Creative Endeavors!

Firedancers Houston

The LVL PWA Camp outs are for gay men living with HIV-AIDS. There is a mix of HIV positive and negative individuals who may be campers, volunteers, sponsors, partners of or friends of campers who are living with HIV-AIDS.

The camp out begins at Noon on Friday, May 11, 2012 and ends at Noon on Sunday, May 13, 2011. Volunteers who arrive on Thursday are expected to pitch in and help get the campground ready. Volunteers who stay over through Sunday night and Monday morning are expected to help clean up the campground after the camp out.

One thing that was never planned, but does occur at every camp out, are the friendships that are built. Every one, no matter what part Texas they are from, or what state they are from, all share the common bonds of being gay, gay friendly, and are living with HIV/AIDS — or are directly affected by HIV/AIDS, such as a partner or friend of a camper with HIV/AIDS. Being out in the country is very relaxing and sets people at ease.

Many people are strangers at the start of the camp out but that quickly changes on its own. You can walk up to a couple of campers sitting at a picnic table and they are talking about what they felt like when they were diagnosed. Some may be sitting in front of a tent and comparing medications that they have been on over the years. A few campers walking down a trail may be talking about social services in their city. Another group may be reminiscing “the good old days”. It is very comforting to all at the campsite that “THEY” are not alone in their struggle with HIV/AIDS but they are a part of a bigger “WE”.

In October of 1993 Marvin Davis, (a.k.a., Lady Victoria Lust pictured with John in photo to the right), had gone to a camping event called Rosebud at the TCC Landsite. Marvin fell in love with the landsite and started plans so that others who were less fortunate would be able to get out into the “wilderness” and have some peaceful time away from their daily lives.

Marvin approached several people with the idea, and the LVL PWA camp outs were on their way to becoming a reality. TCC offered the landsite, free of charge, for the weekends needed. Through his networking and help from many TCC Member Clubs, commercial businesses such as bars, and many, many individuals thoughout Texas, the camp outs were fast became a reality.

The first LVL PWA camp out was held in September 1995. Two more followed, one in May and another in September of 1996. Marvin passed away suddenly several weeks after the last camp out. Marvin had been very active in the Houston Gay HIV/AIDS Community and was in the process of creating a charity organization of his own that was to be run by a hand-full of volunteers from the community. The Lady Victoria Lust Holiday Fund, sheltered by the Colt 45’s, became PWA Holiday Charities. Marvin lived long enough to see this organization receive its charter.

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