Frequently Asked Questions
Got a burning question about IGGPPC, how to get a penpal or struggling for ideas to what to send your new pal? Our FAQs have got the answers you need!
Um…yeah! We would love that! Please share with us and we’ll add it to our Press page!
We have no foolproof way to do this; all we have is the trust that our community is full of mostly good, honest people, who want to share and connect with other geeky peeps on a global scale and be nice to one another. Once we have paired you up with your pal, it will be up to the two of you on how you want to proceed! You may want to chat a little over email first, to do your own sort of screen on the person. Maybe you can exchange Facebook links if you are unsure.
Yes, you can get us involved. If you’ve got any kind of bad feeling or aren’t sure, just reply back to us and ask for our help.
No, we are not.
Once we have put you in contact with a new Pen Pal, we cannot be held responsible for the outcome of any contact of any kind made between you. We do hope you use common sense, and if you decide you feel uncomfortable giving your address out, don’t. Just let us know you would like us to either find you a new Pen Pal or you would like to drop out altogether. We wouldn’t want you to do anything you don’t feel 100% about.
Ask them for their social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram.) Ask them to Skype with you beforehand. Ask them to snap a pic of themselves with your name handwritten on an index card. Ask them for a bit of background on themselves without being too specific (what kind of job they have, what their geek loves are, how they found out about the club, if they go to school, etc.) If they are a true friend, they will understand your safety concerns!
Never give out any information like this to any pen pal, no matter how much you think you can trust them. A pen pal should not ever ask you for this kind of sensitive information.
Do not respond to them, and do not give them your address. Immediately email firstname.lastname@example.org with a full report of all the details. We cannot help you if you do not report it. If you feel you are in immediate danger, call your local emergency hotline such as 911.
There have been no confirmed cases of catfishes using our club.
Of course, here it is:
Once we have put you in contact with a new pen pal we cannot be held responsible for the outcome of any contact of any kind made between you. By confirming you have read this disclaimer you are acknowledging that you have permission to join this service.
We do hope you use common sense and if you decide you feel uncomfortable giving your address out, don’t. We wouldn’t want you to do anything you don’t feel 100% about. Your participation is totally voluntary.
If you are sending gifts with your letter remember to check that there are no international restrictions on posting said item.
We did! Unfortunately, we can’t make any more episodes of Charm Bomb right now but you can read more about it and listen to old episodes here.
The International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club, also known as the IGGPPC, is a group of worldwide geeky friends. Founded in March 2013, the club was designed to bring together the nerd community through shared interests in all things geeky, a love of stationery, and an interest in making friends!
Our current pen pal pairing schedule allows for you to sign up for a pen pal at any time when you come to our site, except in July and December, when we close the pairing rounds for IGGPPCamp prep and Christmas.
This means that you don’t need to remember when to come sign up and that you can refer your friends to come anytime!
We chose to name the houses based on two heroic and two villainous females from geek culture.
- House Quinn is named for Harley Quinn, from the Batman universe
- House GlaDOS is named for GlaDOS, the villainous AI from Portal
- House Organa is named for General (née Princess) Leia Organa, from Star Wars
- House McGonagall is named for Minerva McGonagall, the formidable Hogwarts teacher from Harry Potter
IGGPPCamp is an online camp run by the IGGPPC [International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club]. Each year during August, we all get together online and do lots of fun things over the course of a few days. This includes watching movies together, making s’mores, playing games on the forums, telling ghost stories, learning new things through awesome video tutorials, making friendship bracelets, building forts, and so much more.
A lot of these activities are enjoyed online by using Twitter, our forums, our blog, YouTube, and Google Hangouts. It’s a throwback to fun summer camps we attended as kids, but online and for the modern iggle.
Note: you must be logged in to view the forums.
The brain-unicorn of Stewie and Farquharson, IGGPPC was founded and launched March 19, 2013, as a silly Curly Wurly induced idea and has since blossomed into a wonderful, creative community!
”The IGGPPC is a mixture of a love of snail mail and letter writing, geekery and fangirling, some curlie wurlies, a dollop of mischievous curiosity, and a splash of tomfoolery.”
We refer to each month’s pen pal sign-ups as a round. Rounds run the length of the month and pairs are sent at the start of the following month. We give each round a theme as a prompt not only for your geek loves but also to spark conversation through the month.
You are in a House based on your age.
- House Quinn are ages 17-21
- House GlaDOS are ages 22-29
- House Organa are ages 30-44
- House McGonagall are ages – 45+
IGGPPCamp is usually about half way through August. It runs in every time zone so any iggle anywhere worldwide can participate!
The 5th annual IGGPPCamp will take place from August 16-19, 2018.
An iggle is the affectionate term we use for a member of our community. Part of IGGPPC? You’re an iggle!
As each round closes we begin pairing pen pals up on the 1st of the following month. Pairing emails usually go out from the 1st to the 12th of the month.
For example, if you sign up on October 1, you will receive your pairing between November 1 – 12. If you sign up on October 31, you will also receive your pairing between November 1 – 12.
It also means that waiting for your match may take a little time, as each month’s pairs are sent out in the first two weeks of the following month. For example, if you sign up on October 1, you will receive your pairing between November 1 – 12. If you sign up on October 31, you will also receive your pairing between November 1 – 12.
You are what you eat. Wait, no! Don’t eat the iggles!
It’s all in the mind: if you think you are an iggle, then you are! If you want to join in on the fun with us, and do pretty much anything or everything relating to the club, no matter how big or small, no matter how often, then YES, you are an iggle.
You do not have to sign up for a pen pal, you do not have to partake in activities – you just have to want to be one. Simple as that!
We have four age groups, 17-21, 22-29, 30-44, and 45+. We will always pair you with someone in your age group. These age groups are also known as Houses. Find out more about the Houses here.
We attempt to pair people who have similar interests (at least 1 matching interest, but as many as we can find.) If you want to be specifically paired with someone in a specific country, or outside of your country, it’s a good idea to list that as 1 of your geek loves. (Wish to be paired with someone in France, etc.)
Registration means you will be placed in a Troop. Troops are a fun, extra perk of camp, to allow you to connect with smaller group of iggles and participate in camp activities together as a group. You are not required to register for camp to join in.
Registration usually takes place in early August. When registration is open, you’ll see a link to it on the main camp event page.
Truly, you just have to be yourself. We’re all geeky about something – even if it isn’t comic books or video games. Read this blog Farquharson wrote about a definition of geek, and see if you feel more at home.
Back in 2016 we added in a ‘non-binary’ gender option to our sign up forms having previously only female and male options. We want IGGPPC to be inclusive to everyone and we never want our members to feel alienated, so adding in the non-binary option was as important for us as for the people who have requested it.
By adding non-binary in we had to make a compromise in other areas of the registration form so we were still able to pair people up effectively. We analysed the data from the previous years and the number of people who used each of the original pairing preference options was as follows:
- 40% – “Someone of the same gender” (NB everyone, bar one person, who chose this option was female)
- 53% – “Anyone! I’m not fussy”
- 7% – “Someone of the opposite gender”
As you can see the “match with opposite gender” was the least popular choice so with that in mind we scrapped that option and changed the wording of the remaining two. The current options reflect the most popular choices and are now:
- “I am female and want to be paired with another female”
- “I am OK being paired with anyone”
These options have been working very well since then and make the pairing process easier for us as well as allowing us to include a third choice on gender and keep an option on pairing preferences.
Absolutely! Registration only impacts Troop Activities but Camp Activities are available to everyone.
Nope! Guys, girls, non-binary peeps, unicorns, Klingons, wookiees, house elves and anyone who is geeky and in search of a pen pal–are all welcome!
Yup! Your ‘Top 5 Geek Loves’ are how we match you with a pen pal, or how you might find a friend on the site! These are things you “geek out” about the most–so you might be a tea-drinking, knitting, Sherlock-loving sort, or you might nerd out about photography, Harry Potter, and healthy eating! Really, it’s whatever you want to include to find a nerdy pen pal match!
The official Camp Handbook lists all of the Camp Activities you will be able to do. There is a dedicated Camp Activities forum which will be available once Camp begins with many of the Camp Activities forums. In addition, the activities will become available on YouTube, our blog, and in other designated places. You will always be able to find out what’s happening either on the IGGPPCamp Twitter, the Camp Bulletin board, or the daily camp blog post called the Daily Campfire. You’ll need to register for the site so you can view and post replies in the forums!
IGGPPC is run solely by volunteers who love spreading fun and friendship. Read more about us here.
If for any reason your new pal does not respond, you can go off into the wilderness and try to snag a pen pal via our Pen Pal Limbo chat on Discord. If that doesn’t work, sign up again the next month. It isn’t uncommon to it to take a couple of tries to find that perfect match.
Unfortunately, there is no way for us to control someone’s willingness to follow through when they sign up. Want more info? Read a blog Stewie wrote of “5 tips for making a good connection with your pen pal”
You can find all of your Troop activities in the Troop forums! You’ll need to register for the site so you can view and post replies in these forums. Each Troop also has 2 camp counselors who will be posting fun things for you there. There is also typically a hashtag for each Troop so you can find one another on social media!
As a rule, we will only pair you with 1 per round but you can sign up for as many rounds as you want. If you sign up multiple times for one round we will delete all but one submission before beginning the process (checking for duplicates takes place each month before we begin pairing)
BUT…on the form we do as if you would be willing to be matched more than once, as sometimes we have an odd number of sign-ups and don’t want to leave iggles hanging! So sometimes you will end getting 2 penpals instead of one!
A few of the events are live, but not all. Live events often happen on Twitter or via Google Hangouts. If an event is live, it will have a time listed next to it in the Camp Handbook.
In order to participate via Twitter, you will need a Twitter account. You can follow @GeekGirlPenPals for information and @IGGPPCamp for all of the live events. Live events are listed in CDT time but if you are still confused, you can tweet us to confirm the time zones!
We also use a hashtag: #IGGPPCamp By adding that to your tweets, you create a clickable link that allows you to find other Campers, camp activities, and allows us to find and interact with you, too!
If you simply want to read the live tweet but don’t want to open a Twitter account, you can also check this link and refresh every few minutes to see what’s new!
Right now, we currently pair English speaking penpals – BUT – if you wish to be paired with someone within your country or a country with a specific language you wish to write to your pen pal in, give us a heads up at email@example.com and we will see what we can do.
Right now, we have 2 other languages supported via Facebook – French and Spanish. If you wish to get a pen pal in either of these languages, feel free to post on these facebook pages and we will see what they can do!
We’ve got a dedicated forum for all of our IGGPPCamp activities! Please note that if it is not the first day of IGGPPCamp yet, the forums will not be accessible to you – they will open once Camp does!
We appreciate your enthusiasm and know how exciting it is to have a pen pal! However, due to international regulations, pen pal sign-ups are reserved for Iggles age 17 and up.
Some of our activities require or recommend supplies to take part. (The bake-along, for instance, requires ingredients!)
We post a full list of supplies for you prior to the start of IGGPPCamp in one convenient place so you don’t have to go hunting through every activity: check out the master Supply List!
You can, but most if not all of the people who sign for our club are expecting a pen and paper pen pal, so be warned that your match might be slightly miffed at the prospect of not getting handwritten letters. But we’re sure if you’re nice about it, they will want to write to you just the same.
If you are stuck for ideas of what to write, our community is always willing to help. Tweet #IGGPPC to ask for suggestions. Tell your pal about your job, your house, your pets, your significant other, your favourite band, or your Top 5 Geek Loves.
Better yet, why not add a little Doctor Who decoupage, throw on some Pokemon stickers, or do a little Star Wars doodle?
Or even better than that send some local candy, because candy! The list of things you could do is endless! Have fun with it and create something wondrous! Here are some more ideas.
- A local recipe
- Hello Kitty earrings
- A coaster from your favourite pub
- Pokemon cards
- Some delicious local candy
- Temporary Tattoos
- A business card from your favourite local shop
- Swag from your favourite geek love
- Photos of local historic landmarks
- Lisa Frank Stickers
- A postcard from your hometown
- Sanrio stationery
- Art or drawings of your favourite geek love
- A Harry Potter keychain
- Photos of your cat
- Local currency/coins (something small but neat-o)
Aside from anything you aren’t allowed to mail normally, (like liquids, live animals or hazardous materials) we also ask that you not send religious or political propaganda, business solicitations, and offensive or pornographic material. Really we shouldn’t have to tell you this, but you never know.
Don’t go crazy now! You are not required to send a package, but some people might want to. We think a smart cap would be approximately ₤10 GBP or $15 USD (do whatever fancy kind of money conversion you have to on that!)
SCORE! Remember to take photos of your letter or package and post it to our specially dedicated Mail Call thread or tag us on Instagram or Twitter!