How the site is chosen
The process for choosing a site for the Gathering starts on July
7th. Starting roughly at Rainbow Noon at the main circle is Vision
Council. Vision council runs for as long as nessesary to get a
consensus on the bio-region for the following year. Typically folks
that really want the Gathering to come to their bio-region come
year after year till they get a consensus. Sometimes when a bio-region
gets alot of support, but not the consesus, that bio-region may get
preference the following year. As anyone can participate in Vision
council, anything goes...
Then there is also a Thanksgiving Council that is held
Thanksgiving weekend in the consensed bio-region. This is a working
council where the many issues dealing with the coming Gathering are
discussed, as well as the location for Scout Council.
Scout Council is held at the end of April in the same
bio-region. Typically the Scout council location is closer to the
possible sites than Thanksgiving Council. Scout council is where the
inital proposed sites are discussed. Many times the experienced scouts
and/or local Rainbows have a rough idea as to good places to start
scouting. Scouting then goes on pretty much till Spring
Spring Council is happening this year June 10-11. This is usually
held at the best of the proposed sites. This is the council where the
actual site consensus is made. Nobody knows where the actual
site will be till council has a consensus! Typically there are many
folks camping in the rough area, and once the site is chosen, then
Seed camp starts.
Criteria for a good site
There are a few things all good sites have in common.
- Good Water - All sites need a good supply of water. Drinking
quality water is the main thing that helps us stay healthy when we are
on the land. Surface water in creeks and lakes is suitable mostly for
bathing and washing, although it can be purified. Typically a good
site has several springs. A spring in this case is a water source that
directly comes from the ground. At a good spring, we can protect the
source, and run pipe to elsewhere. In Wyoming last year there was
close to 3.5 miles of water pipe.
- Good Parking - Good parking is also helpful. Also Bus
Village will be on the fringe of the closest parking lot, so a
good water source nearby is helpful for Bus folk. Parking a few miles
away is an option, and in that case shuttles are puesdo-arranged,
although it can take a while to make it from the lot to the trail
head. Good parking should ideally be close to the trail head, (or at
least have a good drop off spot at the trail head). Parking lots are
pretty simple, it's mostly making sure they're large enough.
- Firewood - We burn lots of wood at a gathering. As wood is
the main fuel for cooking and purifying water, we need a lot. We
prefer already downed wood to standing trees. It's a big job keeping
the fires going for a big kitchen unless there is plenty of wood
handy. A long walk for firewood makes it hard to replenish
supplies. We try to discourage indivigual fires and encourage group
fires for two reasons. Group fires are more safe, and easier to keep
an eye on. They are also more social. After all, we gather to be with
Family. Indivigual fires are prone to being left. Most of the small
forest fires we get are from unattended indivigual fires. Anyone that
was in Wyoming
last year saw how overwhelming a larger forest fire can be. Course
that fire wasn't started by a campfire though.
- Other stuff - Other important stuff is access. Access in this case
means a an emergency back door road where we can transport injured
folks from CALM that want to go to the Hospital. Often a good site has
good enough vehicle accesss that seed camp and cleanup can drive real
close. This helps with moving the heavier supplies around like ovens,
stell plates for cooking, etc.