BiCamp 2024 Good Consent Policy

Audio version of this document.

We aim for BiCamp to be a consent-rich environment. We want all campers to make informed choices and be empowered to say yes or no to decisions that have an impact on them. We want all campers to respect other people’s decisions and consider how their behaviour may impact others. No one at camp should be put under any pressure to join in with things they do not want to. Consent is key – and respecting people’s choices at all times is important. This year we will again be basing our consent practices on Jenn Wilson’s Consent Compass. We hope that you will attend one of the online training sessions that Jenn is running for us ahead of camp to update your consent journey. You may also want to participate in consent workshops and conversations at camp. This policy gives an overview of what we expect from all attendees during camp and in any related forums. It is not an exhaustive list of rules to follow, rather a way of thinking that should underpin the ways in which we conduct ourselves in community. This is very much a conversation that we are all part of. 

Everyone has agency over how they act and everyone is accountable in accordance with that agency. Some people in some situations (e.g. children) have less agency and are less accountable; some (e.g. parents of those children) have more accountability. Being aware of power dynamics helps us to better engage with good consent practices. We need to be responsive when in community - if the situation changes, consent may change. We can’t assume one ‘yes’ gives us unlimited agreement. We need to be informed. We cannot give consent to something we do not understand. When our understanding changes, our response may be different and that is ok. Part of understanding is the need to be specific and to be explicit with what we want and with our boundaries. 

Some examples:

  • Yes you can hug me at the moment, but I may not want hugs later when I’m overwhelmed. 
  • Yes we can kiss inside the tent but I do not want to kiss you out in public. 
  • No I can’t talk about this at the moment because I’m low on spoons, but we can discuss this aspect later. 

While good consent practices are particularly important in intimate situations, good consent underpins safe connection in all our interactions. 

Examples of better consent include:

  • asking if a person would like a hug before touching them or entering their personal space; 
  • not interacting with people wearing the purple wristband or if they’ve asked you not to talk to them; 
  • ensuring anyone in hearing distance of conversations containing sensitive subjects (such as sex, the police, abuse or other trauma) are ok with being part of that discussion before gnarly details are shared; 
  • not entering someone’s tent or sleeping area without specific invitation; 
  • not repeatedly asking a question or making an offer after a person has said no; 
  • using content warnings (CW) ahead of communications containing sensitive subjects so people can choose when and how to engage with them (and giving others the opportunity to say no); 
  • knowing that if you haven’t had an enthusiastic yes, the answer is no; 
  • understanding that no one should be exposed to seeing sexual activity or nudity if they have not consented to being an audience to it. This includes in the 18+ tent if a non-sexual activity has been taking place and participants are still present.  

With the best intentions, we still make mistakes. Good consent practices include listening when we are told we have messed up and seeking to do better. A call out is an invitation to learn not a punishment. If you think you might have overstepped a boundary or have been called out by a fellow camper, there will be named Consent Champions on site at camp. You can talk privately about what has happened and establish a good way forward. In addition you can contact our safeguarding team who are enthusiastic about consent work and are monitoring the inbox.

The BiCamp team will not tolerate harassment of any kind, or behaviour that jeopardises its aim to be a safer space. We live in a very discriminatory society and seek to improve on this. We are committed to anti-racist practices. We also work to be inclusive of diversity in gender, sexuality, culture, kink, neurodiversity and disability. We do not tolerate harassment, but all campers are still accountable for how their behaviour impacts on those around them. For example, our disabilities may explain the way in which we act or communicate but it doesn't negate any harm this might cause; accountability for the consequences of our behaviour is expected.

We hope that you will feel empowered to say no when you want to and have your no respected. The BiCamp team are happy to speak on your behalf if you find this difficult. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, you are encouraged to talk to a member of the team, drop us an email. 

Issues don’t have to be big to warrant sharing. Sometimes discussing a niggle can help stop it from growing into a big problem. Be aware that rumours are not always based on truth, so it’s good to check in with the organisers so we can all clarify facts and not get misled. 

The team wish to make it clear that it is important to apply the expectations around consent and harassment to all people on site. No one is too big or important to be called out on their behaviour. Camp organisers to newbies: we all mess up sometimes and will benefit from the opportunity to learn about and from our mistakes. Organisers, attendees, site staff and the general public must also be treated with the same respect. We hope that with these underpinning principles of communication and respect, BiCamp will be a safer and happier place for all attendees.