Welcome to the
Traditional Ways Gathering
(Please read the following before you fill out your registration. Thank you!)
Do bring your own firewood if it comes from within 25 miles of the Gathering site. This is to help prevent the spread of invasive species such as the Emerald Ash Borer, and others.
Do leave your pets at home. Pets are not allowed in the event, or in your parked car. If we make an exception for your exceptionally well behaved dog, we have to make it for everyone's. All day barking is a distraction for all, and there are free-roaming chickens on-site.
Do leave your alcoholic beverages at home. This is an alcohol and illegal drug-free event.
Do feel free to fish outside of the Bad River Reservation boundaries. You cannot fish or hunt on-site. This is tribal policy with large fines imposed.
Do bring food and items to cook it. There are only a few fire rings for cooking so it is advised that you bring an alternative method such as propane stove to cook on. Or plan on sharing the cooking space with many others.
Do bring a folding table and chairs for your campsite. Unlike many State Parks, there are no picnic tables provided in the campsites.
Do feel free to have a campfire on the beach or in one of the designated fire-grates only. This is a communal event and we must share the fire grates that are at some of the campsites. You may bring a metal fire-pan/braizer, or other wood-burning, or alternate fuel stove to cook with if you wish.
Do drive to your campsite to off-load, but vehicles must remain outside the gate parked along the road.
Do use the compost and recycling containers at the cross-roads. Compostable materials tossed into the woods have attracted bears after we have departed past gatherings, which is not appreciated by the residents of this property. . Dish/'gray' water may be tossed into the woods.
Do feel free to appreciate the stones along the beach, but please leave them here when you go home. Grandfather stones (concretions) are sacred to the Anishinaabeg people. Respect the traditions of our hosts and leave the stones here. If you do not know what a Grandfather stone looks like, please ask a council member - we will be happy to show you.
Do respect the the traditions. The fire-ring at the Roundhouse is for a ceremonial/sacred fire only. Once the sacred fire has been lit, nothing goes into it except firewood, tobacco, and medicines. Nothing else!
Do keep your clothes on. No nudity is allowed at the beach, at your campsite, or anywhere else on-site! This is a matter of respect for others who may be uncomfortable with nudity, as well as our host, his visitors, and others from the nearby communities that may come to visit.
Do laugh, tell stories, and play music loudly until 10 pm every night, that's when 'Quiet Time' begins. Please respect your neighbors, you will probably have many of them - If you want to visit with others past this time, please use the area near the Roundhouse fire-ring.
Do attend the Morning Circle every morning, and be on-time! This is the when important announcements are made and instructors inform all of us about the events of the day. If you miss, or are late, for the morning announcements, you may miss a workshop you wanted to attend, or weather forecast. Events change often depending upon the day, and weather, and having to repeat things for late-comers cuts into workshop time.
Do go swimming wearing a swim suit or other clothing please. But be aware that there are NO Lifeguards here. The lake, and it's winds, can be very unpredictable and so floating toys/tubes/mattresses/chairs, and similar items are should not be used.
Do use the 'porta-potties' and pit-toilets. Do not answer 'natures call' in the woods - many workshops take place in the wooded areas throughout the site.
Do go into the woods only if you are part of a workshop, the woods are very thick and quiet. At least one person has gotten lost in the past when they left a group workshop that was approximately 30 yds. from the Roundhouse. They found the first road many hours later and many many miles away.
Can I collect natural materials from the woods on-site? No. Please respect the land and understand that we are but one of numerous groups that use this site throughout the year.
How much do workshops cost? Depends! Many workshops are free, some instructors ask for a few dollars, a bow stave maybe $40. It really depends upon the materials needed for the workshop. If there is a fee, Instructors should be paid at the beginning of the workshop. If you cannot afford the fee for materials, you may be able to barter, or trade, with the instructor. It is important to respect the instructors and the skills they are here to teach by compensating them fairly for materials.
Is there cell phone reception out there? Yes, ATT coverage seems to work the best .
I don't have a tent, and really don't care to camp, and I have a medical condition that makes it difficult. Do I need to stay on-site during the Gathering? Absolutely not. There are several nearby places to stay if you wish, and can be found elsewhere on this website. But you will still have to park outside the gate. In addition, people making 'ice-runs' become common as the Gathering moves into mid-week.
What can I expect regarding the weather? Good question, we've had very dry and very hot gatherings, as well as rain filled weeks, and nights in the 30's - come prepared.
What do I do about food and water? Bring your own food and be aware there is no electricity available on-site. Dried/freeze-dried/dehydrated/canned goods are a good option. Fresh/frozen goods that need to be kept cool would do best in a well insulated cooler with lots of ice, with ice available 15 min. away at a convenience store. There is an artesian well on-site for filling your water bottles and larger containers - please do not brush your teeth or 'wash-up' at this well.
Are there showers? Sponge-baths at your campsite are the way to go. Going soap-free in the lake does a really good job as well.
Can we build fires on the beach? Yes, but be aware firewood may be hard to come across. Also, be especially vigilant about putting the fire 'dead-out' before you leave it - we have had attendees get burned by hot sand and coals from a seemingly 'dead' fire.
Can our kids play with the toys, or on the swing-set, at the cabin by the Artesian well? That is private property not affiliated with the gathering and cannot be used without permission.