The two-day camp will be held at YMCA Camp Shady Brook in Decker and starts on September 10 through September 12. It’s sprung from the organizers’ annual Galentine’s event in February — Bae Day. The annual event celebrates friendship, philanthropy and inclusivity for women and non-binary individuals to make new connections. Due to COVID, Bae Day morphed into the possibility of having an event on a more spread out scale. This lead to the launch of Camp Bae Day.
“We decided [it] would be a great way for us to get people together where we can still socially distance,” said Lauren Carter, executive director of Camp Bae Day and executive director of Bad Bettie Project. “We decided [to] try to find a cool camp that we can take over for a weekend and do everything that we normally would, just on a [bigger] scale.”
Organizers of the event took to social media with the potential idea of the camp and it was met with great enthusiasm.
“We put it out there to our core group and everybody was just so, so into the idea,” Carter said. “They loved the fact that it would be socially distant and that we were able to push things out to later in the year when more people would be vaccinated. It just gives everyone the opportunity to not only connect with their old friends and businesses that they love from last Bae Day, but also to make new friends and new connections in a longer, more meaningful, immersive way.”
The all-inclusive camp offers cabin lodging, a full two days of meals and beverages and a ton of activities to make the weekend even better. Camp-goers can relive their day-camp dreams with canoeing, axe throwing and workshopping. Camp Bae Day also partners with local sponsors such as Miss Fancy Plants and Housewives in the City for some more not-so-childlike activities such as spa services, interactive mural making and even a gourmet s’mores bar for some extra added sweetness. You also get to take home some fun swag and make friends along the way.
Campers can also build themselves up with confidence exercises by attending a booth that allows individuals to give affirmations to themselves and others, and also ask for advice or for help.
“These activities set Camp Bae Day apart from other wilderness camps and adult camps by really centering the weekend around friendship and connection while creating a safe space for women, femmes and non-binary individuals,“ Carter said.
“The idea is for this event to really be accommodating to people who want to go and meet as many people as they want. And then also if that’s not your style and you’d rather go spend some time by the lake and then do the social hour that we have that night, that’s fine too,” Carter said.
Camp Bae Day’s other mission — to raises funds for the Bad Bettie Project. The project is a nonprofit organization that helps connect and empower millennial women, trans women, non-binary individuals and trans men as other marginalized groups that might be in financial despair. The organization has a New York chapter, a Maryland chapter and, of course, a Colorado chapter.
“I think that’s why so many people love this event. Sure it’s a great opportunity to come in and get your glam done and have a good time with friends, but it’s all in the name of charity. The proceeds go back to our Emergency Bettie Fund, which helps women [and non-binary individuals] who are facing financial despair,” explained Carter. “I think it really speaks to people, especially our members. They all seem to just want to find ways that they can help each other. And that’s what this is. We’re just a community of giving and helping and seeing how we can scratch each other’s backs.”
Passes for Camp Bae Day are sold out. However, Bae Day and Camp Bae Day are set to return next year. If you want to contribute to Bad Bettie Project and the Emergency Bettie Fund, you can donate here.
All photography courtesy of Bad Bettie Project – Club Page on Facebook.