Planning for the National Bando Women’s Camp

Dear Bando Sisters
The National Bando Women’s Camp is scheduled for June 18 – 21, continuing our tradition of supporting each other and growing in skill.  We have a lot of ideas for how to go forward, but first need to check in with everyone regarding the timing. With the disruption resulting from the COVID-19 virus, it’s quite imaginable that the guidance for social distancing may span well into May, or even June.  Cheryl Cesta and I are wondering if we should be proactive in rescheduling the Women’s camp to later in the year, or whether we should play it by ear and wait until late April or May to make a final decision.  

So our first questions to you are about timing:

  • Do you think we should go ahead and reschedule the Women’s Camp to sometime in the Fall or wait to see how the Corona Virus situation unfolds over the next month or so?
  • An alternate date for the Women’s Camp that doesn’t interfere with current ABA/NBAA events could be Oct 2-4. Is this a good date for you? (Update – We’ve rescheduled the camp for Oct 8-11, understanding that it may be too soon to know whether this date will work out.)

We also have questions for you about lodging and food logistics:

  • Over the past few camps, we’ve shared communal meals at our training location.  Would you prefer to continue that for this year?
  • As you know, I’m planning to host the Women’s camp at my home in Warrenton this year.  We will have enough beds for 7 people (three double/queen beds and one twin bed)  and plenty of space (inside and outside) for those willing to camp or to sleep on an air mattress.  (Allergy alert – we have both a cat and a dog as part of our household.) There are hotels nearby as well for those who prefer to have a private space.  What are your preferences and are there any special needs I should be aware of?  How do you think we should handle a case where there are more than 7 people requesting a bed?

Cheryl and I are also putting together the agenda for this year.

  • Are there any topics that you would really like to see this year on the agenda?  Eg, weapons training (kukri, staff, etc), sparring / kickboxing, self-defense training and/or teacher training, animal systems, Min Zin, etc?
  • I have enjoyed, in the past, our social activities in addition to the training.   There are some lovely parks nearby if people are interested in hiking (also there’s Luray Caverns), and plenty of wineries and breweries.  We’re also an hour away from Washington, DC, so we could also plan a day trip to DC to visit a museum, such as the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the National Women’s History Museum (in Alexandria, VA), or the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  What kind of group social activity might appeal to you?

You can write to me directly at or share your thoughts in the comments below for others to see as well. Thank you!