Golden Boot 1996

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Golden Boot 1996 - Carol Van Camp

presentation at Stars, Thars & Cable Cars by Anne Uebelacker

Last year at this time, I was the lucky person who was presented with this prestigious award by two very dear friends, Luis Torres and Bill Eyler. Little did I know that with this award comes a curse - who to choose for the following year.

I sat down and thought about possible criteria for the upcoming candidates. After spending some time talking with a few of the past recipients, we came up with a format that seemed like a reasonable set of guidelines.

  1. The person must be recognized nationally and internationally for their contributions to the gay and lesbian square dance world.
  2. They must be an active member within their own club.
  3. They must have worked for and promoted all facets of the activity.
  4. They have been a liaison between the gay and lesbian square dance community and the straight square dance community.
  5. They have given freely of their time for the love of the activity, beyond the call of duty.

It may sound like a tough set of guidelines but believe me, there were many deserving names on my list of possible recipients. So many people have given so much to the betterment of gay and lesbian square dancing as we know it today.

Now comes the curse... Who do I choose? Do I pick a politically correct person, do I pick a popular choice person, do I pick a number from one to ten and hope for the best...

The truth of the matter is, there was never any doubt in my mind who should be the 1996 Golden Boot recipient.

I have chosen a gift of West Coast Indian art that has the raven as its symbol. The raven is known as the transformer who created the world. It is the cultural hero. The Raven also symbolizes creation, prestige, and knowledge, someone who can talk easily to all ages and types of people. A teacher, an intellect.

The Raven describes, in accurate detail, the person that I wish to honor with this year's Golden Boot Award: Carol Roberts from Squares Across the Border, Vancouver, Canada.

Some of her contributions to the activity:

  • Carol was the co-chair of 1990 IAGSDC convention in Vancouver, Canada.
  • She is the liaison for the Fraser Valley Association (straight SD clubs) and SATB.
  • Carol and Elgin Hodgins are the only remaining original members of the club. Carol was the originator of Squares Across the Border with Art Smith from Seattle. She saw gay square dancing at a rodeo in Reno and brought it back to Vancouver. Carol has attended every convention since Seattle 1984.
  • Carol is again on the committee for the upcoming 2001 bid for the IAGSDC convention.
  • Carol has been an executive member or coordinator for the past 13 years of the club's existence. She has been very supportive of the gay community and has given freely of her time and energy.
  • As a result of Squares Across the Border joining the National Gay/Lesbian Square Dance Association, the name changed at the Denver convention to "International" to reflect the first Canadian club.
  • She is the first to give praise and recognition to someone else but is the very last to acknowledge her own contributions.

Carol is loved by all who have met and danced with her at every level.

Carol's Acceptance Speech

It's kind of hard for me to talk right now. I'm very touched and very honored. I can't help but think of Keith right now. But I have Lauro's bracelet on my other hand, so I should be able to do this.

The stories about starting our club. It was very much a shared venture from Seattle and from the people in Vancouver. As everyone knows, you can't dance by yourself, you need seven other dancers. And when we started, we had two squares of dancers, and a very generous man, Art Smith, that got us going.

It has been a privilege for me. I don't know what my life would have been like without having a chance to share it with all of you. When I come to Convention now, it just amazes me. I miss some people very, very much, but to watch you dance just blows me away. And I think I've said this to our dancers before. When we started John Barley's it was a disco trying to be a leather bar or a leather bar trying to be a disco, and that was in Vancouver. Before that, leather men didn't dance. Some of them would be very surprised to see you today. One of the most important things for me is I've watched people come into our club on Saturday nights, and to be able to have a good time, they would have to get drunk or be stoned. And they would have to dance by themselves, and that was their Saturday night.

And every time I watch our dancers, and all of you dance, on a Saturday night, in a church, in a substance-free environment, with such joy, it just amazes me. And I'm just very grateful that I've had a chance to be a part of that, and that all of you are willing to share that joy with new dancers and with your friends.

Thank you very, very much.

[Editor's Note: Keith Snowdon, Lauro De Haan, and Carol Roberts were all members of the 1990 "Northstar Promenade" Convention Committee. Keith was also the 1992 Golden Boot Award recipient. Keith and Lauro have both passed away. ]


reproduced from SquareUp! issue 9