History of Bear Hunt
Carolina Bear Lodge’s Bear Hunt began as a simple camping trip on Hunting Island, S.C., in 2001. The second event was so successful that organizers decided a camping format could not sustain the large numbers of attendees who were interested in returning each year. So the event was moved to a small hotel in Myrtle Beach S.C., with the initial theme of a Hawaiian Luau.
Following years, Bear Hunt went though many transformations to make the event bigger and better. Each event featured unique themes: "The Search for the Big Kahuna," "Return of the Big Kahuna," "Surrender the Booty," "Malestrom" (Viking theme), "Furs and Spurs" (Cowboy theme) and "Bear Trek." The 2011 smash hit “The Homecoming: Be All You Can Bear” was a military theme with nod towards local gay history and the war effort in Horry County, S.C., and the 2012 theme was “Crusades: All Bears United Under One Flag.” Both of these events were at a new venue for Bear Hunt, “The Carolinian” Best Western Plus Beach Resort.
Bear Hunt XIII “Pirates of the Bearibbean: The Search for Bear Booty,” Bear Hunt XVI “Bears Back to the 80s,” Bear Hunt XV “Super Bears & Wonder Cubs,” Bear Hunt XVI: “Bears on the Bayou,” Bear Hunt XVII “Jungle Jam: Bears on Safari,” and Bear Hunt XVIII “Truck Stop: Bears on Convoy” Bear Hunt XIX: “The 4 Bears of Mount Olympus” were all held at the Ocean Park Resort. Bear Hunt XX: "The Bear-veley Hillbillies" will also be at the Ocean Park Resort.
Carolina Bear Lodge in Review
The Carolina Bear Lodge (CBL) was founded in February 1994 in Charlotte, N.C., by a group of six hairy and masculine guys who decided they didn’t fit into the stereotype of a “normal” gay man. In forming CBL, they wanted to give this new bear community a place to call their own and a means to socialize in an accepting environment. CBL prides itself on giving all the opportunity for fellowship and to serve in leadership roles as members of an organized group.
Membership was primarily from those living in North and South Carolina, but now members from a number of other states are represented. From the beginning, CBL sought to unify the bear community spiritually and geographically. We believe we are a unique example of cooperation and sustainability for a movement that remains relevant and is still expanding today.
CBL has been fortunate to have many forward-thinking leaders since its inception; these volunteers have worked diligently to provide fun, sexy and safe events for the lodge’s members and friends.
One of the lodge’s longest-running gatherings happens annually – CBLs Anniversary Event which is held every February.
Another fun, free event for CBL members is Daddy Bear Luau Picnic, held in June/July. For the past few years, two board members have hosted the event at their home. Besides fun around the pool, the event features a luncheon and a “Top Chef Bear” cooking contest.
The CBL annual Christmas Party concludes the calendar year of activities. The party is hosted by a board member in a different location in North or South Carolina. Watch the for email blasts for more information.
CBL is dedicated to being a vibrant, progressive and responsive organization for its members; feel free to offer feedback and suggestions. Also, members can submit proposals for new events.