Sunday, May 31, 2020 to Saturday, June 6, 2020
Bearskin Meadow Camp
KCNP, California, USA

Borderlands
Difference and Unity in Ceremony, Community, and Nature

 

May 31 - June 6, 2020

Bearskin Meadow Camp, Miramonte, California, USA

 

We are a community dedicated to guiding people through borders—

the borders of severance, threshold  time, and reincorporation,

and the fluid border between wilderness and self.

We are a community of wilderness rites of passage guides from many countries

with borders defining and sometimes dividing political and cultural realities.  

Every day we confront borders: 

physical, social, emotional, gender-related, racial, and many more.

Some borders provide safety and define who we are.

Other borders confine and limit us.

Borderlands are ecotones—

where difference meets, integrates and where life in its diversity flourishes. 

We invite you to join us at a Global Gathering to affirm and celebrate difference and unity 

and explore what the wisdom of borders offers in these times.

 

At this 8th Global Gathering of Wilderness Guides we will identify and explore many kinds of borders: the borders that are imposed on us and the ones we create ourselves. The borders we must build to claim our identity and those we must break down. The borders that separate us from others and the borders that protect us.

And, as we face the great challenges of climate change and injustice on our planet, we ask: What are the new borders we need to construct and tear down? How do we relate across borders? How do we cultivate a rich transition zone that recognizes and honors diversity and finds common ground?

It is our intention that, by the end of this Gathering, we will all have a clearer understanding of the borders in our lives and how we choose to live with them. Not only will this exploration support us as a global community, but it will also enliven our work as guides—serving people in our programs who are living with borders chosen and imposed, inner and outer.

We envision this Gathering as a truly global event, co-created by wise, energetic, and talented people across many borders. Please join us! 

Registraion and Payment links can be found on the Register for gathering link on the top right of this page, or by clicking here.
 

Information
 

1) About 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. www.dyf.org/camps/bearskin-meadow-camp

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 Bearskin Meadow kitchen prides itself on being able to accommodate many dietary needs and allergies. There is a main kitchen and a smaller kitchen specifically for Gluten Free foods, that is free from cross contamination. It is also a nut free facility. 

2) 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. 

Following are options to flying to Fresno. 

Flying and Driving: Please consider renting a car at the airport of your arrival and car-pooling together to Fresno. Enterprise Car Rental allows customers to pick up their car at the airport and return it in Fresno if you don’t want to keep it for the entire week of the Gathering. We will help you to connect with other people whose arrival time and place are close to yours. Contact global2020transport@gmail.com for more information.

Driving: For a map showing how to get to Bearskin Meadows by car, see the camp’s website: https://dyf.org/camps/bearskin-meadow-camp/.
Fresno to Bearskin:
Bus: Greyhound Bus travels from several points in California to Fresno. (From Fresno, we will provide transportaiton - see below. 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 to the Gathering. When you have made your travel arrangements, contact global2020transport@gmail.com to arrange for the shuttle.

3) Lodging Options:

CAMPING

There is plenty of space to camp and lots of beautiful options, both on Bearskin Meadows land and more primitive "wild camping" in the forest that borders the camp.

OUTDOOR

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.

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 a
ll indoor spaces are on a first come, first serve basis.

4) Meals

All meals are included with the cost of the retreat and will be provided by the staff at DYF. 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.

5) Getting a Visa 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/

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 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.
 

Special Events
 

Global Next Generation Guides Fast


Dear Global Community,

During our last gathering in Germany the youth council was incredibly touching and inspiring and a clear call for continued support to the wider community. In 2020 Global Gathering we wish to offer a Global Next Generation Guides Fast in support of the young leaders stepping forward in this work. 

Our vision is to offer both a “bare-bones” fast in the lineage of the School of Lost Borders for young guides committed to the work, with extended severance and incorporation phases incorporating mentorship and peer-learning. While we intend to support young guides in their individual prayers and work, we know how essential it is to place a larger prayer in the center. In these times we wish to place particular emphasis on how the work we are engaged with contributes to the intersecting social and ecological challenges facing us locally and globally.  

Through the Global Gathering we witness the impact of coming together as a diverse earth-cherishing community. Witnessing each other deepens our own commitment to and understanding of the ceremony and our people, beyond our differences and through all expressions of wholeness. In this regard we want to ensure that this opportunity is accessible to diverse communities irrespective of financial means, and we are asking the global guides community to support us in raising the funds to allow this.

We are currently inviting:

 

     Young guides who want to participate in this program.

     Experienced Guides/Mentors who want to form a relationship with a young guide in their region.

    Nominations of particular individuals for the program from the global community.

    Gifts of support—financially or through participating in our fundraising campaign. (More information to come)

 

The fast will be held near the gathering site just before we gather, May 19-29 2020.  

We are asking people to please respond with your interest and/or intent by December 1, 2019.


For further information or to support this program, please contact the guides: Rupert Marques: caiyloirch@gmail.com & Siri Gunnarson: sirigunnarson@gmail.com