Emmy Howe, my boss at my day job with the SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (about which more here), also runs CampOUT, a summer camp for children and youth with LGBT parents. (And I thought I had a lot of projects going.) The camp is held at her farm in Conway, Mass., and Emmy says they have about 10 spots left. If you’re interested, pop over to their Web site and check them out.
This year’s camp will be June 20-June 24. Emmy tells me, “It is my favorite week of the year. Somehow in the bio diversity of farm and forest, the diversity of ages 8 – 58, and the diversity of families, everyone feels they belong. I am inspired by the kids that have been at CampOUT for many years or were new last year. They are all such amazing people.”
Lesbian mom Sara Whitman, a few years ago, wrote that for her son Ben, at CampOUT, “For five days, he gets to be Ben. It’s a safe place. All the kids have two moms, or two dads, or some configuration that is not traditional. Campers don’t have to watch their language. Talking about their moms plural or dads plural is okay. No one needs—or asks—for an explanation.” (Note that the camp was held at a different location when Sara wrote).
Here’s the official description from the CampOUT Web site:
CampOUT at Open View Farm is a unique farm/camp experience where young people (ages 8-18) from LGBTQ families are productive members of the farm community and can share in the fun of summer camp activities. Through work activities we create a sense of community, and a place where difference and diversity are celebrated and children can be themselves. Young people have the opportunity to talk openly about their families and their experiences being from an LGBTQ family.
CampOUT activities include:
Animal Care & Farm Chores
Gardening & Forestry
Night walks & Campfires
Crafts & Games
CampOUT certainly isn’t the only camp for kids with LGBT parents. I have several more listed in the Resource Directory. And no, I’m not getting a promotion or anything for pitching my boss’ camp. It’s not that kind of workplace, and she’s not that kind of person. In any case, I encourage you to ask questions of any camp staff at any camp, to make sure the place is the right fit for your children.
If you do have experience at CampOUT or at any other camp for kids with LGBT parents, leave a comment and let us know how your kids and you liked it.