Contact for more readable version with images. Contact info is:
Email to: [email protected] for detailed information sheet. 804-502-4468
SUBJECT: This is a roughly drafted “Information Sheet” about the “prepper’s cookout” in Goochland County, Virginia from Wednesday June 23 to Friday June 25.
Dates of the event at Groundhog Flats (20 miles West of Richmond Va.)
The actual day of the event is Thursday June 24. Any attendee can arrive and can depart on that day, June 24th. But the place will be open and overnight accommodations provided on Wed. night June 23 and Thurs night June 24th. Friday the 25th will also be available to continue any of the activities before departing by end of the day Friday June 25. (Some attendees might be heading next up next to the Polyface Farm event near Staunton Va., which is about 1.5 hours away going West on Route 64 towards Charlottesville).
So the main day is Thursday but you can make your plans any way you want, whatever is convenient for you, to enjoy the sights and camp-out from Wednesday June 23 through Friday June 24 and any times in-between. Such as to arrive on Wednesday and not to depart until Friday. Or arrive and depart on Thursday. Or arrive Wednesday afternoon and depart Thursday evening. You get the idea. The schedule at the Virginia site is flexible for you and the site will be open Wednesday through Friday.
The location is about 20 miles West of Richmond, Va., just across the Goochland County line in an area known as Manakin-Sabot (“Manakin”). Manakin is mostly rural and farmland, although in the past 10-20 years metro Richmond has been moving Westward and developments are springing up almost every month it seems. Still at the location of this Prepper’s site, the neighbors are a large expanse of farmland, usually corn and other crops rotated during the season. In the other direction is a large pasture of cows, who at times remind you at night that they still have grazing rights with their “mooing”.
The location is known as “Groundhog Flats”, part of what was a large pig and dairy farm started at the turn of the century and into the 1900s. This was the only place in the area, surrounded by woods, but this past year 3 other houses were built in areas carved into the woods on the same cul de sac.
The property consists of the main farmhouse on 3 cleared acres, with 14 shed type outbuildings, two rows of what used to be chicken and pig stalls, a pump house building (no longer used) and a smokehouse where the pigs were hung. The farmhouse built in 1896 and its heating system is still 3 fireplaces. A property manager does live on-site, but no one is currently living in the farmhouse while it is undergoing a (slow) restoration.
Legend has it (as told by a longtime family living in the area for ages), that a large oak tree…. still standing near the house …. was the centerpiece of a Confederate campsite during the Civil War. This was one outpost of sites defending the City of Richmond, 20 miles away. If true, one of the campfires at this June’s event can be celebrated as the renewal of a Confederate campfire 150 years ago.
In short, there is lots of open space with a decent amount of isolation. So the music can be cranked up and the partying and activities of choice can be carried on in a mostly rural farmland environment.
The location is ideal for our group because it is “out of the way”, many woods and farm fields all around, and you can do pretty much whatever you want without being disturbed.
What to expect……
Some canopies and tents will have been put up. Cots, sleeping bags, makeshift beds, maybe on the ground, and whatever else we come up with to make sure you have a comfortable sleep. But this will be rustic. No Hilton Inn here. Although yes, a modern day bathroom will be available. At least one campfire, with marshmallows and hot dogs for those who want to relive their boy scout days, and a small fish pond where about 15 good size outdoor gold fish call home. Some lanterns and string lights strung around, so we will not be in total darkness.
Educational subject matter
There will be at least 4 good size solar panels around for experimentation and making connections, with examples of powering survivalist equipment (making coffee; powering makeshift communication systems; lighting).
A brief description of some topics and subject matter to be covered in presentations will be sent out at a time in June closer to the dates of the event.
Input from attendees is invited and welcomed on any subject you would like to (1) make a presentation on, or (2) hear someone else give information on it. Input about any topics that you’d like to cover when there would be helpful. With such a diverse group, even though having the common ground of a “prepper spirit”, we would like input in advance of any subject to be discussed or demonstrated. This way it might be possible to bring in someone with specific expertise in that area, so that is why any input of this type we’d like to get in advance.
Otherwise, even without any specifics, this will be a great gathering place of like-minded people enjoying casual time outdoors. The discussions in such a relaxing and casual environment over lead to things that we can pursue and exchange thoughts on well after this is over and we are back in our home territory.
Grills, Drinks and Food
Of course, there will be multiple grills fired up; Virginia Bar-B-Q, hamburgers and all the dressings; and coolers packed with ice and your favorite beer and wine refreshments. We ask that you bring you own as much as possible as this is not a money making event. The property owner is not able to offer an unlimited amount of free refreshments and meals. Nonetheless, we will try to accommodate as much as possible. Plus there is a grocery store (and a Dollar General and other friendly stores) just 2 miles away, so you do not have to lug food and drinks during your drive or other travel in getting here. You can pick up whatever you want from the local stores when you get here and as your appetites click in.
In other words, plan on buying nearby what you need when you get here, and then be surprised when you are able to get more freebies at the event itself.
As property owner and welcoming host, I live in Richmond and my name and cell phone are: Michael Morrissey: 804-502-4468. Email is: [email protected] You can contact me about any concerns, questions, new thoughts (always want that) and anything else. The address in Manakin-Sabot, Va. 23103 will be given at the time each attendee registers.
Since we all like to know a little about the people we will be camping with, I add this brief personal information. I developed an interest in the prepper technologies from my close friend Marvin Motsenbocker, who will be a presenter at the event coming here from Japan. We both met from common work in the patent law field in Wash DC. My past work has been in electrical engineering (B.S.) and law (J.D.). I was an Examiner at the US Patent & Trademark Office, did Defense Dept work for government agencies, and now enjoy applying new technologies to come up with useful devices/products/systems.
Major drive routes nearby
Route 95 brings you into Richmond from the North or South, and Route 64 goes West out to Groundhog Flats and beyond…. about 50 miles more to Charlottesville, Va.
This is necessary in order to keep track of things and of people. No one will be admitted who has not registered in advance. In other words, no strangers will be allowed on the property. A stranger is anyone who is not on the list of registered attendees.
Registration here consists simple of you emailing me that you plan to attend and receiving from me a reply email that welcomes you to attend. If you can give the dates of your arrival and departure that will help in planning for your overnight accommodations. Last minute adjustments to the actual dates are no problem. We just want to have an extra pillow for you at night instead of a log for your head.
Hope to see ‘ya at Groundhog Flats in June!