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Between The Worlds
A Spiritual Gathering For Men Who Love Men

Between the Worlds Covenants

These BTW Covenants are an agreement between the organizers of BTW, the attendees, and our host partners as to how we will conduct ourselves during this 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. These 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 these 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 consistent with the spiritual orientation of the Gathering. If you smoke, be respectful of those who do not, and extinguish and properly dispose of your butts. 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 on the ground before passing it on 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. 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.

Attendance. Between the Worlds welcomes cis- and transgender men who love men, 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 its media. All persons must pre-register in order to attend. The campground is privately owned as such the 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, these Covenants, or state laws.

Boundaries. While the Gathering has exclusive use of the campground for the duration of the event, the area in use by BTW is only a small part of the 620 acres that comprise our host's land. Please be considerate of our hosts and do not stray from the areas shown on the map. Many areas of the land are off limits because they are either home sites, unsafe for people to use, or are wildlife habitat for bear, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and other wild creatures. Once you arrive, please plan to stay onsite until the end of the Gathering. Walking offsite onto neighboring properties or surrounding roads is not permitted. If you wish to hike, please keep to marked trails and either take a buddy or notify someone of your intentions.

Camping. 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 arrangement 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 guy wires so that your fellow campers aren't injured when navigating the site. A quieter camping zone is located on the south end of the campground for those looking for a little more than the usual amount of peace and quiet.

Clothing Optional. Most of the BTW site within the campground is clothing optional, and nudity is permitted, as well as elaborate ritual garb. Street clothes must be worn at the Gatehouse, outside the shower house fencing, and on the driveway leading from the public road to the Gatehouse and Gate. Clothing should also be worn when outsiders (e.g., emergency crews, Portatoilet cleaning crews) come onto the land. Keep in mind that within Pagan culture nudity is not an invitation to have sex (see "Sexual Etiquette" below).

Communications.Communications and networking amongst attendees is one 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 the Community Council. 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.

Community. Please attend the morning meetings and any special meetings that may be called in order to stay informed of the day's activities. 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. And please cooperate with the Gathering staff and the campground staff - help them to ensure that everyone's stay is both safe and spiritually fulfilling.

Electricity. The availability of electricity at BTW is extremely limited so please plan accordingly. Electrical power may be provided for designated individuals based solely on medical need (see registration form), but 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. The Coffeehouse may also, at their sole discretion, provide an outlet for phones to be charged. Use of the site power by individuals must otherwise be cleared with the BTW Facilitators in advance. Generators and vehicle engines may not be run during the Gathering.

Firearms and Fireworks. Please do not bring them to BTW.

Fires and Firewood. Firewood is sold at the coffeehouse (see the "Site Information" Section above). You may not bring your own firewood to BTW, as Ohio is trying to control the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. Attendees are not permitted to gather wood from the forest. Please use caution when kindling fires of any size, when using candles or torches, or when disposing of cigarettes. Campsite fires are only permitted in a fire ring (see the "Site Information" Section above) or must be otherwise similarly contained (e.g., in a portable patio fireplace). 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 are available at the coffeehouse and throughout the campground on poles underneath white fire water buckets in the event of an emergency. It is generally a good idea to keep a container of water handy in the area of a campfire in order to help extinguish it.

The Fire Circle at Town Green is set aside for drumming, dancing, and fellowship after 11:30 PM. Please do not throw any trash or cigarette butts in the Fire Circle in the Green Man glade or in any ritual fire at BTW. A general-use social fire may also be maintained at night at the Green Faerie Grove camp for fellowship.

Fire-spinning. Fire-play activities (including spinning lit fire poi, fire fans, and fire staffs and fire-breathing) are prohibited at BTW. Spinning unlit poi, staffs and fans is allowed in designated areas (consult site map). Please be cautious when you do so to avoid injuring others.

First Aid. Counseling and First Aid members of the Brotherhood of the Spectrum Blade wear blue armbands. A First Aid Station will be set up in the Security/Medical (SecMed) trailer next to Caffiena's. 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 or campground staff. Do not attempt to move an incapacitated victim unless he is in physical danger.

Attendees should be aware of three critical items of importance that will greatly improve your 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 in mid-late September). And 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 depending upon the kind of Spring and Summer that we've had. Check your body at least twice a day for ticks. Finally, while we cannot mandate it, we encourage the use of condoms should you decide to play with others. We will make an effort to have a limited supply available at First Aid; however, attendees should endeavor to bring their own.

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! Take the opportunity to unplug for the week.The Coffeehouse may, at their discretion, provide an outlet for phones to be charged.

Gatehouse and Check-in. You must present a Driver's License or other Government-issued photo I.D. at the Gatehouse as you arrive at the campground and again at the Info Tent. The registration process will be completed at the Info Tent when you report to sign up for your work shifts, at which time you will receive a guidebook and a bracelet. You must wear the bracelet for the duration of your stay. Persons without a bracelet may be asked to leave the site without refund.The gate will be closed each night for site security at 9:00 PM and opened the following morning at 9:00 AM. Please note: you must be dressed in street clothes at the Gate and Gatehouse – no nudity is permitted.

Grounding and Centering. This cannot be overemphasized. If you've never been to a Gathering 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 over stimulated. 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.

Health Conditions. If you have a disability or any physical and/or mental health conditions that require you to take medication or require periodic monitoring, you must describe these conditions and medications on your registration form. There are no pharmacies close to the Campground, so you will need to bring a sufficient supply of medication for your time here. If you have health conditions that may require occasional and/or ongoing first aid support, you must provide a doctor's permission to attend BTW when registering. Persons with physically and/or mentally unstable or severe conditions should not attend BTW, as we do not have the necessary staff to look after your needs. If you are taking prescription mood-altering medications, please continue to do so throughout the event. We cannotguarantee the availability of electrical hookups for medical devices (e.g., CPAPs) or refrigeration for prescription drugs.

Illegal drugs. Please do not bring them to BTW. Persons caught selling or distributing illegal substances will be expelled and barred from all future events.

Merchanting. There is space for a limited number of merchant booths at BTW. If you want to vend or barter goods or services at BTW, you must complete a Merchant Permit application and submit it with your pre-registration form. There is a non-refundable $25 booth fee due with your registration ($35 for multiple merchants in one booth). We also ask that each merchant donate one item to be used for the Silent Auction and Raffle fundraiser. You may not vend 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 scholarships for needy attendees. Merchants must provide their own booth equipment (e.g., tables, chairs, awnings, etc.). Merchants are expected to participate in the activities of the gathering, not merely attend for the purpose of vending. Our agreement with the campground does not permit competition with the items being vended by the coffeehouse (see “Site Information” section above). 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.

Minors. BTW is geared towards an audience of adult males, and content and situations are not designed to be appropriate for minors. The minimum age for attending BTW is 21. No exceptions will be made.

Noise. Please be considerate of those around you. Not everyone is going to want to hear how your new drum sounds at 4 AM. The Fire Circle in the Town Green is set aside for drumming, dancing and fellowship after 11:30 PM. Anything above quiet conversation in the camping areas after normal "last call" should be avoided. And if you are a light sleeper, it is suggested that you bring ear plugs. The quieter camping zone is designed to accommodate people who would like more peace and quiet. Please respect the people who choose to use this area and minimize the noise there after 10 PM.

Operating Hours. BTW 2013 runs from Noon Monday September 15th until 3 PM Saturday September 20th. Please do not plan to arrive earlier or stay later unless you have made prior arrangements with the campground management or The Green Faerie Grove.

Parking and Traffic. We believe in minimizing vehicles within the camping areas, and vehicular traffic in general during the gathering in order to cut down on noise, dust and risks to pedestrians. Therefore, if you wish to keep a car or truck at your campsite, you must have prior authorization. Non-camping 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 barrier 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.

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:

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

  2. Photography or recording of workshops or rituals is not permitted.

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

  4. Photographs or recordings of sexual activity are not permitted.

  5. 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 and recyclables appropriately. Recycling is a duty of every member of the BTW Community. 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 the trash - never on the ground or in a ritual fire! Keep in mind that others must also use these accommodations, so please clean up after yourself, whether at a workshop space, a ritual grove, the coffeehouse, or the showers.

Respectfulness. 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 derogating 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, Pagan 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 of a ritual (entering or leaving) 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. Cell phones, radios and pagers should be silenced or turned off. 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 ritual 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 on the ground instead of drinking.

Security. The Brotherhood of the Spectrum Blade is the safety and security services group at BTW. Security members of the Brotherhood of the Spectrum Blade wear red armbands. They are located in the SecMed trailer First Aid office next to Caffiena’s, 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. It is an important part of Community that everyone looks out for one another. Having said that, you are personally responsible for yourself and your possessions while at BTW. Neither The Green Faerie Grove and the BTW staff nor the campground staff can be held liable for any personal injury or loss occurring to anyone during events at and/or connected with the Gathering.

Once you have arrived, plan to stay on-site unless you have made prior arrangements with the BTW staff. Please observe all posted speed limits and drive very slowly through the campgrounds to avoid accidents. Do not call attention to yourselves or the Gathering when passing through neighboring communities to and from the site. Do not hitchhike to or from the site. Do not inform the media or the non-Pagan public of the Gathering or its location.

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. Gatherings are places where the mores of outer society tend to become a bit looser than one may be used to, especially where intimacy and sexual activity is concerned. BTW is a community that is completely comprised of adults, and therefore 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 his own body, while also being mindful of the consequences of his own decisions in that regard. Therefore, it is very important to keep some things in mind:
  1. 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 the Community Council to assist you with this situation.

  2. Please practice safe(r) sex. This means that one should assume that the person that you are with is seropositive and act accordingly. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 the gatehouse for the weekend. Maybe you'll make some new friends, perhaps you'll find a new love, but whatever happens it is hoped that you will grow spiritually in the process.
    Namaste.

Swimming. There is a pond at the campground, but swimming is not allowed and there are no lifeguards on staff. Anyone who violates this guideline will be asked to leave the event immediately.

Water, Showers, Portatoilets. Site water is from the local town water supply. There are water faucets at several locations in the campground for use in filling water jugs. Outdoor rinse showers are also provided. Please do not wash utensils or use soap at the outdoor faucets, rinse showers, or swimming hole. Dump wash water in the blue grey-water stations located throughout the campground. Use water sparingly. Turn off all faucets completely when done.
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, as the grey water from these showers is treated in natural wetlands on-site. Please note: you must be dressed in street clothes outside the shower house - no nudity is permitted. The shower house is closed from 9:30-10:30 AM daily for cleaning.

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 portatoilet, please clean up after yourself and close the lid to contain odors. Please don’t throw cigarettes or other trash in the portatoilets!

Wildlife and Wildcrafting. This intentional community/campground/preserve has been founded by our hosts on an ecological vision that involves living in harmony with Nature. 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 is 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. Wildcrafting/gathering/foraging for plants is not permitted. Please try not to disturb the flora you encounter so that others may enjoy it in the future. No woodcutting or gathering is permitted.

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

You must sign up for your work-shift(s) when you arrive on site. Please be on time for your shift(s). 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. 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. Cell phones, radios and pagers should be silenced or turned off. Pictures or recordings are generally not permitted. Smoking is never permitted unless you have the consensus of all attendees and the workshop facilitator.