Dear fellow NWPGC members and friends,
I regret to inform you that the board has decided in the interest of health and safety to cancel the previously scheduled Clay Camp, that was to be held May 14-18, 2020 at Camp Huston. This decision came upon us suddenly, with the declaration of a national emergency and pandemic coinciding with a March 14th deadline to cancel, or risk having to pay over $5000 if we had to cancel after that date. As a non-profit without deep pockets, this was too great a risk financially. As socially responsible members, we also are doing our part to slow the spread of the virus to help mitigate the overloading of our healthcare system.
I, and others, look forward to this event all year long. Those that have registered and paid, you will be refunded in full (we will first attempt to reverse charges, otherwise we’ll mail a check to you). This decision was made with a heavy heart, but with the rapidly changing environs, it is impossible for us to predict what the situation will be in two months. I desperately hope this is an overreaction, but we must err on the side of caution.
Please be careful of your health and safety, especially mental health. Maybe set aside some time to exercise your artistic side and count it as therapy?
I plan to brainstorm activities we can do to help replace this event, either digitally during the scheduled time, or a smaller retreat at a later date. If you have ideas, send them my way (email@example.com).
As always, much love,
Camp Huston, Gold Bar, WA
The Northwest Polymer Clay Guild holds Clay Camp every year in May at Camp Huston, right next to the beautiful Wallace Falls State Park in Gold Bar, Washington. This year is the 25th anniversary of Clay Camp and we have some fun surprises planned!
Clay Camp registrants enjoy the 24-hour workroom, comfortable bedrooms in cabins, delicious meals prepared by Camp Huston’s staff, beautiful trails to stretch your legs, and the opportunity to sign up for a variety of inspiring classes taught by experienced polymer clay instructors.
Everything You Need to Know About Clay Camp
By Kim Day
Our favorite time of the year! Nah, I don’t care about the weather, I mean Clay Camp! To prepare for the big event, here’s a little guide about what to expect.
REGISTRATION & ACTIVITIES
Registration: Your registration automatically reserves your spot at camp and if you want to attend classes too, you can register for those at the same time. Please note that classes cost additional fees. You can pay all fees online, or at the venue by check.
Length: You can choose how long you want to attend – the whole 5 days, just the weekend, one day or even a half-day if you live nearby.
Claying: The best part of Clay Camp is the 24-hour workroom. Several large ovens are available so you can cure your finished creations. When you are inspired to create, looking for inspiration or just want to socialize, this is the room to hang out in- it is always full of clayers to talk with and learn from.
Bottles of Hope Challenge: We decorate small medicine glass bottles (provided) and donate them to cancer patients at a local treatment center. These are always amazing! We all vote on our favorites in each category in the challenge and the winners get an extra special handmade ribbon… mmm… glittery. The voting and awards are held on Saturday, our busiest day. You may donate as many additional covered bottles as you wish, but for voting purposes, only one is entered into the challenge.
Swap: A few years running now, this activity has covered subjects from charms to inchies. This year’s swap theme is: TOTEM BEADS.
Your beads must have an inner hole at least 5mm wide to fit on the spindle of the totem stands Dawn Gray has generously made for us. One inch to three inches tall are your parameters. Please give your creations for swap to Kim Day (at camp by Saturday afternoon) in groups of five. That means every single bead can be different but you need to give her five, ten, fifteen, etc.
‘Non-raffle’ Raffle: You may donate any item to this NWPCG fundraiser. Donated items will be displayed with a cup in front of each. Tickets are sold for $1 and you place your ticket(s) in the cup corresponding to the item you want to win. All proceeds go to the Guild Scholarship Fund. Members who have been with the NWPCG for a minimum of one year may apply for Clay Camp scholarship to help offset the cost by half. This helps members, who will normally not attend because of financial concerns, make it to Clay Camp.
We typically see donations in the form of lovely handmade clay creations, crocheted or knitted items, clay books, clay supplies and other craft supplies. It is also a fun show to watch! This happens on… you guessed it, Saturday!
Brown Bag Gift Exchange: This is not a ‘white elephant’ gift exchange; bring something that you would want to receive, with a value of about $30. (Some popular ideas are clay-related items and chocolate!)
Each participant brings a gift in an unmarked brown paper bag and adds it to the gift pile on Saturday evening after dinner. Everyone randomly draws a number. They select gifts in that order — with a twist… The person assigned with #1 picks out a gift and opens it so all can see what it is. Then the person assigned with #2 gets the choice of ‘stealing” #1’s unwrapped gift or choosing a wrapped one from the pile. If #2 steals #1’s gift, then #1 must choose and open another wrapped gift.
NOTE: Gifts can only be stolen once!
As subsequent players take their turns, they either select a new gift or take an already opened gift from any of the other players that has not been stolen before. Any player who has a gift ‘stolen’ either choose a new gift or take an already-opened gift from another player. Continue until everyone has had a turn for a gift. After the last turn, the person who started (since she/he didn’t get a chance at the beginning) can put back the gift and “steal” a gift according to the rules.
Scholarships: If you’re a member of the Guild and finances are tight, please consider applying for scholarship that will cover 50% of costs (classes not included).
The scholarship form is available above on this page. We would love to see you at Clay Camp!
Food: The food is absolutely wonderful! The cooks are very accommodating with special dietary needs like gluten free or vegan, just let them know about any special requirements when you sign up. There is also a wonderful salad bar to accompany each meal or to replace it, should you choose. Plus, no cooking preparation or dishes to wash, glorious!
Snack Table: We usually have one table in the work area overflowing with snacks people brought to share. Anything that doesn’t require refrigeration is welcome. I bring toffee each year, I think I’m required to now!
Rooms: The rooms are small and dorm-like with a table, chair, two beds, towel rack by the door and a place to hang your clothes. Bring your own towels and blankets or sleeping bag. Rooms are shared but there is a separate cabin for late nighters vs early risers to help each person get the sleep they need to fuel creativity.
Alcohol and other Drug Use: Camp Huston does not allow cannabis/non-prescription drugs at camp. Alcohol is permitted in the cabins only. Please respect the camp’s rules.
LOGISTICS & OTHER ATTRACTIONS
Free Table: There is one table where you can leave things that you no longer need or want but may be useful to others that you want to give away for free. Think of old beads you’ve never used, a new supply you have extra of – there are no limits here but please remember to take home any of your unclaimed items.
Local Craft Store: There is a Ben Franklin about a 20-minute drive from our Clay Camp venue. With all the ideas flowing around, people usually think of something they can’t live without for a few days. It is always fun to join one of the spontaneous group trips to this fun craft store and browse their sale rack.
CHECKLIST FOR CAMP
The table surfaces in the workroom will be covered with paper and extension cords will be at each table when you arrive any time AFTER 4:00pm on Thursday.
A work surface (some laminate sheets will be available to use)
Your other favorite tools, cutters, inks, etc.
Even MORE clay tools and supplies (‘just in case’ you might need it, Cathy!)
Task lamp for you work space
Timer for your clay in the oven
Your most creative self!
Items to donate to the Raffle
Items for the Free Table
Food items for the Snack Table
Things you’ve made that you would like to sell or trade
Your Brown Bag of goodies for the Gift Exchange
Cash for Raffle tickets, purchasing other clayers’ wares, and masseuse
IMPORTANT! Remember there are no linens available at camp, but there is wi-fi in the cabins and extremely firm beds.
Your bedding (most clayers bring sleeping bags)
Toiletries- shampoo, soap, toothbrush, medicines, etc.
Chargers for your phone, tablet, etc.
Ear plugs (the walls are thin)
Extra sleeping bag or pad for that seriously firm bed. (I’m not kidding.)