By Lauren Means | above photo courtesy of Camp YouthSeen
Editor’s Note: All dates were accurate as of date of the original publication. Please verify dates and possible cancellations prior to making plans.
While many events have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our youth still have some options for virtual camping this year. We’ve highlighted a few LGBT+ camps that are hosting virtual events.
Camp Aranu’tiq is located in scenic New Hampshire on 116 acres with a mile of frontage on a beautiful 200-acre lake. Camp Aranu’tiq was the first-ever summer camp established for transgender and nonbinary/gender-nonconforming youth.
It was founded in 2009 as a nonprofit organization. It began as a weeklong program in 2010 at a rented site with 40 campers and has grown to serve over 650 campers each summer. Camp Aranu’tiq’s mission is to build confidence, resilience, and community for transgender & non-binary youth and their families through camp experiences. They have a goal to never turn away a camper or family who may not be able to attend for financial reasons and in a given summer, they give out over $100,000 in assistance from donors.
Typically, they offer a sleepaway camp for campers aged 8-15, a counselor-in-training program for campers 16-18 years old, family camp for all ages, and even an alumni weekend for former campers. This year, however, COVID-19 has canceled in person camping but they are offering virtual camp activities online.
For more information on the Home Harbor E-Camp visit https://www.camparanutiq.org/camp-news/.
Camp YouthSeen is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just an hour south of Denver. The camp has 61 acres that offer a mix of alpine, prairie, and riparian ecosystems. They strive to give campers the opportunity to meet other LGBTQ kids like themselves in a safe environment, free of the judgments and expectations of the outside world.
This year, camps will be virtual and care packages will be sent to the campers that will include supplies needed to participate in online activities. They will also have a special guest joining them on several occasions, Nic Stone, bestselling author of Dear Martin, which will be one of the books discussed.
The Naming Project is a camp in Minnesota for youth aged 14-18 who want to explore gender and sexuality in relation to their spirituality. You may have heard about The Naming Project as there is a documentary called Camp Out that follows the first camp in 2004. They were also featured in an episode of Our America with Lisa Ling.
Normally, the typical camp activities of canoeing, swimming, campfire songs, and hiking are planned along with Bible study, worship and reflection time. Due to COVID-19, the camp had to cancel all in-person sessions for the 2020 season but are planning to hold virtual campfires. Visit their website for more information. https://www.thenamingproject.org/ | firstname.lastname@example.org
Camp OUTdoors began in 2008 in Prescott, Arizona and has grown exponentially in the past 12 years to now provide an unparalleled experience for up to 275 campers and 100+ volunteers. Campers are divided into cabins by age and not based on gender identity/expression. There is no fee or tuition to attend Camp OUTdoors. Because they’re only able to accept approximately 150 youth each summer, campers are chosen by a committee of staff and volunteers based on the camper’s application and essay question answers.
Session one for 2020 has passed but there is still time to apply for session two which is July 27 – Aug. 1. They will also host a Trans & Non-Binary Youth Retreat in the fall. https://outdoorsgaycamp.com/ | email@example.com