This 2018 list of LGBTQ summer camps has been one of the main reasons that people land on my blog, and it has been viewed over 12,000 times since I posted it in January, with an average of 40-50 people stopping by every day.
Given that I know many camps have already opened up registration for Summer 2019, I decided to create an updated list! I am calling it “summer camps” to maximize search analytics but some of these camps meet in the fall, spring and winter. As camps update their information about registration over the next few months, I will continue to edit the list. I also encourage you to check out the 2018 list for a list that includes camps that have existed over the last 5 years, but which may not be running in 2019. On this 2019 one I will not include camps on hiatus or that closed before 2018, in order to make it more useful for folks searching for camps to attend now.
Hopefully you will be able to find something here that works for you and your family. The list includes traditional week-long summer camps, 3-4 Day Retreats, themed camps (music, art, sports, spiritual), and camps for college students, families, and adults. For each camp, I have provided a synopsis, cost info, and dates when available. Please let me know if there are any that I have missed!
I hope to soon add my own camp to this list. I am currently in the process of organizing an arts and theatre summer camp for LGBTQ youth on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Please be in touch if you would be interested in supporting this kind of project or want to be on the contact list for your family/child!
EDITED TO NOTE (May 2019): Unfortunately, a week-long camp will not be happening in summer 2019 as I had previously hoped–it has proved too much to organize while working at Amherst. However, I am still interested, and given the number of families who have emailed me, I know that there is a need and a demand! I am currently aiming for a week-long camp in summer 2020. I am also in the process of trying to rent a camp site for a weekend retreat at the end of September 2019. I will keep you posted! Again, please email me if you want to be added to the contact list.
NOTE: This is a long, long post, with many camps listed and many details! For a quick, easy to read chart see TSER’s list of camps. Some of the links are broken, but it is mostly up-to-date, and gives a lot of info at a glance. I have also created a Table of Contents for this post below if you want to jump to a specific category rather than scrolling all the way through. And finally, as of May 2019 I have created a map for a quick glance to see if there are camps near you. Note that some of the locations are aproxímate as many camps keep their exact sites private for safety reasons. LGBTQ Summer Camp MAP!
Camp Aranu’tiqfor trans kids is a part of Harbor camps, which also includes Camp Seneb for kids with dwarfism. Camp Aranu’tiq is for trans and gender-variant youth. They have overnight summer camps (one week, two weeks and three weeks in June and July) for transgender and gender-variant youth aged 8-15 years. Unfortunately, due to so much interest, as of 2018 new campers can only enroll from age 8-13. Fourteen and 15 year olds must be returners–note that family camp counts as “returning.”
They also started a camp for counselors in training (CIT week), which replaces their “leadership camp” for 16-18 year olds, and they host two family weekends in the fall, Labor Day Weekend and the weekend before. They are located in New Hampshire, and have a beautiful 116 acres property on a lake! Camp activities include swimming, kayaking, arts and crafts, campfire songs, archery, Gaga (a form of dodgeball), drama, birdwatching, D & D, storytelling workshops, and more. They emphasize kids just being kids and having fun at a “traditional” camp, there are no formal conversations about gender/sexuality. Founded in 2005. Full Camp Cost for folks who can afford it: $1100 per week. Subsidized rate (no questions asked): $775 per week. Many scholarships available.
2019 Dates: 3 weeks: June 23-July 13. 2 weeks: June 23-July 6. 1 week: July 7-13, and July 21-27th.
CIT Info: For 2018 “graduating seniors” only (age 16):July 19 – 27, 2019 For 2018 returning CITs: 2019 session dates vary by individual. cost: $725
Camp Brave Trails. The first leadership camp for LGBTQ youth and allies (aged 12-20) in California, Camp Brave Trails had their first camp in 2015. They have one week and two week sessions available, and in 2018 held their first week long camp in western Maryland in August! Activities include a low ropes course, swimming, archery, culinary arts etc, along with workshops on activist storytelling, gender identity and expression, body image and self-esteem, Lgbtq history, and drag make-up. The whole camp also participates in a day of service. This camp highlights the importance of leadership skills and learning about social justice.
Select campers aged 18-20 will have the opportunity to participate in the Unicorn Justice League, building leadership skills and leading a few workshops. Cost: $995 for one week, $1990 two week. (50% due by May 1, 2019). Fundraising/Financial Support available. There is an $20 app fee.
2019 Dates: Session 1 – California: June 26 – July 9, 2019 (Two Week)
Session 2 – California: July 13 – July 19, 2019 (One Weeks)
Session 3 – California: July 24 – August 6, 2019 (Two Week)
Session 4 – Maryland: August 12-August 18, 2019 (One Week)
Épanouie: Pasadena, California. A day-camp (10am-2 pm) for trans-feminine youth ages 10-12. Épanouie is 5 days, and youth will connect with others who have a similar gender journey to them, having a ton of fun playing indoor and outdoor games, making art, and engaging in team-building activities. Activities focus on increasing resilience, while also “providing youth with skills and information for body positivity and puberty awareness.” Organized through a collaboration between the Los Angeles Gender Center, the Institute for Girls’ Development, and the Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Cost: $610, Early Bird Rate of $570 until May 30. Plus, a $30 bring-a-friend discount. Some partial scholarships available. Dates: June 10-June 14th.
Camp Fire/Camp Waluhili. Tulsa, OK. For their second summer session, Camp Waluhili has an LGBTQ+ specific camp for campers aged 8-17. (16-17 years olds are in the CIT program). “This camp is for youth of all genders, gender expressions, sexual and romantic orientations, and to the youth allies who support them.” Like many camps, youth engage in a variety of fun activities (which they decide on daily), and build strong friendships. Camp Fire has a strong commitment to diversity, especially around disability, and LGBTQ identities, as they want to make sure that every camper is able to come to camp! Dates: June 30th to July 5th. Cost: $385 per week. (If I am looking at the correct info). Limited camperships are available, but due to high demand, no full scholarships are available.
Camp Indigo: Formerly known as Rainbow Day Camp, this camp is in the San Francisco Bay Area. EnGender, the host organization has closed down, but the organizers are working to keep the camp around for the hundreds of kids who have enjoyed themselves there over the last four years. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camp Laurel: Bear Lake CA. FREE. One of the only free LGBTQ camp out there, sponsored by the Laurel Foundation which has been supporting and running free camps for youth with HIV/AIDS for the last 25 years, and how now opened up a camp to support trans and gender nonconforming youth. Open for youth aged 10-17; provides a safe space for youth to be themselves and to be mentored by adult trans role models. See an article about the camp here. Again, it is FREE. (Funded through several big corporations including Wells Fargo, which I understand could be a sticking point for some folks). Applications available for download November 1, 2018 – Early enrollment period for returning campers and low-income campers from December 10, 2018 – February 1, 2019.
2019 Camp Dates: July 8-13, 2019
Camp Lightbulb. Provincetown, Los Angeles, and New York City. This camp “celebrates LGBTQ youth 14-17, and 18-20 with magical, overnight experiences.” They began in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 2011, and have been expanding since. They also have a Winter Camp in LA, and launched their first New York City camp during Spring Break 2018. This year they will host their first “summer school” camp in NYC, which will be held in August. Prices vary depending on which camp you select (Provincetown week sessions are $1150), and 40% of campers receive partial or full scholarships. Camp is always organized around six elements: “camp fun & art & the outdoors & community & well-being & service.” Camp Lightbulb also connects campers to the rich LGBTQ history and LGBTQ communities in each of the sites where their camps are held.
2019 dates: Provincetown (14-16): Jun 30 – Jul 6, 2019 Provincetown (Highschool juniors and seniors): Jul 7 – 13 NYC Summer School: July 22-27th LA Summer School: July 29-August 2nd Provincetown Family Camp: Labor Day Weekend
Camp Lilac. Ohio. A week-long camp for transgender youth aged 12-17, organized through TransAction. The purpose of the camp is to provide a safe, nurturing, youth-led environment and participants can do a variety of traditional camp activities, including arts and crafts, high-ropes course, and archery, as well as trans-specific workshops. Cabins are organized by age not gender. This is one of the newer camps, and I am glad to see they are still active. Cost per camper is $850.
2019 dates: June 16-22nd.
Camp OutRight.Vermont. This is a week-long residential summer camp in Starksboro, Vermont for lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, queer, questioning, and allied youth aged 13-17. Youth aged 18-19 are encouraged to join the counselor in training program. They have room for 60 campers, and campers are in gender-inclusive bunks unless they select to be in a gender-specific (feminine-identified or masculine-identified) bunk. Camp activities include traditional camp fun like archery, swimming, boating, tennis, as well as arts and theatre, and social justice related workshops. Cost: $625. There are a limited number of partial scholarships available for VT youth who are in financial need.
2019 dates: August 18th-24th, 2019
Rainbow Camp:Arkansas. Diverse Youth for Social Change Camp for LGBTQ and Allied youth aged 13-22. This summer camp is a chance for young people to develop their leadership skills and build community. I confirmed through email that this camp will be happening in 2019! For more info email:CARLGBTQ@gmail.com.
Camp Ten Oaks: Canada. Two locations, one near Ottawa, and one closer to Toronto. This is a “sleep-away camp for children and youth ages 8-17 from LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, queer) identities, families and communities.” It is the first of its kind in Canada, and opened its doors in 2005. Camp is a week long, they offer two different sessions, and have expanded to a second location recently! (And also now have a Family Camp and Project Acorn, a camp for 16-24 year olds, see below in the Family Camp and 4 Day Retreat sections for more info on these programs.) Activities at Camp Ten Oaks include sports, waterfront activities, hiking and nature exploration, as well as social justice discussions, and they believe in empowerment through play. Recognizing that summer camps have traditionally been white spaces, Camp Ten Oaks is working to be a more equitable space, and has hired a consultant to help with the recruitment, retention and support of BIPOC volunteers, and are committed to confronting racism and white privilege. [wow, this is the first camp I have heard to do this!] Fees: $750-1300. There are different tiered options for folks who can pay more to support other campers, or who cannot afford the full $1200.
Summer 2019 dates: session 1 at RKY Camp: July 28-August 3rd session 2 at Camp Woodeden August 25th-August 31st
Camp Ten Trees. Pacific Northwest. This was one of the first camps for LGBTQ youth, and they have grown tremendously since their beginning in 2001. They have a week-long summer camp for LGBTQ youth, as well as weekend camps in the Spring and Fall for LGBTQA youth aged 13-17 as well as a summer camp for youth and children (aged 8-17) of LGBT and non-traditional families. This year they also have a brand new trans camp, specifically for trans, gender-variant, and non-binary youth. This camp is social justice-oriented, and along with the typical camp activities, the campers will engage in age-appropriate workshops that explore identity, oppression, social justice, and activism. For select older campers, aged 16-17, there is a change to gain leadership skills through the LEAD camper program. Tuition is based on a sliding scale from 100% of tuition to 35% of tuition. Pay what you can. Full scholarships also available.
2019 Dates: LGBTQ youth, 13-17 year olds, August 18th-24th
LEAD camp program, 16-17 year olds, August 11-24th
Trans camp, 8-17 year olds, August 25th-29th
Camp True Colors is organized by One Heartland which serves youth of different social identities who may be navigating isolation/stigma in their lives. Their Minnesota camp for LGBTQ + youth aged 13-18 is held in Willow River. (In 2015, I also found locations in New York and elsewhere in the US, but could not find them again this year). Camp activities include canoeing, fishing, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts and talent shows, as well as educational sessions on matters pertaining to the LGBT community.
2019 Dates: June 15-19 (ages 14-17) July 8-12th (ages 14-17) July 30- August 3 (ages 7-13)
Welcome Friend Association’s Rainbow Camp:Summer camp located in Northern Ontario, Canada for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer questioning, 2 spirited, plus and Allied youth, their siblings and children in Queer families, aged 12-17. They also have a two week Leaders in Training program for youth 18-19. This camp includes traditional camp activities as well as workshops that focus on gender, sexuality, health, community, leadership, and creating safe spaces. This is one of the cheaper camps. Although it costs approximately $1000 per camper, cost is only $350, due to fundraising, and there are additional subsidies available and travel funds if needed. LIT: $500. (I assume these are Canadian dollars).
2019 Dates: July 15th to July 20th (Ages 15 – 17) July 22nd to July 27th (Ages 15-17) July 29th to Aug 3rd (Ages 12-14)
ASPYRE Camp: Greensboro, NC. A Safer Place for Youth to Reach for Excellence (ASPYRE) Leadership Camp is for middle-school and high-school LGBTQ and allied students to learn how to make a difference in their schools and communities through team-building activities and presentations. Due to donations, cost is only $25 per student. 2019 Dates: March 22-24, 2019
Camp Eclipse:Newfoundland, Canada. “Camp Eclipse: OUT in the Woods”takes a strength based, harm-reduction, and solution focused approach to the issues faced by lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LBGTQ) youth,” and provides a space for youth to build relationships, find support and have fun! For youth 16-24, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Info from 2015: Cost is $400, youth and families are asked to pay what they can. Minimum $25. Summer 2019: Dates haven’t been announced yet.
Camp Dragonfly: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. “Camp is open to kids who are trans+, Two-Spirit, genderqueer, non-binary, gender creative, agender, gender diverse, and all gender minorities, along with their siblings and friends who are between the ages of 6-13. Join us for a day and a half of arts and crafts, dance, music, sports, and more.” Note that this is a day camp, not a sleep-away camp! Dates: August 23-25, 2019. Cost: $50 per kid. $125 cap for families sending more than one kiddo! If cost is a barrier, please get in touch.
Camp FYrefly.Canada. Founded in 2004. This camp is a 3-4 day educational, social and personal learning retreat with camp locations inEdmonton, Calgary, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. They seek to honor the Indigenous land that the camps are located on, and acknowledge continuing colonial violence. They are open to Campers who are lesbian, gay. bissexual, trans*, genderqueer, non-binary, two-spirit, queer, questioning, pansexual, asexual, and allied youth between the ages of 14 and 24. “fYrefly is an acronym which stands for fostering, Youth, resilience, energy, fun, leadership, yeah!”
“The Camp, guided by an arts-based educational philosophy, is jam-packed with dance, drama, music, writing, visual art, empowerment and reflection exercises, anti-oppression work, personal growth opportunities, healthy socialization, and in-depth learning activities about specific youth topics and social issues. In sum, Camp fYrefly’s programming focuses on four key areas: leadership, individual development, socialization, and resiliency.”
There is a $25 app fee, and the fee for the camp is $300.They will not turn anyone away because of financial need. See 2019 Dates here
Camp OutDoors: Based in Phoenix and Prescot, AZ. “Out of the Closet and Into the Woods.” This is a 4-day camp for LGBTQ youth aged 11-24, and is one of the biggest LGBTQ youth camps in the nation. This camp is aimed at helping them build leadership skills, work collaboratively, and create community. “Camp activities vary and evolve each year and range from educational workshops on topics like “LGBTQ History” and “Non- Violent Communication” to community activities like our 250 person drum circle, horseback riding, and zip-lining.” Tuition for non-AZ residents is $400, and camp is free for AZ residents, however there are only 150 spots available to AZ campers. Youth are housed based on age, not gender or sexual orientation. 2019: Labor Day weekend.
Camp Rainbow at Echo Pond, Newfoundland, Canada. For trans, gender-creative, and two spirit kids aged 7-15. (This is the youngest overnight camp I have seen). 3 days, in 2018 it was held in July. Cost is $100, and funds are available for those who need them. Siblings of kids under 10 are also able to apply, although trans/gender-creative kids will be prioritized. Kids will participate in traditional camp activities, and learn about gardening, solar power, and wind power. Camp provides a place for them to build confidence, make new friends, and have fun! No info about 2019 yet.
Project Acorn (Camp Ten Oaks):”a radical community-building space for youth aged 16-24 from LGBTQ+ identities, families, and communities. This 4 day retreat is full of workshops, urban camp-like activities, and connecting with other youth. Cost is $300, and there are subsidies available. 2019 Dates: July 11th-13th.
Camp Ten Trees.Pacific Northwest. Along with its week-long summer camp, Camp Ten Trees has expanded to hosting weekend camps in the Spring and Fall for LGBTQA youth aged 13-17 as well as a summer camp for youth and children (aged 8-17) of LGBT and non-traditional families.This camp is social justice-oriented, and along with the typical camp activities, the campers will engage in age-appropriate workshops that explore identity, oppression, social justice, and activism. See website for fall and spring dates–see above for summer camp dates.
Camp Unirondack’s QSA Retreat Upstate New York. A weekend for LGBTQ high-school students to connect and have fun, and talk about LGBTQ issues. $40 per person if accompanied by an adult adviser. $60 if coming as an individual. I learned about Camp Unirondack (A UU Camp/Conference Center)at the Tri-State Summer Camp Conference and their regular summer camp was one of the first in the country to offer gender-inclusive cabins, and their summer camp isn’t even an LGBTQ specific camp! They are awesome. They have many different kinds of programming, including this GSA weekend which will be held May 10th-12th 2019.
TYEF Youth Retreats:Weekend retreats in the summer and fall in a confidential New England location. TYEF retreats focus on providing a space for trans and gender non-conforming kids aged 7-17 (or till end of HS) to socialize, have fun, and participate in a variety of traditional camp activities like swimming, kayaking, archery, arts and more. Cost: $250 a camper, partial and full scholarships available. 2019: August 9th-11th.
The Youth Project:This camp is located in Nova Scotia and has three 4-day long camps. Note that you cannot attend both Coyote and Seahorse due to high-numbers of enrollment.
Camp Coyote is for trans-identified and gender-questioning youth age 20 and under, providing a safe space and an opportunity to meet new ppl and engage in activities like “trans-health discussions, campfires, scavenger hunts, swimming, arts & crafts, resources, and more!” 2019 Dates: August 8th-11th.
Camp Seahorse is for LGBTQ + identified youth aged 20 and under, providing a fun place to be free of homophobia. “Activities include: writing, arts & crafts, scavenger hunts, support & discussion groups, resources, campfires, ghost stories, swimming, and much more.” 2019 Dates: July 4th-7th.
Camp Breton: For LGBTQ + youth and allies aged 20 and under. New for 2018, and will be happening again in 2019. “YP Cape Breton Camp is a chance to get together with LGBTQ youth and allies from across Cape Breton to share experiences, spend time in a safe space, meet new people, and experience camp the way you want.” Must provide your own transportation to this camp. 2019 dates TBA.
Animazing Movie Camp: Toronto, Canada. Organized through the 519 Center and Toronto Animated Image Society.This is an opportunity for up to eight young LGBTQ people between the ages of 13-23 to learn how to create their own animated video during a day camp where they will be mentored by artists. Not only is the camp free, but participants were paid for the experience ($500) and given travel stipends! This looks like an amazing opportunity for creative LGBTQ young people. See images from Camp in 2017 here.2019 Dates: TBA. 2018 dates were in August, with applications due in early July.
Ahha Tulsa’s Drag and Performance Camp.Tulsa, OK. This is a day camp for 14-18 year olds, held 9 am-4 pm at Ahha Tulsa. “From Drag Race to competitive balls in Harlem, drag performance is an enduring cultural phenomenon. Together with teaching artist Laurence Myers Reese, you’ll explore performance art through the lens of drag. Students will also engage the history and culture of drag and performance art, learn to discuss and critically evaluate performances, as well as develop your own drag persona and routines.” Laurence Myers Reese is a performance artist whose work addresses themes of the body, identity, gender, labor, and power. There are some scholarships available thanks to donations given to Ahha Tulsa. Cost is $225. Dates: July 29-August 2nd.
Brave Trails: Drag Program. Los Angeles. This is a once a week, 8 week drag program designed to create a space for youth to learn about the art and history of drag. It is led by Charmin Ultra, and the 8 weeks will culminate in a show-case. Ages 12-18. Cost: $150. February 2nd-April 6th. Weekly(Saturdays): 12:00-1:30 pm.
Imaginorium Rainbow Wizard Academy: Rhode Island. I wasn’t sure where to put this camp, but decided it probably fits best here in the Art/Theatre camps section. This has to be one of the coolest camps I have heard about! It is an LGBTQ Wizard camp, perfect for LGBTQ nerds/geeks, especially LGBTQ Harry Potter fans. They describe it as “A place for LGBTQA+ middle school and high school students [6th-12th grade] to connect with other geeky queer youth and create change in the world. ” Allies are also welcome. This is a day camp, running from 9 am to 3 pm every day. Activities include Potions (affirming personal identity), Herbology (meditation and relaxation), History of Magic (workshops on LGBTQ history), Muggle Studies (how to talk about identity with non-LGBTQ people), and Care of Magical Creatures (self-care and mental health). Program is designed by a trained gender and sexuality educator. They encourage kids to sign up for the full two weeks, but there may be some one week slots available. They also welcome LGBTQ campers to join for a third wizarding week with their regular camp. Cost (for two weeks): $350. Scholarships may be available. Discounts for families with multiple children attending, and for participants in multiple Imaginorium programs. Dates: July 8-19th.
Queer Rock Camp Portland:Music camp for youth, inspired by the Olympia and Seattle camps. Ends with a show-case open to the public! No dates yet listed for 2019, but it looks like camp was held in July in 2018.
QORDS: Haw River Summit, NC. “A Queer-Oriented Radical Days of Summer” This is a 5-night/6-day camp where campers get instrument instruction, learn song-writing skills, and how to work in groups in preparation for a performance at the end of camp. Open to queer and gender non-conforming youth or youth of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, questioning, intersex, or asexual (LGBTQQIA) families, aged 12-17. There is one camp for youth aged 12-14, and one for youth aged 15-17. Campers will also attend workshops on “queer heroes, social justice, consent, gender” and also participate in traditional camp activities like dance, archery, hiking, rock-climbing, and campfires. Check out this awesome Buzzfeed video to get a sense how much fun this camp is! Founded in 2012, inspired by Queer Rock Camp of WA. Tuition is $640 plus $10 deposit, installment plans available, as well as financial aid.
2019 Dates: July 28-August 2nd, ages 15-17 August 4-9th, ages 12-14.
The Dubois Center’s Rainbow Camp: Illinois. Started in 2015. A one day of fun activities, including swimming, horseback riding, archery, pontoon rides, and an end of the day BBQ. “DuBois Center is a place where everyone is welcomed as a child of God. Come experience camp in the beauty of God’s creation and have a whole lot of fun.Rainbow Camp is for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer singles, couples, and families. Straight allies are welcome too.”Cost $40 for adult, $35 for child. Horseback Riding is extra, and there are some early bird rates available. No dates are posted for 2019 yet.
Keshet Teen Shabboton Gatherings For LGBTQ & ALLY TEENS.”Meet new friends, learn about LGBTQ organizing and identities, and celebrate Shabbat with a warm, vibrant community of LGBTQ and ally teens and adults.These peer-led Shabbaton weekends of learning, Jewish ritual, and community building are open to LGBTQ and ally Jewish teens grades 8-12.” Cost: $54 for food, lodging, programming, and group transport from select locations. Limited scholarships and air-travel help available. Dates and Locations:
Women and Girls Shabbaton: May 31-June 2, 2019, Camp Avoda, Middleboro, MA. Open to participants in grades 8-12 who identify as women and girls.
Post High School Shabbaton: Sept. 20-22, 2019, Perlstein Retreat Center, Lake Delton, WI.
Trans Shabbaton: November 8-10, 2019, San Francisco Bay Area, CA. Open to participants in grades 8-12 who identify as trans, non-binary, and/or genderqueer.
Machane Lev. This is one of the first Jewish camps in Canada for LGBTQ youth, or youth who come from LGBTQ families, and it as founded in 2018. It is for kids aged 8-16. Machane Lev means “Camp Heart.” “It’s a place where you can bring and be your whole heart. There are many ways to be Jewish. There are many ways to be family. There are many ways to be. You are valuable, and belong.” Camper Cost: $1000 (scholarships available). In 2018 camp was held in late August, no 2019 dates are available yet.
The Naming Project:Minnesota. Camp for youth aged 14-18 (or who have completed 8th-12th grade) who want to explore gender and sexuality in relation to their spirituality. Typical camp activities of canoeing, swimming, campfire songs, hiking, along with bible study, worship and reflection time. $350 for the 5 days, scholarships available. 2019 Dates: July 28-August 2, 2019. Locale: Bay Lake Camp, Deerwood, MN.
Pilgrim Lodge: Maine. Camp for LGBTQ youth and allies (entering 10-12th grade, and recent graduates). “Camp Pride exists as a space for us to explore our identities, our faiths, and ourselves, in addition to all the regular summer camp activities like swimming, hiking, boating, arts & crafting, and enjoying the beautiful shores of Lake Cobboseecontee. We are an interfaith camp hosted by Pilgrim Lodge, a camp of the Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC).” Atheists or youth of no faith are welcome to attend, but should understand that spirituality will be a frequent part of conversation. Campers are housed by age, not by gender. Cost: $495-650. Contact them about scholarships. 2019 Dates: August 4th-10th. For an article about their 2017 camp, go here.
Camp Talahi Retreat and Nature Center:Michigan, about 30 mins from Ann Arbor. Transgender Youth Camp. Ages 13-17. “Our Transgender Youth and Family Retreat was so popular last year, we’re adding a week long session just for Transgender Teens to enjoy a whole week at camp! Spend a week in a supportive, relaxing environment while partaking in traditional camp activities such as lake front, camp fires, arts and crafts, hiking, boating, and more.” Cost: 415-485 (3 tiered options). Horse-back riding and archery additional fees. 2019 dates: July 28th-August 2nd.
Spirit Pride Project:Texas.“Spirit Pride Project (SPP) exists to create a welcoming and safe community for youth and young adults of all sexual orientations and gender identities to experience and share spirituality, community and acceptance.”This camp is for LGBTQIA people, and children of LGBTQ people aged 12-30, applications are divided between 12-17 yr olds, and 18-30 year olds. Allies aged 14-25 are also welcome. Folks are housed according to age. Located in East/Central Texas, cost is $200 per camper, and they work with folks to make it possible for everyone to come. 2019 Dates: May 17-19th .
Trans Camp. Philadelphia. Chestnut Hill United Church is organizing their first camp for trans-youth to be held in the summer of 2019! Organized in part as a response to the 2016 election and the idea of what it means to provide sanctuary, “TransCamp aims to be a kind of blanket fort – “a soft place in a hard world.” Created and led primarily by trans folk from the church and wider community including input from trans youth, it is supported by community partners, church staff, and trained congregation members. Camp supports our young leaders by offering them the space they crave, and gifted, qualified, and experienced adults to help them hold that space. Adult leaders will include trans/non-binary folks who are artists, community activists, healers, educators, dreamers, builders, protectors, and advocates. They constitute what we call “possibility models” – adults who can model a wide range of identities, expressions, possibilities, choices, and gifts for young people in a culture that offers few options for how to live life with fullness, health, justice, and self-care…While it will not provide religious education, it will be spirit-affirming and spirit-honoring,” (See more here).
Able to Sail:Longmont, Colorado, 20 miles north of Denver. This camp focuses on building self-esteem, confidence, and a sense of empowerment through learning how to sail! They will have an LGBTQ week this summer, for any LGBTQ-identified folks aged 11-20. The cost is $345 (if you can pay) or what you can afford/donate. Summer 2019: July 15th-18th.
Venture Out:New England and Pacific Northwest Trips. “Backpacking and Wilderness Trips for the Queer, Trans, and LGBTQ + Community.” Run for queer people, by queer people, supporting leadership development, creating a safe space for queer and trans people to be in the outdoors, with the added goal of supporting QPOC access to the outdoors. They include youth trips for kids aged 13-19 in New Hampshire, cost is $875 and includes food and equipment. Scholarships available! They also have adult trips (see adult camps below for more details) and a Family Camp for parents (see below “children and parents”).
2019 dates: Youth aged 13-19. NH. Sun, Aug 4, 2019 Thu, Aug 8, 2019
Black and Brown Queer Camp A day camp for black and brown queer (LGBTQ+) youth aged 16-24. June 23rd-30th. New Haven, CT Pride Center. FREE! This is a Day Camp, and you must be able to get yourself there every day. “During the 8 days we spend together we will explore what it means to be Black, Brown, and Queer.” Sponsored by: City Wide Youth Coalition, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England and the New Haven Pride Center. Last year this camp was called The Children of Marsha P. Johnson, and you can read about that session here.
Get Free: A Summer Program for Trans/Queer Youth of Color:This is a FREE summer program for trans and queer youth of color aged 16-21 (as of June 24, 2020) in Oakland. This camp is on hiatus, I have included it because I think it is important and want folks to know about it, and they will be running a session again in 2020. “Get Free is a week-long artistic, intellectual, emotional and practical program for queer and trans youth of color that focuses on the inner work it takes to Get Free in a world where, for us—people who experience oppression based on race and queerness or transness—just surviving is a feat. Through writing, dreaming, screaming, owning up, and facing who we are, who we have been, and who we might become, we aim to start an emotional r/evolution that will reverberate throughout our lives and our communities.” Food and lodging provided. Travel funds also available.
Gendered Intelligence.Essex, UK. In 2018 they celebrated their tenth year anniversary. From their site: “We ran our 10th and 11th camps in July and August 2018. We celebrated by making camp supersized! Super Camp involved us taking 170 young trans and non-binary people aged 18-25 camping for 5 days and 4 nights…Alongside Super Camp we ran ran an 11 – 17 year olds camp for 35 young people, going for our usual 4 days and 3 nights.” In 2019, they are only running a camp for 11-17 year olds, which will be held August 2nd-5th.
Hojokamp: The Netherlands. A camp for LBTQ + youth aged 13-25. I don’t speak Dutch, this site was suggested to me by a scholar I know from the Netherlands but here is what I was able to understand. Organized by Stichting Outway, this camp has existed since 2002. It is 6 days of different activities, including workshops. Cost 185 euros.
Mosaic Camp: Wales, UK. Near Snowdonia. Held in August in 2018, £377. Delicious food, good company and interesting workshops! Under 18 requires parental permission. Partial scholarships available. 2019 Dates: August 18th-24th. Refugees are welcome–with the fee waived for any refugees or asylum seekers who apply.
OASIS. near Barcelona, Spain. (website in Spanish). Their first camp was held in 2015, and their program has grown from 3 days to a week. They serve youth of diverse gender and sexual identities and expression. I can’t find information about age, but it seems to be teen/adolescent focused. They write that camp is a fun place to socialize with others like yourself, and includes workshops on different identities, comprehensive sex ed, arts and crafts, as well as workshops for parents. They also have sports activities, including kayaking and hiking, and performances by LGBTQ artists. In 2018 camp was held in early July.
“OASIS ofrece espacios de encuentro y socialización para adolescentes con expresiones y identidades de género y sexualidades diversas. El proyecto se inició en julio del 2015 mediante un encuentro de tres días que tuvo lugar en Barcelona. La segunda edición seria una semana de colonias de verano…Durante los campamentos de verano se realizarán, entre otras, las siguientes actividades: • Talleres con temáticas vinculadas a la diversidad sexual y de género: Educación afectivo-sexual, autoestima, herramientas para afrontar el acoso escolar, video fórum, entre otros. • Actividades deportivas y de naturaleza: gincana, kayak, excursiones. • Actividades creativas y expresivas • Concierto-espectáculo de artistas LGBT • Encuentro con referentes positivos • Espacios de expresión emocional • Taller con las familias de los y las adolescentes.” (Oasis dossier)
Camp OUT. Australia, near Sydney. “We are a camp for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer (LGBTIQ), and sex and/or gender diverse teens, same-sex attracted, curious, and questioning teens aged 13-17.” Camp gives a chance for youth to hang out away from home and be themselves. There are lots of fun activities, including art, movie nights, music, and sports as well as workshops on coming out, dealing homophobia or transphobia, and how to be a good ally. I love that this camp is open about having a queer lens, rejecting the gender binary, and “helping campers to queer their ideas about the future.” They are also an anti-racist, anti-ableist, and feminist organization. Cost: suggested $200, on a sliding scale. No 2019 dates yet, although registration in 2018 closed in August, so sometime towards the end of the year?
Inside Out Hui,New Zealand. Shift is a “national hiu (gathering)” for youth of “minority sexes, sexualities, and genders!” It is for young people aged 15-20. “Hui is the Māori word for a gathering and we use it to mean an awesome gathering/queer camp! Our hui are usually held on a marae over a few days with awesome guest speakers, workshops, a talent show and all sorts of fun.” More info here. Cost is a suggested $100. Minimum $10, but folks can pay what they can. 2019 Dates: April 22nd-25th 2019.
Camp Pride, is a camp organized through Campus Pride held in Asheville, NC. This is a leadership academy for undergraduates (from 2 year, 4 year, HBCU, southern, religiously-affiliated and TCU colleges/universities, aged 18 +), with a social justice focus and emphasis on learning leadership and organizing skills. There is a separate track for faculty/advisers called Adviser Boot Camp. Tuition cost (in 2018)$937 with early bird registration $1175 after that. Full and partial scholarships available on limited basis. 2019 Dates: July 10th-14th
T*Camp:An InterCampus Retreat for Trans/Genderqueer & Gender Questioning Students. Northern and Southern California. This is a 3-day retreat for college students from different campuses to discuss gender and learn from each other. Organizers are hopeful that this will be especially valuable to students who may not have many other trans/genderqueer/questioning students on their campus. Cost: $150.
Camp Highlight:Located in Wernersville, PA at a 600-acre camp facility, founded in 2010. This is a week-long summer camp for children (8-15) of LGBT parents, where kids get to meet others like themselves, and build a strong support network. Campers are housed by age. The camp curriculum focuses on the “universal virtues of peace, respect, honesty, acceptance, unity, generosity, responsibility, courage, and cooperation.” Camp activities include hiking, swimming, fishing, mountain boarding, arts and crafts and more.
There is also a Camp Leadership Academy for kids aged 16-18 to learn social skills, and leadership skills. Teens will attend workshops, go on fieldtrips, and have independent time to explore camp. In 2018, Camp Highlight ran a Family Camp in April and October, see more details below. They also host a Winter Reunion each year.
Cost per camper: (8-15) $1099, (aged 16-18), $1199.
2019 Dates: August 11-18th.
Camp Ten TreesPacific Northwest. They have week-long summer camps for LGBTQA youth aged 13-17 and for youth and children (aged 8-17) of LGBT and non-traditional families, and also hold winter and fall weekend retreats. See website for dates. This camp is social justice-oriented, and along with the typical camp activities, the campers will engage in age-appropriate workshops that explore identity, oppression, social justice, and activism.
Welcome Friend Association’s Rainbow Camp:Summer camp located in Northern Ontario for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer questioning, 2 spirited, plus and Allied youth, their siblings and children in Queer families, aged 12-17. They also have a two week Leaders in Training program for youth 18-19. This camp includes traditional camp activities as well as workshops that focus on gender, sexuality, health, community, leadership, and creating safe spaces. Although it costs approximately $1000 per camper, cost is only $350, due to fundraising, and there are additional subsidies available and travel funds if needed. LIT: $500.
2019 Dates: July 15th to July 20th (Ages 15 – 17) July 22nd to July 27th (Ages 15-17) July 29th to Aug 3rd (Ages 12-14)
Camp Aranu’tiqis a part of Harbor camps, and hosts two family weekends for families of transgender and gender-non-conforming youth (Labor Day Weekend, and the weekend before Labor Day Weekend) as well as week-long overnight camps for kids 8-17.
Camp de Benneville Pines UU camp in California that has both a Family camp for LGBTQ parents and their kids, as well as families with trans or gender-expansive youth. I am not currently finding info about 2019 on their site, the links are broken, but they had two Rainbow Camps in 2018 and a camp called “Camp Transcend.”
Camp Born This Way:Southern Arizona. A weekend-long camp for transgender and gender-creative children 5-16 and their families. A place that is safe for all to express themselves, and for parents to find support. $50 a family. Scholarships available. 2019 Dates not yet available.
Camp Brave TrailsCalifornia. Along with their expanding summer camps (see above), in 2018 Brave Trails hosted their firstfamily camp weekend for LGBTQ parents and their kids. There were yoga classes, parents-night off, hiking, arts and crafts, teen adventures, toddler town, family games and more! Cost: Adults (18+):$200.00, Older Youth (10-17):$145.00, Youth (4-9):$105.00, 3Under: FREE!
Colman Family Camps and Retreats: Seattle. Explore 100 acres of forest, and a mile of beachfront on this beautiful property while engaging in typical camp activities! There isn’t much info here about the specific LGBTQ family camp–but it is one of their themed retreats, and was held in April 2018. No 2019 dates are listed yet.
Gender Infinity has a Spring – Mother’s Day Weekend Camp in Texas for transgender, gender expansive kids and their families (May 10-12). Children under 12 can attend with their parents – children 12 and over can attend with or without their parents. All cabin counselors are transgender. Support groups and activities are also provided for parents.
Camp Highlight:Located in Wernersville, PA at a 600-acre camp facility. Camp Highlight (for kids of LGBTQ families) hosted its first Family Camp in October 2018. Now the adults can enjoy the fun too! Adults are $210 and children ages 3 to 18 are $160. Children under 3 years old may attend for free. Optionally, families may pay $690 for the whole family. Check back for 2019 dates.
Camp It Up!:Quincy, California. LGBT Family camp. (2019: Summer only, winter 2019 has been cancelled). Activities for adults, tweens, teens, and children. Swim or float in the lazy river, learn new specialty art skills, tie-dye, participate in the carnival, and more fun activities. Summer camp has 1-10 day sessions, and Winter Session is a bit shorter. Sliding scale fees, and there are different costs depending on age.See here. They celebrated their 25th year in 2014.
2019 Dates: Summer: choose between a variety of nights between July 27th and August 5th. More details here.
Keshet Camp:near Yosemite. Jewish LGBT Family camp, now celebrating its 20th year! A place where families can feel included and safe, and celebrate their commonalities. Keshet is Hebrew for Rainbow. Child-care available for all ages, allowing adults and children to participate in various activities like yoga, hiking, arts and crafts, S’mores, etc.Check out this great article about summer 2016.2018 Dates: August 22 – 25, 2019.
Oak Grove Family Camp (Camp Ten Oaks, Canada): “Oak Grove Family Camp is a weekend long, sleep-away camp for 2SLGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two spirit, and queer) families who have a child or youth aged 17 or under in their care (including both those who are headed by (a) 2SLGBTQ+ parent(s) and those with an 2SLGBTQ+ child).” Fees: $375 for adults (age 18+), $300 for children and youth (ages 4-17), and $75 for kids under age 3. Held in September.
Camp SpringForth: South Carolina, Alabama, and Kentucky. This is a new family camp that will host its first weekend retreats in September. Responding to the lack of camps in the South, Camp Springforth will provide space for LGBTQ families (families with LGBTQ kids, and families with LGBTQ parents) to connect and have fun! They are still at the very beginning planning stages, so stay tuned. Dates: September 20-22nd, 2019 in South Carolina. September 27-29th in Kentucky.
Provincetown Family Camp: Organized by the Family Equality Council and COLAGE, this is one of the biggest annual gatherings of LGBTQ-Identified families in the world. (It started in the 90s!) “The 2019 fun-filled Family Week will include more opportunities than ever to build community and to get empowered on today’s issues. Join us for daily events or relax on the beach with other LGBTQ families.” There are many different options for a variety of age groups. 2019 dates: July 27-August 3, 2019.
Camp Talahi Retreat and Nature Center:Michigan, about 30 mins from Ann Arbor. Transgender Youth and Family Retreat. ” Participants will spend a relaxing and supportive weekend at Camp Talahi partaking in activities such as lake front, horse activities, camp fires, arts and crafts, hiking, boating, and more. Support groups will also be available.
Youth must have adult with them.” Cost: Adults: $165-195, Youth: $65-95. Under fives free. 2019 dates: July 19-21st.
Venture Out:New England and Pacific Northwest Trips. “Backpacking and Wilderness Trips for the Queer, Trans, and LGBTQ + Community.” Run for queer people, by queer people, supporting leadership development, creating a safe space for queer and trans people to be in the outdoors, with the added goal of supporting QPOC access to the outdoors. Along with youth trips and adult trips, Venture Out hosts a Family Camp for adults and kids aged 3-12. They defined LGBTQ Families in a very expansive way: “We define an LGBTQ Family as a family where any member of the family (adult or child) identifies as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, pansexual, trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, or more. This weekend is for any and all members of your family – kids, parents, grandparents, care-givers.” Lots of fun activities, food, games, campsites, campstoves provided. Families must supply their own tents, and personal camping gear. Cost: $75 per person/$300 per family. Scholarships available. 2019 Dates: June 28-30th.
Last but not least, a selection of CAMPS FOR ADULTS!
A-Camp:Started by Autostraddle, to create community, unplug, and have fun like a kid again. 5 nights, meals provided, lots of fun workshops, and special guest artists/singers. [My friend Be Steadwell has performed there in the past, and I am jealous that she got to go! Hoping to make it there one day myself]. Held in Ojai, California. Also originally for women-identified folks (and accepting of trans women), A-Camp has grown to accept non-binary and trans-masculine individuals, including trans men, especially as some of these folks came as campers before and it seemed unfair to not include them after transition. No cis men allowed. See FAQ.;Age 18 + (with campers aged 18-70 attending, about half are under 25, the rest are mostly in their late twenties, but folks who are older also attend).
“A-Camp is a unique, dynamic, ever-evolving home-away-from-home queer adult camp where we’ve cherry-picked what we like about other queer events and women’s conferences – hilarious comedy, diverse panels, a chance to learn from industry experts, the occasional dance party and the opportunity to revel in one another’s awesomeness – added heaps of our own original ideas, and found a way to serve it to you for a fraction of what those other events cost.”
2019 Dates: June 5-10th. Cost: $795.
Camp Camp:Enjoy a traditional summer camp making new friends and playing like a kid again! 2018 will mark their 22nd season, and the week-long camp will be held in Maine this year. Accommodations are based on gender (men’s cabin/women’s cabin, and one gender-neutral cabin). Each session has about 200-250 attendees, slightly more men than women (though they strive for 50/50), ages 21-70, though most are in their 40s, 80 percent singles. This is the perfect vacation for folks who like the outdoors, being active, and meeting new people! 2019 Dates: August 18-25 Cost: $1675 (Options for reducing fees by being staff are available, and there are a few campership funds to help reduce cost as well).
Tennessee. A music Festival and community home-coming for queer folks, part of a fundraiser for the communal land community of Ida. “The ultimate goal for IDApalooza is to raise the $14,000 yearly land payment and operating costs of the festival as well as providing food, compensating bands for their performances, travel expenses for key organizers, building up infrastructure to facilitate housing residents and hosting guests year round.” There will be karaoke, a movie screening, live music, and a Talent Show. 2019 Dates: June 5th-10th. Suggested donation of $100-200 ($25-50 per day of stay, although they recognize not everyone can afford this, and want all to attend regardless of financial means).
Lezathlon: Summer athletic event for lesbians! This camp is about a love of sports and competition. You can sign up to be a spectator or a participant and there are several different passes available, including day passes. Packages include housing (cabins and yurts), transport, and food. Must be 21 + to attend. In 2018 events were held in Denver and LA. Summer 2019 it will be held in LA, dates not yet posted. Statement on who can attend, which unfortunately does not clear up my question about who they consider a “woman.” “This is a lesbian event for women (or however you wish to define your sexuality or gender). But we are inclusive of the entire LGBTQ+ community. We welcome any person regardless of their gender identity or expression. However, we only allow women to compete in the official Lezathlon Tournament.”
Camp Lost Boys: Elbert, CO, A camp for Men of Trans Experience to celebrate male/masculine identities in an outdoor space. This is not workshop based or academic, it is about having fun in the outdoors! Get the chance to experience a boyhood you may not have been able to experience. $330 for shared cabin (10-20) plus registration fee, $490 for private cabin (1-2 people). Note that while there are many ways to be male/a man, this is for male/men-identified folks only, and is not a space for non-binary identified folks. “If you feel you do not identify as male or a man, this may not be the experience you are looking for and we would hate for you to be uncomfortable. There are other camps that exist and are open to a more non-binary experience of gender and we are happy to point you in that direction. ” This camp is organized in part by men of color who are paying attention to race/inclusion, and over half of the attendees the first year were men of color. 2019 Dates: APRIL 25TH – APRIL 28TH.
CampOUT:Our Haven Nature Sanctuary, French Lick, Indiana. “An annual event produced by La Fraternitié du Loup-Garou. It’s the original camping experience for masculine gender outlaws. Created originally in 2005 as a safe space for trans-masculine leather folk to learn and have fun, CampOUT has since expanded to include supporters from outside that community and welcomes attendees of any lifestyle, gender identification or expression, attraction, and orientation. CampOUT is five days and four nights of education, social events, play, fellowship, and fun!” Held in September 2018. No news yet about 2019 (as might be expected as it is only October!)
TransMission: California. Spring, Summer and Winter Dates. $450 (4 days/3 nights). Weekend retreats focused on healing circles, writing, outdoor activities, reflection, hanging by the pool (summer), for trans-men and trans-masculine folks. Retreats sell out quick, so be sure to sign up soon.
Winter 2019: Jan 19-21, 2019 (MLK weekend)
Summer 2019: August (exact dates to be decided)
Venture Out: New England and Pacific Northwest Trips. “Backpacking and Wilderness Trips for the Queer, Trans, and LGBTQ + Community.” Run for queer people, by queer people, supporting leadership development, creating a safe space for queer and trans people to be in the outdoors, with the added goal of supporting QPOC access to the outdoors. There are too many fantastic trips scheduled for the 2018 year to list them all here, but they include Winter Getaways, Nature Reflection, Classic Backpacking, Trans-masculine, and POC centered trips in NH, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and Oregon. There are different skill levels from beginner to experienced, and prices range from $275-800 depending on location/length of trip. Check out more details here.
Google searches, comments from people responding to my posts on Facebook, and these excellent websites/articles: