Boone, IA wifi at camp. 135 young adults from USA, Canada, Transylvannia, U.K. and several recently back from time in France, Africa, Russia and Southeast Asia, are gathered here at Camp Hantesa in Boone Iowa. This is the first time Opus has been back in the heartland since 1998 when Opus was at Camp America in Southern Ohio. Nancy Digiovanni and Hafidha Acuay have been running a smooth and chill conference with their staff and participants dedication. This was the first time I’ve experienced Opus without intense transportation or registration snafu’s (congrats to Dev and Millie who coordinated those areas!). Opus ends tommorow, and ConCentric begins Friday!
The biggest complaints here thus far are the food, which we are not cooking for the first time, maybe ever (which contributes in part to the higher cost, $230-$330 sliding scale), and the anti-oppression/anti-racism programming. The food is quite bland, hot sauce is beginning to popup everywhere, vegetables amazingly are almost all canned, ugh! The AO/AR programming is raising a lot of conversations that folks report to be irrelevant on one hand, but light a fire under everyone nonetheless (particularly for those who argue that it is irrelevant/rocking the boat). For me, the intensity of the discussions and personal and collective feelings that ripple after discussion of gender, class, intersecting oppressions, underlines the immense value and need for this work.