel you've brought, you just do that. If you want activity as mentioned above, the possibilities are numerous in the camp as well as around on the island.
Our live after the summercamp has ended
Most years we arrange one or two smaller events where we can meet again. Here is a few samples from present years
Visit at 'Bakkens Hvile' where we enjoy the old nerdy songs and a good beer. (open all summer)
Reunion at the German island Sylt.
This is the gay camp (summary):
If we collect all the above mentioned, we get the following characteristics:
•the physical surroundings are good
•the participants are manifold
•the opportunities numerous
In other words: the gay camp is what you make out of it!
You can read more about island camp life in general on the homepage of the 'Ølejrbevægelsen' (Island Camp Movement, in Danish).