LGBTQ Summer Camps: how to find a judgment-free community for your child
Finding community is important for all kids and adolescents, but it’s invaluable for kids who are members of the LGBTQ community.One way to help your LGBTQ child find community with other kids like them is through summer camp experiences. Here are some camp experiences that are specifically focused on LGBTQ youth.
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At Harbor Camps, trans and non-binary youth can find community and create life-long bonds while participating in traditional camp activities, like swimming, archery and arts and crafts. While Harbor Camps isn’t a therapeutic camp and doesn’t have formal conversations about gender, trans and non-binary youth can spend their summer in a gender-affirming space. All campers and counselors are called by their preferred names and pronouns, and campers choose bunkmates with similar or varied gender identities.
A unique week-long camp experience for children who have an LGBTQ parent, Camp Highlight in Pennsylvania is a community where children of LGBTQ families can connect with each other. Children at this camp are given the opportunity to meet others with families like theirs and talk about their experiences without the fear of exclusion or judgment. Camp Highlight also offers Highlight Family Camp, a weekend of camp antics for the whole family.
Camp Outright offers queer, trans and questioning youth a traditional residential summer camp experience with a queer twist. During their time at Camp Outright, campers can participate in affinity groups and activities based on their interests, like sports and performing arts. Campers can enjoy the camp as a place of self-expression and belonging.
With camps taking place in Los Angeles, Provincetown and New York City, Camp Lightbulb creates a safe and happy space for LGBTQ youth. Camps incorporate elements of art, community, fun, learning, outdoors, service and well-being and work to create a close-knit community among campers. Spots at Camp Lightbulb camps fill up quickly, so be sure to sign up soon or join the waitlist for an already-sold out camp.
Located just 20 minutes away from New York City, Camp Pride brings 92NY’s best programs and faculty to the great outdoors in a summer camp experience that brings safety and support to LGBTQ youth. This day camp offers traditional summer camp activities as well as exclusive activities with guest LGBTQ artists, musicians and activists.
New Country Pride Camp (NCPC)
A specialty program of the 14th Street Y’s New Country Day Camp (NCDC), NCPC provides a welcoming community for LGBTQ youth on the Staten Island Greenbelt. In addition to traditional summer camp activities led by NCDC leaders, there is also a special daily activity just for Pride campers. These include discussions and activities led by community leaders, activists, artists and other people from NYC’s LGBTQ community.