2022 Gathering Info and Resources

Details and Resources

Be sure to check back as we will be updating this page regularly with new information and details about the gathering, as we have them!

Table of Contents

Bearskin Meadow Camp

Since 1960, Bearskin Meadow Camp has served as the home of Diabetes Youth Families (DYF), welcoming generations of children, teens, and families affected by type one diabetes. It is a place of love, community and healing—a powerful combination in a spectacular environment. 

Bearskin Meadow Camp is located within the entrance of King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Park, but is under Sequoia National Forest designation. It sits in the beautiful heart of the Sierra Mountains, where white granite outcrops sparkle in the sunshine and water flows abundantly, giving life to the tiny wildflowers and the Giant Sequoia trees and everything in between.

Bearskin Meadow is surrounded by Bearskin Creek and Ten Mile Creek, both of which offer fresh water swimming holes. The nearest grove of Giant Sequoia Trees is a mere 3 miles walk from camp grounds. If you want to see the largest tree in the world, General Sherman Tree, it is an hour drive within the Sequoia National park. If you want to see a canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon with tall glaciated granite walls, similar to Yosemite, head towards Kings Canyon. Bearskin Meadow is perfectly set right between the two parks.

The schedule is starting to come together and we recommend you arrive on Tuesday, May 31 before 4pm. If you are flying do make sure your plane land before 4pm so we can shuttle you up before it is dark!

Our last meal together will be lunch on Monday, June 6th.  

AuctionWe will hold a fun and simple auction at this Gathering, so if you have items to contribute, start putting them in a box so you can bring them with you! Or if you can’t come to the Gathering but have items for the auction, see if you can find a nearby friend who is going and can bring them for you.

Renewal Fast — Traditionally we offer a Renewal Fast after the Gathering; an opportunity to fast on the land with your fellow guides. We are suggesting dates for the Renewal Fast are June 7 – 12 and are seeking guides, helpers and fasters!
Email the netkeepers at wgcnetkeeper@gmail.com to help us with and/or participate in the Renewal Faster for 2022.

Virtual Connection — We are working on the capability for a virtual circle one morning, to call in everyone around the world who is not able to come to the Gathering in person! Stay tuned for further details.

Transportation to the Gathering

Flying: Bearskin Meadow is located in Sierra National Forest in eastern California. The nearest airport is in Fresno, California.

If you are coming from overseas, you might want to consider booking your flight to a major airport like Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Sacramento (SMF), San Jose (SJC), or Oakland (OAK) and then booking a separate flight from that airport to Fresno. Buying separate tickets like this is often much less expensive than getting just one ticket for all flights.

Traveling from Fresno Airport:

We are working on a shuttle from Fresno, as well as setting up a carpooling website where you can share a rental car or look for a ride. When you register, let us know if you need a ride from the airport or carpooling support.

Driving: For a map showing how to get to Bearskin Meadows by car, you would utilize this address: 

6500 Ten Mile Rd, Miramonte, CA 93633 

Other ways to get to Fresno:
Bus: Greyhound Bus travels from several points in California to Fresno. From Fresno, we will help with transportation.  Here is a map of bus routes. And here is a link to Greyhound in Fresno. You can type in the location you are coming from and get a schedule and a fare.

Train: Amtrak is the train company that runs regular routes from all the major airport cities. here is a link to the Amtrak schedule. Your destination will be Fresno.

Transferring from Fresno to Bearskin Meadows Camp: We will provide shuttle rides from Fresno airport to the Gathering. When you have made your travel arrangements, contact wgcnetkeeper@gmail.com

IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOUR FLIGHT LAND ON TUESDAY, 31 MAY BEFORE 4PM (1600h). This will help us plan the shuttles and the camp has encouraged us not to drive up that windy wild road to the camp after dark. 

Lodging Options

CAMPING – Platforms

Decks—There are 14 decks and each can hold 14 people. All decks are open-air with a covered area to keep belongings. Each deck comes equipped with twin beds, so you can sleep under the Sierra stars comfortably. This is a great option if you want to sleep outside but do not want to bring a tent and a sleeping pad to the gathering. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this option! And if you’d like, you can set your tent up on the deck to combine the advantages of a flat bed, proximity to restrooms, and privacy.

CAMPING – Dispersed

For those wanting to set up a tent, there are dispersed camping options, some on Bearskin Meadows land and more primitive camping in the forest that borders the camp. This is somewhat limited and we are working on more information on this options in terms of proximity to the gathering.

INDOOR

Indoor Shared Rooms Options

There are 12 indoor rooms between two buildings. Each room has a different capacity based on size of room and numbers of beds. They range from 2-8 persons per room. When you register you can select a breakdown of various options, and you can indicate who your preferred roommates are. There is one large handicap accessible lodging room with 8 twin beds that has a handicap accessible shower unit attached (with attached door to our medical facilities).
We will do our best to accommodate your choices, and all indoor spaces are on a first come, first serve basis.

Meals

All 18 meals are included with the cost of the retreat.  DYF, our kind hosts, will do all the shopping for us! However, we will do our own cooking as a group and we will be looking for volunteers.  When you register you will fill out your specific dietary needs. The staff at DYF are very used to accommodating many dietary needs all in one meal because this is a camp that caters primarily to persons with diabetes. So most diets – gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, etc. will be tended to. If you have a more specific diet you may want to plan to bring supplemental items for your meals. As the gathering gets closer we will have one of our team members as a liason to their kitchen staff, to help ensure everyone’s dietary needs are tended to, and to address your specific questions and needs.

Covid Precautions

It seems “best practices” are always on the move, and we are putting some hope into the June date as being a time where we see some relief. Nonetheless, we are proactively planning on how to keep everyone safe, and keeping in mind particular care for our elders and vulnerable members in our community. Together we will create a Community of Respect and Care.

All of our programs will occur outdoors and this will help a great deal. We will also insure proper sanitizing. Bearskin ran their camps the summer of 2021 for their youth with diabetes and reported success in keeping everyone safe and this is encouraging as well!

We will also ask people to be vaccinated OR have a negative test. We will have some rapid tests on hand to help with that. 

In council, we can also ask those who want more safety and precaution to have more space around them to increase social distancing. 

We intend good communication and a community of care and respect that can keep everyone safe and relaxed together!

Visas to the United States

For all non-U.S. citizens:

Certain countries do not require a visa for entry to the U.S. for a temporary period (3 months), though you are still required to apply for an ESTA for travel to the U.S.: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

See the following link for valid counties for visa waiver program: https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/visa-waiver-program/non-immigrant-visa-waiver-program-vwp/

Additionally here is the summary/general page about US visas.
 

Those not eligible for the visa waiver program must apply for a tourist visa, category B2 in your own country. You will need to apply for this visa in your country before visiting the U.S. Please ensure you do this in good time, as this process can be lengthy and can take some months for completion. The cost is $160. Here is a link to the U.S. government web page about this visa: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visitor.html

Additionally here is a link to a pdf. document detailing more information about this visa: https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/PDF-other/VisaFlyer_B1B2_March_2015.pdf

NOTE: The Wilderness Guides Council will provide a formal letter inviting you to the gathering, which may be useful in your application for a B2 visa. Please contact us for an electronic copy you can print out.

For citizens of South Africa:

Please visit the following link for more information:

https://za.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/

For Citizens of Germany:

 

For citizens of the Ukraine:

Please visit the following link for more information:

https://ua.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/

Suggestions to help with your visa application process

List of documents you might need to submit your application

✓ Passport both international and national

✓  Photo according to U.S. requirements: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/photos.html#nonimmigrant

✓ Application fee payment receipt

To support your interview process, bring the following documents to support your answers:

✓   Employment certificate and/or certificate of entrepreneur

✓   Bank account statement

✓   Tax declaration including social security and pension

✓   Invitation for the Gathering

✓    Airplane tickets

✓    Hotel/Airbnb booking confirmation

✓    Documents of ownership of property (if any) and/or rental agreement for your accommodation in your city

Once you register we can also send you additional suggestions for additional ways to prepare for your visa application process.