As summer advisers we pride ourselves in the recommendations we make so that every child can have a wonderful summer experience.
Increasingly, we are hearing from parents of LGBTQ kids. This may include transgender and gender non-conforming children of any age. They call us searching for an overnight camp or summer teen experience where their child will feel at home. As advisers on summer programs, we are witnessing a shift in the mindset and the narrative in our industry as these numbers are rising. Camps are faced with decisions about where to bunk kids and teen trips grapple with which tent does a camper get assigned. The wonderful aspect of these challenges, the summer programs tell us, is that campers are universally accepting and don’t struggle the way their parents or summer program directors do. We watch as summer camps and teen experiences find creative ways to work this through. There are camps for LGBTQ kids. At some the issues are addressed specifically, others are simply a caring and embracing community where all campers are welcome. The latter might be a good camp for trans kids or non-binary kids as well. An arts camp this summer will have a non-gender specific cabin that will embrace all gender expressions.
At Tips on Trips and Camps we have ongoing discussions about these topics so we can help lead as the industry navigates this ever-changing landscape. Interesting times!