Between the Worlds Covenants

These BTW Covenants are an agreement between the organizers of BTW, the attendees, and our host as to how we will conduct ourselves during the event. They provide the minimum expectations for how our community will function during our time together. You cannot have a functioning community without having some ground rules, and it isn’t fair to expect people to understand what is expected of them without informing them of these ground rules up front. The Covenants are designed to provide a harmonious and safe experience for our attendees, our hosts, the land, and its inhabitants.

Please read these BTW Covenants carefully! 
Everyone who has registered to attend BTW has agreed to comply with the BTW Covenants. If you don’t wish to comply with one or more of them, then please do not register or attend BTW. Violations of the BTW Covenants are grounds for dismissal from the Gathering without refund.

Alcohol and Tobacco
Use alcohol in moderation and in keeping with the spiritual orientation of the gathering. Alcohol consumption is only permitted in designated areas and private campsites. If you smoke, be respectful of those who do not; extinguish and properly dispose of your butts. Smoking is not permitted in ANY buildings (cabins, shower houses, dining hall, etc.). Alcohol and/or tobacco are not permitted in ritual space except for ceremonial purposes arranged for in advance.  If you do not drink alcohol and are passed a chalice containing an alcoholic beverage in ritual, it is permitted to pass it on without drinking or to pour a small libation in the ritual fire before passing it to the next person. If you have substance abuse issues that require special considerations, please make your concerns known well ahead of time to the person in charge of the ritual. Please bring alcoholic beverages for your own personal consumption only. The selling of alcohol at BTW is strictly prohibited in accordance with Ohio law. Persons caught selling alcohol will be expelled and barred from future events.

Between the Worlds welcomes the full spectrum of queer maleness, age 21 and older, who have an interest in alternative spiritual paths. BTW is open to newcomers as well as experienced practitioners. BTW is not open to the public or to the media. All persons must pre-register in order to attend. Campground management and GFG reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone, and to dismiss anyone who fails to comply with the campground rules and regulations, the covenants, or state and local laws.

The gathering has exclusive use of the campground for the duration of the event. Please be considerate of our host and do not stray from the areas shown on the map nor into restricted areas located on the map. If you wish to hike, please keep to marked trails and either take a buddy or notify someone of your intentions.

We do not supply tents or bedding, so please plan accordingly. Camper vans and recreational vehicles are permitted, but there is no provision for septic, water, or electrical hookups and you must make prior arrangements with us so that we can reserve firm ground for your vehicle. Please use light-colored marking cloths or fluorescent surveyor’s tape to mark the locations of your tent stakes and guide wires so that your fellow campers aren’t injured when navigating the site.

Clothing Optional
The BTW site is clothing optional in the wooded areas away from the front entrance. Bar-legal clothing is required in the field and front area of the campground. Clothing should be worn when guests(e.g., emergency crews, portalet cleaning crews) come onto the land. Keep in mind that nudity is not an invitation to have sex (see “Sexual Etiquette” below).

Communications and networking amongst attendees are some of the hallmarks of the BTW community. If you have any ideas, concerns, or problems, we encourage you to seek out a Facilitator or member of GFG. We ask that attendees respect the open and trusting nature of the community and refrain from pressuring other attendees to join their workshops, rituals, or organizations. A table is provided for the display and distribution of organizational and event literature. This is located at the entrance of the campground and materials can be dropped off when you check-in.

Please attend the morning meetings and any special meetings that may be called in order to stay informed of the day’s activities and any emergency issues that may arise. Help to build a cooperative community spirit. Strive to make new friends, attend workshops and rituals, and learn from one another. That’s the whole point of this endeavor! Treat one another with respect. Be considerate of each other’s needs and personal space. Please cooperate with the gathering and campground staff – help them to ensure that everyone’s stay is both safe and spiritually fulfilling.

The availability of electricity at BTW is extremely limited, so please plan accordingly. Electrical power is available in all cabins (two outlets each) and very limited in tent camping spaces. There is no guarantee that anyone will have access to electrical power for their personal campsites. There are outlets at the shower house for personal use. Sunshine’s Kitchen and Pan’s Place have outlets for phones and other electronics to be used and charged. There will be generators for electric use in the field area for CPAP use only.  Other generators and vehicle engines may not be run during the gathering without prior permission from the organizers.

Firearms and Fireworks
Please do not bring them to BTW.

Fires and Firewood
Firewood is available for use in designated fire areas. All designated fire areas are identified by an off-ground fire brazier.  DO NOT move the fire braziers from their location. Attendees are permitted to gather downed wood from the forest. Please use caution when kindling fires of any size, when using candles or torches, or when disposing of cigarettes. Private campsite fires are not permitted. You may not dig a fire pit. Once a fire is started, it must be tended until it is extinguished. Should a fire get out of hand, immediately shout for help. Fire extinguishers and water buckets are available in every cabin and in every showerhouse. 

The Hearth Fire at Pan’s Place is set aside for drumming, dancing, and fellowship after 11:30 PM. Please do not throw any trash or cigarette butts in any of the fires.

Spinning unlit poi, staffs, fans, and LED poi is allowed in designated safe areas only. Fire-spinning is not permitted.

First Aid
Counseling and First Aid members of the Brotherhood of the Spectrum Blade wear red armbands. SecMed (our first aid station) is located across from Sunshine’s Kitchen next to the Astral Anchor (volleyball court). If you are injured at BTW you should report to SecMed to be treated and to allow us to fill out an incident report. In the event of a medical emergency, summon help immediately from BTW staff. Each cabin and showerhouse will have a walkie talkie preset to the proper channel.  If needed, simply turn it on and call for help. Do not attempt to move an incapacitated victim unless they are in physical danger.

Attendees should be aware of three critical items of importance that will greatly improve their chances of a safe and enjoyable gathering experience: water, sunscreen, and hard-soled shoes. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, as you may be out in the elements and doing a lot more walking than you may be used to. Wear sunscreen and/or headgear when you are out in the sun to prevent sunburn (yes, even if it’s cold outside). Wear appropriate footwear that will lessen the chances of foot and ankle injuries. Be extra careful when navigating around tents to avoid tripping on stakes and guy wires. Additionally, insect repellent to battle mosquitoes and ticks may be necessary. Check your body at least twice a day for ticks. Finally, we encourage the use of safe-sex practices should you decide to play with others. Spectrum Blade has a supply available at First Aid; however, attendees should endeavor to bring their own safe-sex supplies.

FRS Channels and Cell Phones
The BTW and campground staff use FRS radios at gatherings to keep track of important business throughout the day. Please keep the odd-numbered channels clear for staff use. Please be considerate when using cell phones and radios – never in or near workshops or rituals! We highly recommend you try your best to take the opportunity to unplug for the week and enjoy the escape.

You must present a driver’s license or other government-issued photo I.D. at the Info Tent. The check-in process will be completed at the Info Tent where you will also sign up for your work shifts. There you will receive a guidebook and an event bracelet which you must wear for the duration of your stay. Persons without a bracelet may be asked to leave the site without refund.

Grounding and Centering
This cannot be overemphasized. If you’ve never been to a gathering like this before, you may be in for some culture shock. Gatherings are often strange and disorientating to a newcomer, especially one who may not have had much exposure to the ritual concepts and traditions that may be present there. It is very important to take some quiet time for yourself once a day to center your thoughts and ground out excess energy so that you don’t become overstimulated. It happens to the best of us at times. If you’re having a problem in this area, ask one of the Counseling Coordinators or other BTW staff for help.  Astral Anchor is a designated grounding spot to assist in this matter.

Health Conditions
If you have a disability or any physical and/or mental health conditions that require you to take medication, use medical devices, or require periodic monitoring, you must describe these conditions and medications on your registration form. You will need to bring a sufficient supply of medication for your time here. Persons with severe conditions should not attend BTW, as we do not have the necessary staff to look after their needs. If you are taking prescription medications, please continue to do so throughout the event.  If Facilitators or Spectrum Blade determine that you cannot remain at the gathering safely because you have not brought sufficient personal medical supplies, you will be asked to leave without a refund.

Illegal drugs
Following state and local laws are required. Persons caught selling or distributing illegal substances will be expelled and barred from all future events.

There is space for a limited number of merchant booths at BTW. If you want to sell or barter goods or services at BTW, you must complete a Merchant Permit application and submit it with your registration form. There is a non-refundable $25 booth fee due with your permit application. To help keep Merchant Permit prices low, we ask that all merchants donate one item to the silent auction.. You may not sell or barter goods or services without a Merchant Permit. The permit entitles you to a dedicated merchant space and a listing in the gathering guidebook. The monies raised from merchant fees go towards the Ganesha Scholarship fund. Merchants must provide their own booth equipment (e.g., tables, chairs, awnings, etc.). Electricity is not supplied to the vending area. Merchants, their goods, and/or services are not covered under the liability policies of GFG, BTW, or the campground. Merchants are responsible for obtaining their own liability coverage if they so choose. Merchants are also responsible for collecting Ohio state sales tax, if applicable. GFG, BTW or the campground neither police nor control these functions. Merchants are allowed to sell from their camp and if they prefer; they should note this on their Merchant Permit application.

The minimum age for attending BTW is 21. No exceptions will be made.

Please understand that you are at a social and spiritual gathering.  There are rituals and drumming that could happen throughout the day and night.  If you are sensitive to noise, please prepare and bring earplugs for your sleeping pleasure. Also, if you are staying in a cabin, please be considerate of your cabinmates.  They don’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night.

Operating Hours
BTW runs from noon the starting day until noon the ending day. Please do not plan to arrive earlier or stay later unless you have made prior arrangements with Green Faerie Grove.

Parking and Traffic
All vehicles must be unloaded and moved to the parking area for the duration of the Gathering. If your vehicle is leaking fluids, please place a piece of cardboard or other barriers underneath your vehicle to catch the leaks. The speed limit on campground roads is 5 miles per hour. DO NOT exceed the speed limit for the safety of your fellow campers.  Leaving vehicles at your campsite or cabin is prohibited.

Pets/Animal Friends/Familiars
Please do not bring them to BTW.

Photography and Electronic Recording
In order to protect the privacy of attendees and the integrity of BTW and The Green Faerie Grove, if you wish to take photographs or movies (including with cell phone cameras, digital video recorders, or other media) or make audio recordings for your own personal use, you must abide by the following:

All persons who may appear in the photograph or recording must grant you their permission.

 Photography or recording of workshops or rituals is not permitted.

 Large group photos or recordings are not permitted
(unless the intent of items no. 1 above and 5 below are met).

 Photographs or recordings of sexual activity are not permitted.

 Marketing, publishing (in all media formats), or distribution of photos or recordings taken at BTW by attendees is not permitted.

Some photography or recording may be done by BTW staff for archival and marketing purposes for the gathering. If you have any questions, see the Co-facilitators or the Staff photographer for more information.

Recycling and Trash
Respect the land and dispose of your trash in proper receptacles.  Trash is picked up daily by the campground staff.  Recycling is a duty of every member of the BTW Community. You are responsible for bagging your recyclables and dropping them off at the proper location on your way out after the event. Please pack green, and do not litter. If you see trash on the ground, please pick it up and dispose of it. Cigarette butts must be fully extinguished and placed in appropriate containers – never on the ground or in any fire! Keep in mind that others must also use these accommodations, so please clean up after yourself no matter where you are in the campground.

Be considerate of all other attendees, including those whose national origin, spiritual path, race, or other ways may differ from your own. Be sensitive to the needs of others. Be respectful of others’ personal space and possessions. Be honest and trustworthy in your dealings with others. Open communication is welcomed and encouraged at BTW; proselytizing or disparaging the beliefs of others is not. Be considerate of BTW staff and campground staff. Respect the land and its inhabitants, be they plant, animal or spirits of nature.

Ritual Etiquette
Generally speaking, rituals are participatory in nature and involve the creation of a sacred boundary that must not be crossed once erected. In many traditions, breaking the boundary (entering or leaving) of a ritual is frowned upon unless you are assisted in the process by a ritual facilitator. You should not arrive late for a ritual, and if you do you may be prevented from entering the ritual space. All electronic devices should be silenced or turned off (or better yet, left back at your campsite or cabin). Pictures or recordings are not permitted. In order to ensure that the ritual is properly focused, it is important to keep your attention on the ritual leader(s). Minimize idle conversation. Smoking is never permitted unless it is part of the ritual. Avoid attending rituals under the influence of illicit substances. If you have severe allergies, be aware that smudge, incense, or aromatic oils are often present. If you do not drink alcohol, it is always permissible to pass a cup or pour a libation in the ritual fire instead of drinking.

The Brotherhood of the Spectrum Blade (BSB) is the safety and security services group at BTW. Security members of (BSB) wear red armbands. They are located in Spiritwolf Akesios Lodge next to Bubbling Cauldron, SecMed across from Sunshine’s Kitchen, and may also be seen on patrol. If you are having problems at the gathering, please see one of the Spectrum Blade members or any BTW staff member for assistance or use one of the walkie-talkies located throughout the site. It is important that everyone looks out for one another. Having said that, you are personally responsible for yourself and your possessions while at BTW. Green Faerie Grove, BTW staff, and campground staff cannot be held liable for any personal injury or loss occurring to anyone during the gathering.

Please observe the 5mph speed limit while driving through the campground.. Do not hitchhike to or from the site.

We DO NOT accept registrations at the gate, so please do not bring un-registered persons to the Gathering! If you do you will be asked to leave without refund.

Sexual Etiquette
BTW is a community of adults and adult maturity is expected of everyone in their conduct with others within this community. In order to ensure that BTW remains a safe environment for all, attendees must respect the sovereignty of each individual in the disposition of their own body, while also being mindful of the consequences of their own decisions in that regard. Therefore, it is very important to keep some things in mind::

 First and foremost – no means no. Do not assume that just because someone is attending this gathering that they have the same outlook on sexual intimacy, personal space, or attraction/aesthetics that you do. Nor should one assume that anyone’s attendance at the gathering or any particular workshop equates to consent, or that a person’s nudity is an invitation to be sexually intimate. Anyone who has a problem understanding these concepts should not attend BTW, as violations of this trust will result in expulsion and barring from all future events. If someone touches you or addresses you in a manner that makes you uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to make that person aware of your feelings in a calm and mature manner and ask that the objectionable behavior stop. If the person does not stop after you have requested this, then please ask a Facilitator or member of BSB to assist you with this situation. Consent is a revocable status. You can change your mind about a situation at any given time.

 Please practice safe(r) sex. Use condoms as your conscience and/or better judgment dictates, use the appropriate lube for the type of condom you are using, do not share sex toys with others, and make decisions on sexual intimacy with a sober mind. If you have a sexually transmitted disease, please be responsible and discuss this with your partner(s) before having sex. And please be discrete where you have sex. We encourage attendees to get STD and HIV screenings prior to the event.

 Some words on polyamory. The freedoms inherent in a gathering of this nature can open one’s eyes to new relationship possibilities. However, it is rash to decide on the spur of the moment (say, on the way to the gathering) that you and your lover should experiment with “poly.” This is a decision that should be discussed in depth with your current partner, with consideration of the potential impact on your existing relationship. Having said that, if you are interested in polyamory, there will be a number of people in attendance who will be happy to give you some advice on how to proceed. A Polyamaory Roundtable is held at the event, as well.

 Finally – please treat one another with respect as loving, caring, spiritual beings. Be honest with yourself and with your current and prospective partners. Take time to reflect on the implications of new relationships before you act. Leave the bar attitudes at home for the week. Maybe you’ll make some new friends, perhaps you’ll find new love, but whatever happens, it is hoped that you will grow spiritually in the process.

There is a swimming pool that is only open during hours listed in the schedule and while there is a lifeguard on duty. Swim-wear must be worn at all times. The pond near Glowing Embers is off limits for swimming.

Water, Showers, Portatoilets, Bathrooms
There are water faucets at several locations in the campground for use in filling water jugs. Please do not wash utensils or dishes in the shower houses. Grey-water can be dumped in the woods. Turn all faucets completely off when you are done using them.

The shower house is provided with hot water. Please limit your shower time to save water and to allow others a turn. Please use biodegradable soap in the shower house. Please note that you must be dressed in bar-legal clothes outside the shower house if walking to an open area near the front of the site.

Portatoilets are provided throughout the campsite. It’s a good idea to bring an additional roll of toilet paper with you when camping in case you encounter an empty dispenser. Please do not use the woods as your bathroom! When you are done using the porta-toilet, please clean up after yourself and close the lid to contain odors. Please don’t throw cigarettes or other trash in the porta-toilets!

Wildlife and Wildcrafting
Tread lightly on the land. No hunting or fishing is permitted. Do not try to feed, touch, or interact with the wildlife you encounter. It’s their home – be gentle with them. Be conscious of how you store food so as to keep from attracting wildlife into your campsite. Store opened food in containers with tight-fitting lids. Please try not to disturb the flora you encounter so that others may enjoy it in the future. No woodcutting or gathering is permitted unless it’s from downed trees, limbs or branches.

As a condition of attending BTW, each person must commit to contribute two 2-hour work shifts during the gathering to assist the facilitators and the coordinators in their duties. Facilitating any number of workshops or rituals at BTW counts as one 2-hour work shift.

You must sign up for your work shifts when you arrive on site. Please be on time for your shifts. In keeping with the egalitarian orientation of the gathering, you are required to fulfill your own obligation and not place the burden on others. These jobs are necessary to help ensure that BTW functions in a safe and efficient manner for the enjoyment of all. Scholarship awardees may be required to help fill in additional vacant work shifts above and beyond the two required.

Workshops, rituals, and events at BTW must be pre-approved by the BTW Facilitators. If you wish to make a change in programming during the gathering, you must first obtain the approval of a BTW Facilitator. All electronic devices should be silenced or turned off during workshops unless specifically permitted by the workshop presenter. Pictures or recordings are generally not permitted. Smoking is never permitted unless you have the consensus of all attendees and the workshop presenter.