TeddyCon 2016 – Happily Stuck on YOU

tc-16-handbookSince 2014, every October has included an east coast ABDL convention for the crinkly and ageplay masses, rivaling no other convention – but instead, further enhancing the community we all belong to and love.

TeddyCon 2016 continued that mission in its third year and with an immense amount of help from its attendees and volunteers, grew just a bit more.

Tuesday, October 11th

I arrived at the TeddyCon hotel at the appropriate time of 2:18 pm, almost exactly two days before the event started.  As I approached the front entrance, out walked Mommy Kuri, Little Philly and Razamataz – three devoted individuals who had arrived the evening prior.  And in short order, TeddyCon 2016 – The Hat Trick began.

There was an immediate buzz in the air, helping hands with greater involvement than ever before and the vision clear that not only would there be new things for the TC masses to enjoy this time around but also the trusted favorites to return.  The growth was evident, a result of immense planning and building.  And the energy equaled the preparations.

Setting up the command station in the infamous room 218, I already was taking notice to the greater amount of everything that would make up the third offering of this event.  It was a greater amount of supplies, of helping hands, of attendees and as I would soon learn – of memories.

The first major task of the pre-set was to journey to the storage facility and collect the mounds of treasures created and amassed in the two+ prior years.  Somehow, I knew the adventure was going to instantly take full form.  And when more people arrived to help with the set-up than ever before, I grabbed my trusty notebook and jumped into one of the vehicles.

There were six of us who went to that storage facility and when Phil opened the storage door, I think we were all glad that our caravan included six guys, two trucks, an SUV, a minivan, a trailer and a partridge in a pear tree.  And before we ever started loading up, the quotes started to fly.

I looked at the storage space, packed so meticulously and carefully as to make it all fit in there.  And I thought back to the first time we ventured to the storage facility two years ago.  A cliché phrase states that with time and with age you amass more stuff than what you know to do with … and you have no idea where a lot of it came from.

I smiled brightly as we started loading the vehicles, knowing that we were well aware of where everything came from, who had built it, who had bought it and who kept it together.  And we also knew what we were going to do with all of it … provided we could find a way to pack it all into the those vehicles in the same efficient way it had been packed in that storage facility.

Refueling at McDs and then making a necessary trip to Wal-Mart (a trip that you should try at 3am at some point in your life – just for the experience of seeing the nocturnal walks of life that are there at that hour), we drove back to the hotel – then welcoming in more helping hands to bring everything into the con space and begin to set it up.

I paused for a moment and looked around the room seeing the wonderland begin to take shape for the third time.  In one corner I saw the crib being put together.  Next to that I saw the ball pit being taking form for one final time before it was retired.

I was recruited for a special task and became tape boy, under the watchful eyes of two mommies who were putting privacy paper up on the windows that saw into the pool area.

There were boxes and boxes … and boxes and boxes of diapers, an assembly line of ABDLers happily taking up the task of bringing the favorite padding in.

But the prize gem of that first day became the first highlight as the bear stuffing machine was brought in.  It was named “Build-A-Buddy”, avoiding the copyrighted phrase but also paying homage to one individual we will never forget.  His name was Bud and his profile still exists on FetLife … Bud75.

There are times in life when things happen that change you forever, that make you a more complete person, a happier person and a blessed one.  There are other points when those things aren’t actually things but rather, people. The day I met Bud was one I will never forget and I will never forget him.  We tend to remember the most meaningful experiences of life with exacting detail and everlasting thought.

Bud is all over the TeddyCon space, remembrances of him and … as we would learn before TC16 ended, his spirit was there with us throughout.  What a wonderful thought it was to end the first day.

 

Wednesday, October 12th

The set up continued at 9am.  Yes, 9am! And yes, I was actually up – because I had spent that first night in Phil and Kuri’s room.  Therefore, I was up.  With the big structures in place, the room garnishments and such became the primary focus.  And as I would take several trips outside to smoke, I began to see the arrival of more ABDLers – folks who came in a solid day early just so they could experience the TeddyCon-it is for an additional day.

Hugging each and every one of them, I began to realize how TeddyCon 2016 would be bigger and better than ever before.  But I also realized that the third offering wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if the foundation hadn’t been firmly laid prior.

Now, it was onto tables and chairs.  (Maybe TC 2017 will include the chutes and ladders.)  But not even the tables would have a simple transparent purpose as everything in that con space had more than one use.  There would be no point in just using tables for tables.  It would show wasted opportunities for more.  So, the tables were what hid the carnival games until the Friday night event – game creations that made me smile even brighter when I saw them.

The sky was the limit as to what could be made to help an event grow.  It just simply took people who cared enough to dream it up and then make it a reality.

Next, we sorted through the nearly 30 different types of animal skins, organizing them and getting them ready.  I could already envision a line of people waiting to get stuffed.

Even more people arrived, groups of ABDLers now convening in the hallways to talk, in the bar for a drink or outside for a smoke.  And I was overjoyed to see how everyone was more than willing to keep a private event private.

The ABU arrived, the con starting to add further garnishments to the already-in-place garnishments.  And in a word, ABU’s presence at TeddyCon as well as overwhelming support, was … unequaled.  I cannot give enough accolades to those two ABU gentlemen, how they interacted with everyone and how they represented a diaper company that had gone lost until they picked it up and brought it back to greatness.

Lunch arrived as did the need to write down even more quotes.  Everybody chowed down and before the last bite The Kinky Boutique arrived with a most-impressive lay out of trinkets, clothing and so much more.

Following them was the arrival of Jordan our beloved friend and also a Rearz guy.  Another group of ABDLers began carrying boxes in.  And the con space began to fill a bit more.

Then I got to meet the lady who created littleab.com.  This was one of the first ABDL sites I ever found online and after embracing that lady with all the happiness in the world, I returned to the set-up process.

The afternoon was far more relaxed as many hands made light work and I found myself having the ability to relax a little.  More arrived, now in droves as the opening was the following morning.  The con space was nearly complete and the excitement kept building.  From the attendees, that excitement was likely about what could be expected this year.  Months of postings and information on FetLife and other sites had led to this.  From the organizers and volunteers, the excitement was likely about seeing the plans become implemented happenings and realities.

The early evening pre-con munch at a local diner got underway, groups of old friends and new ones piling into vehicles for the short drive.  Anticipating a sizable turn-out, that local diner was alerted to this a few days prior and they were able to call in more staff to accommodate the group.

It wasn’t until I walked into that diner and looked around at the nearly 50 ABDLers who were there that I fully understood how many people were actually there the night before the con opened.  Seeing them arriving at the hotel a few a time doesn’t make it clear what the number had gotten up to.  And every single one of them was happy and content in keeping a private event private.

Sharing the meal and some ice cream afterwards, we all headed back to the hotel – the buzz of anticipation now having become something that could be fully felt as opposed to just being sensed.

Accommodating the registration process, the con held an initial registration on Wednesday night to get as many people checked in as possible – and thusly, allowing things to open the following morning as smoothly as could be.

A volunteer meeting was held as Kuri and Phil corralled the troops for a pre-con pep talk.  Everyone knew their scheduled assignments and were ready to lend a hand.  But before we closed the now-ready con space down for the night, the first round of animal stuffings began.  The volunteers chose their animal skins and formed a line, making it understood what the line would look like throughout the weekend and also giving the stuffer guy the ability to practice the process.

I thought this was a brilliant idea, not only creating all these new things and setting them into place but also trying them out – so as to be as prepared as possible.  Even I got my animal choice stuffed on that Wednesday night, El Zorro (which is Spanish for “Fox”)

As everyone began filing out of the con space for the night, I took a quick walk around the room – envisioning the happenings of the two previous TeddyCons and trying to imagine how The Hat Trick would go.  And I have to admit that the excitement had already taken me over as well.

Closing the space, we saw even more arrivals of ABDLers, folks who had worked that day and then drove to the hotel afterwards – to be a part of that first night.  Certainly there were many after-hours room parties that took place that night.  But the one I made it to was the first 218 party of the event – a yearly happening that is also being retired … to allow new ones to emerge in the future.

Having gotten a degree in mixology (aka a bartender’s license), I did my best to create the drink of choice for folks as they filed in.  One TeddyCon signature drink was known as the “218” – which to no surprise is yellow in color.  But I also got the opportunity to unveil my own signature drink called “The ZorroDaddy”.

Pre-Con day two was now complete and in the morning TeddyCon 2016 – The Hat Trick would open.

 

Thursday, October 13th

Every morning I got up, I always took an initial stroll around the outside of the building to get a chance to suck down at least one cigarette and then I went to the lobby and got a cup of coffee.  I don’t actually drink coffee very often, but it is a necessity at ABDL conventions.  Every night ends very early in the morning.  And every morning begins very shortly after that.

From this point forward, I will only write about the things I saw and the things I was able to do at TeddyCon 2016.  The absolute truth is that, at any given moment, there were always at least six different options of things you could do – from visiting the vendors to attending classes to participating in activities to stuffing your animal to eating to spending time in the ball pit or the crib or the play area … to so much more.  It is extremely difficult to get bored at a TeddyCon with all those constant options available to you.  Throughout the entire weekend there was only one time when there was only one thing to do and that was on Saturday evening, during the pageant.

People registered, then walking into the wonderland and directly into a plethora of reunions, reintroductions, hugs and hellos.  New friendships were made and the family grew without hardly having to try.  The atmosphere welcomed it and the want-if-not-need to meet and greet and get to know everyone was happening all around.  At TeddyCon, there were no cliques, no outsiders, no insiders, no cool kids, no dorks, no exceptions.  Everyone was welcomed there and the only requirement of entrance and continued entrance was to follow a simple set of rules to keep everyone safe.  In doing so, people were able to relax in a manner that they likely didn’t often get the chance – when amongst friends old-n-new and when surrounded with an unconditional love.

People lined up for the animal stuffings, sat at the activity tables, dove into the toys in the play area, crowded the vendors area and/or attended Class #1, aptly titled: TeddyCon 101.  It was well-attended and a lot of TC newbies asked a lot of questions that enabled them to become even more comfortable with TeddyCon.

Everybody found the place they wanted to be and would then begin mixing into other areas as Class #2 got under way, themed with the discussion of being a leader and how to generate local interests in gatherings like munches.

I walked around the con space, taking everything in – seeing how the Build-A-Buddy animal stuffing line was long but also seeing how that line kept moving.  And also seeing how standing in that line gave folks the opportunity to get to know the people in front of them or behind them.

Everything, everywhere had been so meticulously planned and organized … and we had hit the ground running.  And the main reason for this had nothing to do with setting it up or keeping it neat.  It was because of the attendees of TeddyCon that everything worked.

The real truth is that countless hours could be put into building things and even more countless hours could be spent finding vendors and presenters and coming activities and learning the activities and doing many, many other things to set up a convention.  But regardless of the prep, if the attendees come in with an attitude of indifference or an attitude of self-entitlement or a general sense of being where they are going to challenge everything … when that happens, an event can ruined by such attitudes, destroyed before it ever gets going.

Proudly I state, the attendees of TeddyCon were the most loving caring, helpful land understanding group of people I have ever met.  And it is because of them that TeddyCon has grown and been able to continue to offer more and more.

Some may call this “trying to outdo one’s self”.  I see it as offering something new each time as opposed to not exploring new possibilities and settling in on offering up the same thing as last year.

Growth is natural.  It is human and it is divine.  And because of the TeddyCon attendees, the event has grown.

And also, the quotes just kept a-comin’.

That first afternoon, The Mommy Panel class took place.  And, along with another class I will tell you about in a bit, it packed that classroom to the hilt.  I was given the charge of hosting this class.  But let me be honest in telling you that the four mommies had the power.  And they hosted themselves.  How they commanded that classroom, with the maternal edge they all naturally possessed, enabled even the shyest of souls to raise a hand and ask that burning question within.

As the day rolled on, even more arrivals showed up and joined the happenings.  The pizza party that evening was sponsored by BareBum Diapers who are also the sponsors of The Crinkle Cast.  What started out as stacks of boxes of cheesy goodness wound up as just boxes.  And a contented smile of happiness fell over all.

 But the smiles would brighten and widen that first night as TeddyCon hosted a wedding.  I’m not making that up.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  The ball pit, being initially set up on the stage specifically for the wedding, was decorated with an arc of balloons.  A sound system was set in place and I had the honor of standing in the ball pit with Lance, the husband Daddy to be, and watching a beautiful soul being led into the room.  It’s one of those experiences I never expected to have in life.  And it’s one I will always hold near and dear to my heart.

But no wedding would be complete without a phenomenal reception and the dancing went on until the con space closed.  The reset of the room was swift because of the many helping hands … and then the late-night began.

At the end of each day, a dear named pschwartz and I take the little green wagon out into the hallways.  The attendees are asked to take their used diapers and put them into a black trash bag, making certain to tie the end in a knot before setting them out in the hallway by their door.  Then pschwartz and I come along and scoop the bags up, taking them out to the back dumpster and throwing them in.  This enables the hotel maids to not deal with a trash problem that couldn’t possibly be managed with the maid carts they push around.  But it also becomes ton of fun to do.

I remember last year, one night pschwartz and I were doing the diaper wagon rounds and we found a bunch of white trash bags setting by peoples’ doors.  It was actually garbage from non-TeddyCon attendees who thought there was some of trash pick-up service at the hotel.  With both of us laughing, we picked up the white trash bags and added them to the wagon load.

Even more folks arrived in those late hours, including some dear friends from a bit west.  The after-hours parties kicked into high, including some butt whoopins that took place in room 314, and Thursday ended exactly as it had begun – hitting the ground running and continuing to pick up speed.

 

Friday, October 14th

I’m sure breakfast was wonderful on Friday morning, but I wasn’t up for that.  (I hear there’s this crazy “a.m.” thing that happens sometimes in the mornings.  It sounds scary.)

When I finally stirred to I did my usual outside stroll for a bit of vitamin n and chugged a cup of coffee before chugging some Turkey Hill Iced Tea.  Then I went into the con space, seeing a tin foil painting craft underway, seeing tons of people milling about and everyone already enjoying day two of The Hat Trick.

But the first thing that caught my attention that day was a unique activity that was being created by a group of people who were science fiction fans.  It was described to me as sci-fi improve where they created a science fiction story by writing down what happened on index cards and laying them out on the table like a story board.  Everyone in the group was welcomed to make some sort of contribution to the story.  I was fascinated by this and by the creativity it showed.

Penny Barber would arrive that morning and would have a table in the vendor space that included many things, not the least of which being her two books: The Age Play And Diaper Fetish Handbook and The Big Book for Littles: Tips & Tricks for Age Players & Their Partners.

Onesie making would be the first activity of that afternoon and a class entitled: Alphabet Soup – Gender as a spectrum.  Later that afternoon, there was Polyamory 101, Finger Painting.  And I even got time to do a musical practice with the Diapered Burrito, some ABDLers with six-string talent.

Closing in on the dinner hour, there was time for one more class with Rhoda Lipscomb – a therapist who has counseled many people over the years, among others, with less-than-vanilla interests.  That class was so packed, they actually had to have everyone scooted their chairs forward as much as possible to allow for more seating in the back of the room.

Concurrently, as there were always many things to choose from, a Paper Plate Animals craft was underway in the activities area.  The vendors were seeing heavy traffic and the ball pit, now relocated off the stage and onto the floor of the play area, was filled up.

I love the mixing-n-matching of so many things as these events, not the least of which being the people.  There were no races, no orientations, no ethnicities or religions or political points-of-view.  We were all one.  And that made me smile very brightly, but my smile would grow wider that evening.

The con space closed for two hours so it could be transformed into a carnival.  Every volunteer was on hand to do the set-up and then woof down a quick meal before getting instructions on how to run the different carnival games.

There was a game that had you throw rings onto glass bottles, a lollipop game where you won a prize if the lollipop you pulled had a colored end, a game where you pulled rubber duckies out of a baby pool pond for prizes, a wheel of fortune, a frog stomping game, a magnetized wire game (similar in concept to the board game “Operation”), a bean bag throwing game, a hula hoop throwing game and one or two others I can’t recall presently.

But when those doors re-opened and the TeddyCon masses rushed in, a night of fun began – mixing everyone together into an excited state.  Doing my abled best to make an ass out of myself, I spoke as loudly as possible, trying to get people to come over to the hula hoop game and win a stuffed prize. 

There were dozens upon dozens of stuffed animals, collected for TeddyCon by a dear friend named Penji, or as I sometimes call him … Pooky Buns.  LOL

TeddyCon 2017 tickets were won, free bags of ABU diapers were won, stuffed animals galore were won, tons of candy was handed out and everyone had a blast.

The carnival took up the whole evening and once the con space closed down, a massively impressive reset of the room commenced.  In minutes, the carnival was packed away and all was returned to normal.

Then pschwartz and I took up the late-night diaper wagon and walked the halls again.

Day two of The Hat Trick was complete, but there were still the after-hours parties for the nightowls and drinking fanatics.

We had the farewell 218 party that night and of course, no day of TeddyCon would be truly complete without more quotes.

Saturday, October 15th

I’m sure breakfast was great again.  But I’ll have to take people’s word on that.

The morning class was led by Penny Barber as she spoke about Making Online Profiles, a topic that was quite meaningful and a class that was quite helpful.  One of the first impressions we make is what our profile says.  And it’s good to be putting the right things up about yourself.

Tisiphone’s Sandbox Class was next, filling people in on the nuts-n-bolts of age play through grains of sand as the epic shaving cream drawing craft took place in the activities area.

Lunch was a quick trip to Wawa with William Little and then we got back to the con space for the Panel of Experts Class.  Assembling four people with a collected wealth of experiences from all walks of life, it was a rewarding time with many questions asked.

The messy class would follow, making the future TC King a filthy mess.  Diaper decorating occupied the activities area and everyone then rushed off to dinner with the intent of getting a good bite to eat before the events of that Saturday Night.

I ventured over to On The Border with a group of ABDLers and ate their nacho chips for a few minutes before I rushed back to the hotel to get into the Zorro garb.  When I got there, the con space had been transformed into an open area with plenty of seating for the Saturday Night Littles Pageant and Talent Show.

This is always a highlight event as brave souls get up onto the stage and perform for their peers.  Judges are present and five awards are given out.  Everybody that got up on that stage was talented, but to keep the pageant moving, the talents were limited to two minutes.  And it was a thrill ride to watch these people get up there and leave it all on the stage.

The pageant was as wonderful as always and the rousing applause each contestant received was a joy to hear.  Another set of clean-up and rest commenced and then the night time began.

Pschwartz and I were joined by two other ABDLers (new recruits!  Bwahahaha!) and this particular night went into the wee-wee hours of the morning.  I’m sure there was a lot of wee-weeing going on.

Day Three of The Hat Trick was now complete … but not before a few quotes.

 

Sunday, October 16th – With A Little Help From My Friends

Sunday mornings are always tough for several reasons.  Initially, it is tough to wake up in time to get out of your room by checkout.  But, as was the theme of TeddyCon the whole weekend, many helping hands enable everyone to get out of their rooms without late fees being assessed. 

A popsicle picture frame activity as well as a Pulling Pigtails class got the final day started.  And though everyone knew this was the final day, there wasn’t a bit of slowing down.

The Daddy Panel took up as the final class of TeddyCon 2016 and then the goodbye circle began.  This is always an emotional time when every fresh memory of the weekend and everything hits you all at once.  The enormous TeddyCon circle hug ended the touching time and a plethora of individual goodbyes began.

The con space would stay open all afternoon, but as some began to part and head their separate ways, one thought was clear:

Yes, we had all just said goodbye.  But for a great many, it was really just a “see ya soon”!  There are more events in the future weeks and months and there will be TeddyCon 2017 to look forward to.  We will take that whole hotel over – including the pool.  And it will be another weekend waiting for you to come and make memories in.

The tear down would begin but not before Phil and Kuri got to stuff their own animals on the Build-A-Buddy machine.  Phil’s newest stuffie

Loading everything back into the trucks and trailers, we hauled it back to the storage facility and we would have gotten there much sooner if I hadn’t felt the need to prove, once again, how technological challenged I am.  I wasn’t able to follow simple GPS directions and I got us a bit lost on the way. 

But I eventually got to the place and it was remarkable how much free space there was in the storage shed – the diapers being gone and the ball pit headed to its new home – a wedding gift to Lacy and Lance.

————–

Thinking back on TeddyCon 2016, there is one thing that stands out about that whole weekend …

YOU, the attendees.  As I typed a bit earlier, hard work could be put into something and then attendees who didn’t care could show up and ruin the whole thing.  But that didn’t happen at TeddyCon 2016.  Yes, the hard work was there.  But so what an enormous family of caring people who embraced and welcomed in the new members of that family.

If no one attended, there would be no reason to prepare or plan or implement anything.

And that is what will always remain as my first recollection of TeddyCon 2016.  The family grew and that love of one-and-all went beyond the con walls – back out into the world and into everyone’s lives thereafter.

Every day, we now communicate with one another in texts, phone calls, emails, FL messages, posting replies, munches, parties, gatherings and more.  Family sticks together.

Blessings to you all.  We’ll see you next year at TeddyCon 2017.

Zorro Daddy

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