Q- What’s the deal?
Camp Carathir began in 2006 in central Oregon, now a global community of volunteers and participants – with the goal of creating immersive ‘living history’ experiences that center around adventure and a balance between authenticity and the fantastical, in a rustic medieval outpost setting. We have our own narrative, fictional history and tales, but our sages are also versed in Classical knowledge, with influences spanning the entire middle-ages – from Norman England, French and Germanic Saxony, Nordic and Celtic, stretching far eastward to the Caucasus, and regular visits from African, Middle and Far East traders. At first set amid the bleak decline of antiquity, our small encampment will blossom into the Renaissance by the end of your stay with us.
Q- So you’re a destination resort?
Camp Carathir (for past several years) primarily provides event staffing and logistics, matching vendors, performers and skilled artisans with partners and affiliates, providing props, actors and professional services to Renaissance Festivals, conventions and other public events.
Contact us to say hi or join our network of partners to learn about nearby jobs/events, or how you can help with normal ‘camp’ sessions!
Our goal has always been to operate without profit, putting every penny into bettering the camp experience year after year. We may eventually have full-time staff, but an all-volunteer ‘Expeditionary Council‘ currently runs Camp. We’re proudly unaffiliated and independent, but we work with a wide variety of friends and partners, ranging from wilderness guides, to living historians, artisan craftsmen, to acting troupes.
Q- What is your camper demographic?
The majority of our campers are not seasoned LARPers or history fanatics – it’s folks looking for a unique and authentic vacation with a blend of adventure and leisure. As such, our camp robustly blurs boundaries of sex, age, race, sexual preference, disability, and religion. We do cater to a more mature crowd however. Camp sessions should appeal to adults and families; as anyone under 17 requires a guardian while at camp. Our staff are NOT babysitters or teenage camp counselors; they are actors and artisans who help create an experience. We welcome families wholeheartedly and plan to offer supervised kid-only activities throughout the day, but we insist that parents be responsible for their children at all times.
Camp Carathir caters to people with any of the following interests (in no particular order):
- Fantasy-fiction enthusiasts: Tolkien, Game of Thrones, Forgotten Realms, Earthsea, CS Lewis, etc.
- Living history reenactors, Amateur Historians, Medievalists
- Actors, Performers and Cosplayers
- Craftsmen interested in learning trades like blacksmithing, beekeeping, or glassblowing
- Renaissance Faire patrons, participants and enthusiasts
- Gamers, specifically the RPG genre: Warcraft, Elder Scrolls (Skyrim, Oblivion), DragonAge, etc.
- Tabletop and CCG gamers: Magic:The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons
- Aspiring or active Musicians and Artists
- Experienced LARPers, swordfighters, wilderness survivalists, and really any other niche!
If you have any of the above interests, you will have a blast at Camp Carathir. And…if none of that sounds terribly interesting, you might just appreciate a quiet relaxing vacation, free of modern technology and filled with music, great food, and a lakeside beach.
Q- Sounds fun, how do you make it all work?
Camp Carathir is a private venture currently, but operates like a 501(c)3. Our year-round logistics staff are volunteers. There is also our Expeditionary Council, an informal ‘governing board’ of passionate folks who plan, organize, steer and improve the camp experience. Expeditionary Council members receive discounts on Registration, as well as other perks. Joining the Council is open to anyone, even you!
Our logistics staff is augmented during actual camp sessions by a variety of historical re-enactors, local acting troupes, and skilled craftsmen.
We operate as an LLC based out of Bend, Oregon. We do not own camp property, rather we rent existing ACA+ accredited camps for our week-long sessions. This handy accommodation helps to keep our costs low and lets us focus more on creating an authentic and magical experience.
Our business model is pretty simple: Any net revenue generated is put directly back into the camp session that you’re attending. We want to constantly improve the experience for you and us. Keeping the camp fresh and exciting is what we’re here to do, it’s why we’re doing it; not for money. In the registration packet you’ll receive a breakdown of where the dollars go and realize how affordable a vacation it is!
Our long term business goal is to open several camps simultaneously across the country, and each year we hope you come back to enjoy the new locations, storylines, adventures, meet new people, and make lifelong friends!
Q -Wait, just how much will this cost?
Sample rates are up; click “Registration” to the left. There is much to calculate: food, transportation, skilled artisan staff, profession crafting supplies, and insurance all play important factors. Our cost is very comparable to mid-range theme camps, cabins, or resorts – and far less pricey than dude ranches, destination resorts, , etc. If you break it down by the day, you’re getting 3 great meals, priceless entertainment, and lodging…all inclusive…for the price of a few night at a Holiday Inn!
Q- So is this a LARP or SCA event?
In many ways, yes. Camp Carathir resembles living history or larping communities, but also has many unique features. Camp Carathir is both a destination and lifestyle.
Unlike SCA there are no membership dues, no rulebooks, bylaws, or bureaucratic minutia, no pre-existing hierarchies, chapters, royal titles, or privileges. Camp can also be considered ‘all-inclusive’, as we provide accommodations, food, even clothing. All campers begin their adventure without privilege or disparity, enjoying their time with us as equals from day one.
Unlike LARP events there won’t be green-painted goblins, costume dwarf beards, or rubber elf-ears; everyone is considered ‘human’. You also won’t count mana points or throw magic spell beanbags. Magic that exists in camp involves actual, observable alchemical and physical manipulation of the world, visual trickery and fun experiments – not just ‘make-believe’. You will carry real metal weapons, venture through a million acres of National Forest, spend your days practicing professions, entering in competitions, completing elaborate quests, or just relaxing at the tavern! There will indeed be boffer weapons and grand battles for those interested, but this is only a small facet of the camp experience.
Q -Where is Camp Carathir? What’s it like?
Our destination for 2018 is not set yet. Our prior camp location was on the border of the magnificent Deschutes National Forest, in central Oregon. See ‘Camp/location’ on the main menu. Bus service would be offered from Portland Int’l airport PDX (2.5 hours), Salem (1.5 hours), as well as from the Redmond RDM regional airport (40 min). Prior to your arrival our carpenters and general staff work to transform the camp into a cozy and quite realistic village. There ‘are’ amenities such as running water (flushing toilets and hot showers). However, electricity is off, and technology is not allowed! We take pride in the quality of your stay (because we stay here too!) and provide modern cabins or lodge suites with beds, food, clothing, weapons, linens, and all other amenities. It’s all inclusive, your cash will be useless!
Q -Can my guild or large group reserve the camp? A block of rooms or cabins?
Yes. We will try to accommodate no matter the group size. Please have your GM or organizer email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q -How does combat and character creation/advancement work?
There are no ‘levels’, stat sheets, or arbitrary measurements of skill (intelligence, willpower, fortitude, stamina, etc). Campers achieve advancement by actual personal achievements: completing tasks, weapon trainings and courses, crafting objects of worth, and winning bouts. A camp economy provides a way to upgrade your status and appearance. Professions allow you to acquire skills and gear. Combat victories and competitions provide renown. Badges can also be collected and displayed to enhance your reputation and appearance; these are given for achieving skills in professions, mastering weapons, and completing difficult tasks.
Combat itself is managed effectively by a system with judges that creates a culture of technical skill and eloquence, as opposed to the wild swinging and hitpoint shouting that plagues some LARP events.
Q -I want to volunteer or become a staff member
We are quite selective for many roles, requiring experience or skills in a specific trade (beekeeper, glassblower, cook, woodworker, blacksmith, tailor/leatherworker, nurse). If you possess any of these talents, make sure to mention it!
Our general staff is paid comparable to a summer camp contract position, and we of course provide food and lodging for the duration. We also pay for training days prior to camp, and benefits such as wrap parties, transportation, etc. General staff should have current CPR/1stAid certification. We also love having staff with good acting skills. We hire from a lot of acting troupes!
In addition, we won’t be requiring in-camp volunteers, though large guilds/groups who join us may decide to have some of their own members act as moderators or “NPC’s”. Email email@example.com
Another option is to join the Expeditionary Council. You can visit the link in the site navigation to learn more. The Expeditionary Council is open to anyone willing to devote a couple hours a month. The Expeditionary Council helps make Camp Carathir a reality!
Q -I have another question…
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for anything. We disabled the public forums after some technical difficulties.