In northern Ontario, Camp McDougall runs a week-long Rainbow Camp for LGBTQ campers and their allies. Director Deb Woodman talks about what makes this camp unique:
Our goal is to educate and promote awareness in society regarding gender, sexual identities, and expressions. Camp is organized around the philosophy of safer space; in other words, no questions will be asked and no explanations are needed for campers to live in their chosen identities and be honoured in this. We support this each day by offering campers the opportunity to claim their identity for the day or moment.
We use educational programming on gender, sexuality, sexual health, trans issues, and body image to structure the day. The programming also includes fun activities, singing, running, and exploring as well as going on a nature hike, watching films, and discussing topics. We do all of these and many more traditional camp activities like having bonfires, holding an open stage night, playing cards, and just being silly.
Each year campers have opportunities to have positive experiences that will help them deal with any negative experiences after they leave camp.
We are thankful that through our gifts for Mission & Service, campers are offered a safe space to explore what it means to truly be themselves.
Please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith.