The Oregon Regional Rainbow Family is gathering in Ochoco National Forest this week. They’re a loose-knit group from throughout the U.S. and other countries, where they gather to pursue social and spiritual activities.
“The Rainbow Family is an unorganized group of individuals who enjoy coming together in the cathedral of nature and prove that cooperation between one another works,” said Rabbit, a scout for the Oregon Rainbow Family.
They’ll be located in Butterfield Spring, just north of Walton Lake. Members estimate at least 150 people are already on site, with more to come throughout the week.
“Butterfield Spring was chosen because it met our four criteria that we require in the Rainbow Family, which is parking, firewood, a main meadow and a water source,” Rabbit said.
Public Affairs Officer for the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland Kassidy Kern says they are within their legal rights to camp as they are on public land, but the area may be more crowded than usual.
“We do anticipate that there will continue to be people coming in the next week or so. We don’t feel any need to put out a bunch of law enforcement officers for the same reason that we wouldn’t want to do that if there were just a family camp-out,” Kern said.
For those who may dislike the family, new member John Rodgers asks for people to reserve judgment and check it out for themselves.
“I would like to see this be more accepted and more normal,” Rodgers said. “All I’m seeing here is a bunch of people camping. Something we all do. Something ‘normal people’ do. We just come out here to make sure the fire’s started and people have stuff to eat.”
Rodgers says the family’s mission is to pray for world peace.
The family says the gathering ends on Sunday. It is completely open to the public.