Great news, dog lovers — we’ve found paradise.
For one glorious weekend, several hundred golden retrievers and their humans, are frolicking together in a beautiful place, to celebrate animal rescue.
Goldstock Camp takes place every Labor Day weekend.
This is the event’s 19th year at Camp Weequahic, in Lakewood, Pennsylvania — a camp that’s normally for human kids, not furry ones.
The camp was built in the 1950s by the father of Goldstock Camp’s founder Gail Lustig.
It became home to this magical gathering in 1998.
The weekend’s itinerary includes a doggy olympics, rescue dog parade, and a dog dance demonstration (!!!), plus fundraisers for golden retriever rescue groups.
This year there’s also be the premier of Dog Camp, a documentary — or, dogumentary — about Goldstock Camp.
Photographer Steven O’Byrne has been Goldstock-ing for 10 years now. He says the camp itself is incredible — and the wonder of it continues well past the weekend.
“Goldstock doesn’t end after Labor Day each year,” he says. “Goldstock is not just an event, it’s a community that gets together once a year.”
Lustic tells Shelter Me that she got Goldstock started “as a get together for golden retriever lovers, and then thought maybe we could use it to raise money for rescue.”
There were some 60 people there, that first year.
The event has grown by a lot in the last two decades, but its essence has remained the same.
“The camaraderie and the love of the dogs, and the support for rescue,” says Lustig. “Two hundred or so people and over 300 dogs, enjoying 100 acres and a lake, all to help raise money for rescue.”
It’s not too late to sign up for Goldstock Camp 2016 — here’s the registration page.
Folks without dogs — and dogs of other breeds, who are honorary golden retrievers — are also welcome.
Just don’t miss out. You’ll have a great time, and your grand-puppies down the road are going to want to hear all about what it was like to be there.