If you have questions that are not answered by this FAQ, please feel free to contact us!
The first section of the FAQ gives logistical information. The second section spells out the social agreements – please scroll to the bottom to get a flavor of what our community will be like.
When is the ISTA Family Fusion Experiment?
Wednesday July 24, 2019 at 3pm – Wednesday July 31, 2019 at 3pm
Where is the Family Fusion Experiment?
Family Fusion will take place at Abrams Creek Center, www.abramscreekcenter.com. Abrams Creek is in the mountains of West Virginia, about 2.5 hours west of the DC area, 2.5 hours southeast of Pittsburgh, and about 70 miles west of Winchester, Virginia.
What airport should I use if I am flying to camp?
The closest airports are Dulles International Airport (IAD), Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), and Reagan National (DCA).
Without traffic delays, camp is about 2:30 hours from Dulles, 2:45 hours from Reagan National, and a little less than three hours drive from BWI, so you can either rent a car or we can help arrange a carpool or group ride or Uber from there to camp.
The Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is also a possibility. It is about 2:45 hours away, but there is hardly ever any traffic to cope with, so that time is very consistently real.
I don’t want to drive to Family Fusion. Can I get there on public transportation?
Unfortunately, the closest public transportation is the Amtrak station in Cumberland, MD, which is 1 hour’s drive away.
We encourage as many people as possible to carpool to Family Fusion. Once you have registered, we will invite you to a private Facebook group for attendees where you can arrange carpools. The organizers will help out with carpools as much as possible. Research is showing that Uber can cost as little as $150 from Dulles International Airport, so arranging a group Uber or Lyft might be an option.
How do I sign up?
You can apply for the Family Fusion Experiment here:
What is the Tuition?
The following prices includes three healthy vegetarian or vegan meals per day, all programing and lodging. Lodging is first-come first-serve pending needs. There are lots of camping options as well. Prices do not include transportation to the venue or upgrades to private rooms or cabins.
Adult Ticket: $1,850
Second Adult in the family: $1,600
Kids under 18 years of age: $500
Kids under 5 years of age: Only $100 (Parent is required to bring at least one adult supporter)
Youth 18-25 by application only $1200
When can I arrive at Family Fusion?
Registration will open at 11am on July 24. The first session begins at 3pm – please plan to arrive in time to be settled in and present!
Can I come to part of Family Fusion? What if I cannot stay for the whole week?
This is a fully immersive experience. In order to create an energy field for deep emotional connection and transformation, we hold Family Fusion as a “closed container,” with no late arrivals permitted. If you have specific travel needs and want to request a powerful exception, please contact KamalaDevi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I come earlier or stay later?
Yes. The venue staff will be cleaning the entire site after an event that ends just before Family Fusion – if we make special requests, it is possible to have some accommodations made ready for a July 23 late afternoon arrival. It is also possible to make a special request to stay over the night of July 31 (and attendees of ISTA Tribal Gathering, www.istatribalgatheringcom, which starts Aug. 1, are encouraged to do so!) You will be in the accommodations you use for Family Fusion.
The housing cost for additional nights is $20/person or $50/private room or cabin. Meals are $7 for breakfast, $12 for lunch, and $16 for dinner (= $35/day) and must be reserved in advance. Children ages 6-12 have a reduced meal cost of 2/3 the adult price, and children under 6 are 1/3 of the adult cost.
Please contact the organizer, Sarah Taub, ASAP at email@example.com if you wish to request early arrival or late departure.
PLEASE DON’T ARRIVE BEFORE 11AM ON WEDNESDAY JULY 24 UNLESS YOU HAVE MADE ARRANGEMENTS FOR EARLY ARRIVAL.
What will the weather be like?
The site is in an area that has an average daytime high temperature of 80 degrees and an average nightly low of 55 degrees; lows in the 40’s are not unheard of. The record high ever was 92, so we don’t expect long stretches of uncomfortably warm weather. In this region, on average it rains about every third or fourth day.
Where do we sleep?
We expect that some people will camp in their own tents. There are many beautiful, flat campsites on the land, some right next to the stream. We also have limited indoor dorm-style spaces available at no charge. These include a lodge house and several rustic cabins, furnished with twin-size upper and lower bunk beds, full-size futon beds, and queen-sized beds. The cabins also have small lofts that each contain two twin mattresses side-by-side.
If you would like to reserve indoor space, you can do so during the registration process.
The indoor accommodations at our site include:
– a beautiful and fully equipped 4000 square foot Lodge Guest House with 6 guest bedrooms
– a two-bedroom cottage house with full kitchen and laundry
– ten rustic camping cabins
5 cabins have electricity, and 5 do not.
Cabins do not have running water – cabin residents use portapotties and the shower house.
Cabins vary in size – all have lofts with one or two mattresses; some lofts have low ceilings.
Cabins have a variety of furnishings – all have beds, tables, chairs, etc.
If you prefer more privacy and don’t wish to camp, Abrams Creek’s sister business, the Mountaineer Motel, is located 3 miles up the road — rooms in the motel have a private bathroom and two queen-sized beds. Motel rooms are available at additional cost – to book, please call the Mountaineer Motel at 304-693-7777, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.mountaineer-motel.com.
We will fill housing requests in the order received, while also taking into account people’s special needs and accessibility issues. You can expect to be given your housing assignment in late July 2019.
Feel free to contact Sarah at email@example.com if you have any questions about the lodging options.
How many people will be at Family Fusion?
This is the first year of this experimental gathering. We currently have a select group of approximately 20 adults and 15 kids of all ages, and we expect a few more to register in the next weeks.
What kind of bathrooms and showers are available?
We will be mostly using port-a-potties for toilets. There is a shower house with sinks and shower stalls for general use. There is limited access to indoor bathrooms at the event site, which will be reserved for young children, people with disabilities, and other special needs.
What should I make sure to bring?
For lodge, cottage, cabin, and motel residents:
Sheets, blankets, pillows, and towels are provided.
For tent campers:
Tent, a warm sleeping bag or *two* lighter weight sleeping bags (one inside the other), and a foam pad/air mattress. Sheets inside a sleeping bag add to the warmth as well. If you are using an air mattress, an extra layer of insulation between you and the mattress is highly recommended– a comforter or foam pad will help a lot.
Extra blankets for cool nights
- Snuggly clothes or pajamas for group cuddle parties
- Stuffed animal for show and tell – adults AND kids please bring
- Your kids’ favorite toys – for themselves and to share with other kids
Easy-to-carry water bottle
Toiletries – biodegradable soap, shampoo, and conditioner
Safe sex supplies
Poison ivy remedy
Biodegradable insect repellent
Hat for sun protection
Water shoes for stream walking
Watch or other timepiece
Summer clothes or sarongs for hot days, warm clothes for possible cool weather. Boots for possible mud.
Personal snacks or food items to prepare for yourself in the Personal Foods Kitchen if you have special food needs.
Your sense of humor and willingness to co-create an incredible experience.
What else might I want to bring?
Acoustic musical instruments, face paints, your favorite dance music, fun and outrageous clothing or costumes for festive dance parties, a personal journal and pens/pencils, items for the collective altars, personal backjack or chair, flyers about related events.
What should I leave at home?
Alcohol or recreational drugs, valuables of any sort, non-biodegradable soaps, shampoos, or conditioners, pets of any size. Weapons of any kind are not allowed. Some attendees are highly allergic to scents so please do not wear any scented products at camp, including essential oils or other “natural” scented products.
Can I bring my pet?
Service animals are welcome at Family Fusion, but no pets, please. Contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org if you will be bringing a service animal.
Are chemical, natural, and aromatic enhancement allowed?
Coffee and tea, both caffeinated and decaf, are available. Please leave alcohol and recreational drugs at home. There is a designated smoking area. Please leave perfumes and other scents, including “natural” scents and essential oils, at home to accommodate for allergies.
Is there phone and internet service at our site?
Yes, though we suggest that you spend as little time as possible on the phone or internet, in order to be present with the community for deep work. Most cell phones do not work at our site, though some will work about a mile up the road. We have landlines available onsite, with free US long distance. WiFi Internet will be available in and near the lodge.
We will have an indoor hospitality area at the Mountaineer Motel (3 miles west of the event site; 5 minute drive) that will have phone lines that can be used for longer calls, with free long distance in the US. There is also WiFi Internet. Cell reception is also better there; US Cellular is the main carrier, but Sprint and Verizon roam onto US Cellular. Some other services may also be able to roam onto US Cellular.
What kind of food will there be?
The meals will be healthy vegetarian, and vegan options will always be available. Please let us know if you have a food allergy or special diet; we will do our best to accommodate you.
Snacks, leftovers, fruit, coffee and tea are available at all times.
We also have a Personal Foods Kitchen for those with special food needs to store and prepare their own foods.
The first meal served will be Wednesday dinner.
Will I need to do community service at Family Fusion?
We will be asking a couple hours of community service from everyone – mostly related to keeping our spaces clean and beautiful.
Do people play music and sing at Family Fusion?
All music-making is greatly appreciated. Bring your instruments and talents.
What should I do with my car during Family Fusion?
There is ample parking close to or in the campground, and most campsites and all cabins have parking spaces. If you have a special need that requires your car to be near you, let us know. Please plan to use your car as little as possible during Family Fusion, to reduce fumes and preserve our connections to each other and nature.
Can I bring an RV to Family Fusion?
Our site can accommodate only a very few small RVs and campers, and we do not have hookups for RVs. Please get permission in advance if you plan to bring an RV.
I have a disability. Will Family Fusion be accessible for me?
The site will be accessible for most people with some types of disabilities, but may be challenging for others. If you have questions about disability access, or have any special food, medical, or other needs, please get in touch with us to see if your needs can be accommodated.
Can I smoke, light fires, or use candles at Family Fusion?
Candles and any other open flames may not be used anywhere except in the fire rings provided at each tent site or cabin; they must never be used inside a tent or cabin.
You may build campfires in the fire pits; please pay the site $5 per load of firewood, and be sure that any fire is extinguished before you leave it or go to sleep.
There are dedicated smoking areas at our site; please do not smoke in or near any of the other public spaces at Family Fusion, nor in any of the indoor accommodations.
Social Agreements for ISTA Family Fusion Experiment
If you feel called to the ISTA Family Fusion Experiment…
but you want to know: What exactly is it?
How can I consent to bring my FAMILY unless I know What to expect?
Or perhaps you’re wondering…
How do I talk to my Kid about it?
What should I tell my child’s custodian or co-parent?
The Essential question for the Family Fusion Experiment is this:
What is possible if our spiritual sexual shamanic path were integrated with our Family?
We are co-creating a week-long immersive laboratory to playfully explore:
How Family can bring up our deepest wounding around sex…and help heal it too!
These are the riverbanks for our experiment.
No Drugs and/or Alcohol.
We are re-creating a tribal feeling where multiple adults from all over the world will be listening, attuning, playing and supporting the children.
There will be adult supervision for kids’ ’safety at all times. A parent or guardian is responsible for watching their own littler ones (children under age 5), particularly around the natural swimming areas, and must bring a friend or co-parent to share duties with and trade off being in the adult spaces. There will also be kids only exercises and practices.
Nudity is welcome after the opening orientation (on the 1st day) when we will review family social agreements. There are 3 different Zones with different rules of conduct. Wraps and Sarongs are appropriate in all 3 spaces. Carry a towel with you at all times for sanitary reasons.
Zone 1) Clothing Essential.
This zone includes the kitchen/dining area, for health reasons, and also areas where the neighbors and delivery truck drivers can see us.
Zone 2) Clothing Optional.
These are family-oriented spaces and are NON-SEXUAL. Family Forum, ecstatic dancing, and swimming in the river, for instance, all happen in Zone 2.
Zone 3) Adult Only.
Minors are not permitted here. We offer a Red Temple with an intimate atmosphere designed for pleasure and play. Participants will respect the personal space of others and “play” only if invited to do so. Sexual language, kinky attire, toys and props, lingerie and/or displays of affection are welcome in Zone 3. There will be times when the children are involved in the youth program or asleep and the main hall will be clearly designated as an adult, Zone 3 space.
We are creating a non-judgmental environment where there is never pressure for anyone to do anything they are uncomfortable with.
When it comes to Public displays of affection (PDA): Cuddling, light kissing, flirting, sitting on laps, etc., is welcome everywhere. Deep kissing, heavy petting, sexual encounters, etc., are best explored in the Red Temple or the Zone 3 spaces.
If an erection or other signs of sexual arousal become visible in family spaces, please cover yourself with towel or wrap, or take a break, go out to the land, get a drink, etc.
You must ask for verbal consent before photographing or videoing ANYONE (especially minors). NO Photos or video of public areas without staff approval or supervision.
All-Inclusive healthy, vegetarian dining. We have a visionary kitchen crew, who are available to offer gluten-free, vegan, and other options for dietary restrictions.
Everyone (inner and outer children) will be exploring a variety of fun embodied practices such as music, dance, art, Family Forum, swimming, role-playing games…
Nudity is welcome for swimming and sunbathing. Please bring your own towel, as well as hats, shirts, and tops for sun protection, and swim diapers for little ones, too. Water toys are welcome.
Abrams Creek has a wide variety of plants and animals. Some of the dangerous ones include snakes and poison oak. Never ingest the berries, fruit, or mushrooms of any unknown plants. Please do not feed the squirrels or other wild animals – they may bite.
This is our friendly, fun, family vacation where we can envision bringing heaven on Earth! Family Fusion has a wonderful, experienced team of assistants who are here to support you in realizing your potential within the tribe!