Email Archive

You get on the email list by purchasing a ticket. Here’s the archive from 2014.

Email #14: meet the idiots!!!!

Camp Tipsy could not happen without the following persons:

  • SF Institute of Possibility board: Benjamin, Joshua, Eliot, Michelle
  • Webmaster: be
  • Admin, copywriter and social media: Whitney Deatherage and Stefanie Morlan
  • Build crew: Skippy
  • Security, gate, medical and more: Ty, High Rock
  • Our friends at the Board of Supes County of Colusa and Michael Azevedo

And I’d like to take a moment and thank bullshit. For without piles of bullshit, none of this would be possible…

— chicken

2012 | Flip Cassidy

Email #13: Culture of sign painting…

Here at Camp Tipsy we have a long, time-honored tradition of sign painting.

Signs are good for so many things. Hand painted signs will tell you things like how to get to Lake Lodoga, where you can camp, where all the fun stuff is, who is sleeping with whom and even remind you to wash yer dishes. Read them. They’re even useful sometimes.

You too can partake in sign culture. Make whatever sign you want, and put it where it needs to go. In reaction to the vapid consumerism to which we are constantly subjected, our culture of sign painting is democracy in action. Create a sign for utilitarian purpose, artistic expression, or social commentary–whatever you want. Put it wherever you want.

In the shop, we have all the essential ingredients to help you realize the sign of your dreams. Get some wood, cut it in a shape (or not), prime it, sketch with charcoal from the campfire, and paint away. It’ll dry in like ½ hour in the sun. Screw some random pieces of junk on there if you want. Now you have a sign–AMAZING! You’re Brilliant. Thank you.

If you have plywood or painting materials you wanna share, bring ’em with you, so someone else can bring their bullshit masterpiece to life, too.

2015 | Randal Alan Smith
2012 | Flip Cassidy

Email #12: What to do with trash at Tipsy and a word about leaving your “boat” here…

The definition of garbage is totally complex and a conversation that I don’t want to get into with you here. But for this event, garbage has no meaning. There are only building materials that are used to make fun boats.

You bring stuff up here, and you are welcome to leave a boat or some extra building materials or supplies. That’s encouraged. If you have garbage, leave it in the dumpster. If something is super precious, talk to someone about how it should be moved or spray paint instructions on it. We rent a ¼ acre of land up here to keep our junk on. It’s cheaper than throwing it away. Please do the work to take your boat out of the water and dismantle it.

You MUST clean your camp, the area around your camp, and the road around your camp, just to be sure. The place is pretty trashed usually when we get here and we usually have to clean more before the event then after. Because you guys are the best ever.

2015 | Randal Alan Smith

Email #11:  Boats, boat contests and boat safety 

Here at Camp Tipsy, we have a very low threshold for what a “boat” is. But there are a few things we do know…

Any child 12 or under needs to have a life vest (PFD, Personal Floatation Device) at all times on the water. Little known fact: a person 65 years or older must now wear a lifevest on the water.

Here are a few things to make the water more fun and easy:

  • If you are swimming and can’t see the lifeguard that you paid for you are too far away from the lifeguard…
  • Don’t tie your “boat” to someone else’s boat.
  • Don’t take someone else’s boat without asking.
  • If you are building a boat, put the tools back. It’s maddening that people use tools then just leave them in the dirt for other people to step on. Don’t be a jerkface.
  • A 5 gallon bucket filled with concrete with a rebar loop in the top is a great weight anchor.
  • Your “boat” should have 20′ of rope connected to it, so the wind doesn’t steal it.
  • The shore is slightly rocky, if you had water shoes that would be good. If not no big deal.
  • Umbrellas. Parasols. Shade. You want it.
  • Swimmers have right of way. Boats serve swimmers. If your boat has a motor, and you are within 25 feet of swimmers, cut your engine off. Just turn it off. It happens so fast.
  • If you are building a boat and you need the math for floatation here it is: a cubic foot of water is 64 pounds. So for every 12″ by 12″ by 12″ of “floatation” you have you will push 64 pounds out of the water. A gallon of water is 8 pounds. So about 8 gallons is like a cubic foot. Do your math so that half of your “boat” is in the water and half is out. This will give your boat some ‘bite’ into the water. And it’s harder for people to just flip you over.
2013 | Kelly C. Gallamore
2013 | Kelly C. Gallamore

Email #10: drought

So today is the day we talk about drOught, the condition of the lake and why we never know how much water will be in the lake.

It’s important that you understand that our culture is a Ponzi scheme. You know it, I know it, everyone else knows it. I’m not going to lecture you. I gained some understanding of how the world of water  works over the last few years. I could see the system. The ecology. It kinda freaked me out. It’s all so fragile.

The water in the “lake” is owned by the Orleans Water Users. The land is owned by Colusa County. The dam is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation. Rice farming. That we get to paddle around in it is nothing short of miraculous. It’s a gift. It’s the only water right now in California.

2015 | Randal Alan Smith

Email #9: Fire, Fire Fighting and 4th of July

Fire is a paramount concern here in Colusa County. Every year fire consumes HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of acres and endangers wildlife, humans, homes and business and eats millions of dollars of resources. When the countryside catches fire, thick smoke is everywhere. Being in it sucks. It’s super bad for people with asthma and kids, especially.

So when we say no fireworks, we actually mean no FIREworks. Because that’s what they do: they set the forest on fire. If you are shooting a bottle rocket off somewhere in the park and a local sees you doing it they will respond in the same way as if you were pouring gasoline on their home and lighting it. They see it the same way. The fines for using fireworks in a high fire zone like up here is astronomical.

Don’t bring fireworks. If you want to spin fire like a dumbass please do so in the middle of the lake on a boat.


2015 | Randal Alan Smith

Email #8: Herons, Blackbirds, dogs and coffee

Today we are talking about the Blue Heron. A majestic creature that is astoundingly large and watching one take flight can take your breath away. Mighty creatures with mottled colors that blend into the scenery so well sometimes they are hard to see. They are at Lake Lodoga most often in winter. I haven’t seen any this year.

However the endangered Tri-colored Blackbird is here and they are pretty rad. Their colors are jet black with a Mopar orange splat and a white pinstripe. Basicly, the bird is a Hemi. They have nests. They fly around and eat bugs and stuff. We like ’em.

We like your dog too. We think that it’s great to have dogs and go in the water and go crazy. We don’t like dog fights, though. And as such we demand that your dog be tethered to your person with a lanyard. A leash.

Ritual Coffee has a little coffee trailer they bring out to Camp Tipsy every year. There is a barista who will serve you a cup of Ritual Coffee every morning from 8 to 11. There is no charge.

2015 | Randal Alan Smith

Email #7: Tough talk: our zero tolerance predatory behavior email

You never want to have to spell this out, but it’s too important for us not to:

Any gathering of this size has the potential to attract people who do not have the best interests of others in mind. Camp Tipsy firmly practices a zero tolerance policy for predatory sexual behavior in our community. Instances of such behavior will be reported without hesitation to local law enforcement, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

A professional security team will be on duty at all times, and Bureau of Reclamation Rangers and other law enforcement will be present or on call throughout the event if they are needed. Help is always on hand.

It is our firm goal to uphold a fun, welcoming environment that keeps our community safe from sexual predators of any kind. We hope every camper will help with this, too.


So what’s meant by predatory behavior? We’ve been around it, and we know some examples and ways to stop it:

  • A guy cruising from woman to woman on an obvious agenda to score is very likely looking for an easy mark who’s too drunk to say no. If that guy knows we’re watching out for each other here, maybe he won’t bother.
  • If you see someone intoxicated who seems too out of it, keep an eye on them.
  • Always let friends know if you take off with a new acquaintance, so they know where you’re going and who you’re with. Keep an eye on your own drink, and be mindful of taking a drink from a stranger (thus our never giving alcohol policy).
  • As much as it kills me to have to type this here, ‘catcalling’ after a women or complimenting her or saying anything about her body at all is predatory behavior and it’s gross and it gets you kicked out in a quick second.

We ask that you report all inappropriate or criminal sexual behavior to a member of the crew right away.


While we place responsibility for criminal sexual actions firmly on those who perpetrate them, we also know a little awareness goes a long way. It’s definitely ok to speak up if something is “off” in any social situation. This is the best way we can keep an eye on each other and take care of each other.

2015 | Randal Alan Smith


Kids are fund to hang out with, and everyone knows camping and playing with boats and swimming is family friendly stuff- it’s probably no surprise that we say we want to keep it that way at Camp Tipsy. Kids 18 and under get in free, and we ask everyone’s help to make sure Camp Tipsy is a place where families feel at home.

If you would like to have an adult beverage, please just be responsible and mindful and not trashed  (kids or no kids, no one wants to babysit you so you don’t drown). Don’t make Camp Tipsy about booze, make it about being in a beautiful spot with fun and amazing people failing to make decent boats.

Smoking cigarettes (or anything else) in front of children is dumb.  Inappropriate verbiage, stories about that time at the B&D club and or whatever is just not cool around kids.  You’re adults, be understanding in the way you act around families. Kids are pretty cool, though, and if you relax, you might find that hanging out with children is more fun than spending time with adults who just act like it.

If you are bringing kids: We do have security/first aid staff on site, but lifeguards will only be on duty in specific, marked areas. Kids are totally welcome to work on boats in the Camp Tipsy shop, just please supervise them (especially with power tools!!!) and watch out for nails and splinters and stuff. And, please, don’t go in the water at night.

We want kids at Camp Tipsy, because kids at Camp Tipsy are the people like you of the future, and we like people like you.

2015 | Randal Alan Smith

Email # 5: Boats & Boat Contest

You can’t pollute the lake. Duh. If you are building out of Styrofoam, you have to control the stuff so it doesn’t ‘weep’ into the lake. Use giant plastic ‘Saran Wrap’ you buy it from Grainger. You can’t use barrels or buckets that have had nuclear waste in them to build your yacht. Anything that goes in the water, comes out of the water.

The Boat Contest is on Saturday at 2.

You must select a single category to compete in. You submit the name of the vessel, the name of the build team, a sponsor and communicate what music you would like to be played when you compete (bring a thumb drive of your song, or select from our list). Once you have registered, you are allocated a category and a number. Easy. When your category is up, you compete in sequential order. The list of categories below is not complete and can change, but the thing that will NOT change is that KIDS CATEGORY goes first, LEAST EFFORT goes last (Least Effort is our top prize). There will be a registration booth in the shop area and be clearly marked and staffed.

Entries that had a “performance element” last year seemed to do much better than boats that just showcased ineptitude in building.

CATEGORIES: (in ascending order)

  • Sheriff of Kidstown—This award goes to the kids category (for little kids). Whoever wins gets to be the Sheriff of Kidstown for the rest of the afternoon.
  • Boat most likely to kill pilot
  • Boat most likely to get pilot laid
  • Unnecessary use of materials
  • Least comfortable
  • Art fag award for high concept
  • Boat least like a boat
  • Boat most likely to sink, but doesn’t
  • Worst implementation
  • Worst design
  • Worst idea
  • Best I can do
  • Least effort

The awards are handmade pieces of art skillfully decorated and suitable for display in your closet.

2013 | Kelly C. Gallamore
2012 | Scot Kuiper
2013 | Kelly C. Gallamore

Email # 4: Entertainment at Camp Tipsy

Camp Tipsy creates many magical moments, this is undeniable. One of the reasons for these magic moments is our artists who work tirelessly to entertain, confound, astound and serenade you. This year we have a world class entertainment line up. But first, a few words about noise at Tipsy:

There is no amplified sound at tipsy. You can’t bring your DJ rig and set it up in your camp. We will throw it in the lake. You can’t blast music from your car stereo and leave the doors open and then ask me to come jump start your car. This is a camping trip. This is not a good place to get exposure so you can quit your job and be a DJ like you’ve always dreamed of since you were 30… we don’t care. We don’t’ want to hear it. You have shitty taste in music anyway, just like me.

And now, our schedule of performances for Camp Tipsy 2015!!!!

  • Tuesday night is “Crew Night”
    members of the crew will perform for each other, mostly, but if you are there you can come too. Songs, comedy, magic… it’s open mike!
  • Wednesday night: Karaoke with KJ Paul
    For as long as it takes.
  • Thursday night:
  • Friday night: Trio Paz
    Fabulous Spanish flamenco music and dancers. 2 sets!
  • Saturday night: Rube Waddell
    Mixing Blues, Gospel, American and Irish Folk, Country, Rock, Punk, comic Vaudeville and German theater, South-East Asian ditties, a little funk and a lot of raw power

  • And for the kiddos…

    MERMAID ISLAND –—The Mermaid Atlantis and her pod will be present to provide entertainment for all the younger fishies in camp. Splashy family entertainment on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

  • Friday: Magic and Singalong Hour (in the shade)
  • Saturday: Fairy Tea Party Hour (in the shade)
  • Sunday: Scavenger Hunt to Mermaid Island

    Come swim with a pod of mermaids! (in the water)/p>

    For kids of all ages. Magic, crafts and storytelling. Sunday is fun in the water. Please have kids ready for action (sunblock, floaties etc…) This is a parent/kid thing, this is NOT a drop kid off thing. We value and encourage parent participation. Bring a camera on Sunday to get a shot of your kid putting their heads in the mouth of a hydra!!!!

  • 2015 | Randal Alan Smith
    2015 | Randal Alan Smith

    Email #3 Camping, parking, toilets and trash

    Lake Lodoga/East Park Reservoir is a primitive camping area with multiple group-site style camping areas around the water’s edge. Please camp within the designated area, in accordance with our permit.

    Kids and families are invited to camp with each other in an area called Kid Town, which has a 9 PM noise curfew so the littles can sleep.

    Other than this there are *no reserved campsites*. Talk to prospective neighbors before you set up, and if they have friends arriving later to join them, try to work it out. Please don’t rope off space for later arrivals. Early birds get the flattest spots.

    The park has vault toilets, and we bring in more porta potties as well. Don’t put trash in them. Please close the lids when you’re done with your business, nothing in them but toilet paper and please if you are going to use your own paper use single ply. Bunch it up as much as you want but single ply pretty please.

    We contract with Cook Disposal for a dumpster. Put your garbage in it. Boom.

    Email #2:     How to get to Camp Tipsy and . . .

    You get to Camp Tipsy by taking Interstate 5 north to Maxwell, California.

    Take Maxwell road west 9 miles. The road will ‘T’.

    Take the right option (left dead ends in 300 feet).

    This is Sites Lodoga road. Take it for 12 miles over the pass.

    You will see a store: Squaw Creek Inn. The entrance to East Park Reservoir is a few hundred feet past this store, on your right. The gate is halfway down Campground Road road this year, as the park is in full swing and we will be sharing the lake. The speed limit on the roads in the park are 5 mph. Here is a map link, but be sure to follow the directions above.

    If you are driving an RV, large van, or a car that tends to overheat, DO NOT take the route through Maxwell. Instead, continue north on I-5 to Willows and approach Tipsy from the north, LIKE THIS.

    There are no other ways to go. Some maps will show you how to take a “shortcut” using route 20 through Williams. Adds 3 hours, dirt road.

    The town of Stonyford is nearby. You might want to go there, they have a store. Say hello to Trish.

    But there are also campsites there. On the other side of the lake. The West side of the lake. You are welcome to go there. We’ll be over here. On this side of the lake. The East side of the lake.

    What to bring to Camp Tipsy:

    • A tent
    • Food
    • Water
    • A flashlight/headlamp
    • Your medicine
    • A floaty thing
    • A towel
    • Swimsuit
    • Sweatshirt for nights
    • Water bottle
    • Stuff to eat out of/with
    • A garbage plan/bags
    • A ukulele
    • Sunglasses
    • Hat
    • Umbrella (for sensitive skin persons)
    • Earplugs (for snoring neighbors)
    • Water shoes/flipflops
    • Cup for coffee
    • Toothbrush/paste
    • A good attitude
    • Desire to have fun and meet cool people
    • Pile of bullshit

    Email #1:     What is camp tipsy?

    Camp Tipsy is a car camping event that occurs annually about 135 miles north of San Francisco on the full moon. This year, the event is from June 29th  to July 5th.

    This will be the 9th Camp Tipsy.

    Camp Tipsy’s focus is on boats, mostly building them out of odd materials usually sourced for free and getting on them and laughing as they sink. We found that kids like to build boats more than anything else and we also found they are quite good at it! We provide a junkyard and a shop with tools and shop stewards so you can build.

    There is also a single performance on each day of Tipsy just after dark on our main stage. Go to to see who and links.

    There are kids shows during the day with mermaids and pirates.

    There is never any other amplified sound allowed of any kind. It’s a camping trip.

    There are no services at Camp Tipsy. No electric, water or stores in the park. Nothing to buy, and you may not sell anything. There are dumpsters for garbage, and there are portable toilets for your use. The nearest store is just outside the park.

    The weather at Camp Tipsy is mild, very hot during the day and usually still and warm at night.

    Camp Tipsy provides lifeguards during the day (and does not recommend going in the water at night). We provide security, medical care, places to camp and some entertainment. You will need to bring food, water, a tent, a good attitude and some marshmallows for the fire.

    There are only a few days until Camp Tipsy 2015, you will receive about an email a day until then. All emails will include all previous emails so people who buy tickets later still have all the information. Please read all of it, it will increase how much fun you have and make you less of a pain in the ass to us. Print it out or save it on your phone and make someone read it aloud on your drive up.


    2013 | Kelly C. Gallamore
    2012 | Flip Cassidy