Joy and Belonging Outside for LGBTQAI2S+ Youth and Allies

Queer and Trans Youth and Allies Nature Camps & Backpacking Basics/Programa de verano para jóvenes Queer y Trans y sus Aliades

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About  

The Queer and Trans Youth and Allies (QTYA) camp is a fun and welcoming opportunity for LGBTQAI2s+ youth and allies to be outside, connect with their peers, and be in a magical space of queer and trans joy. 

The QTYA Day Camp weaves together community building, nature connection, and expressive arts. The youth will make friends with other LGBTQAI2s+ youth and allies, building lasting relationships and a greater sense of community and belonging. Youth will also get opportunities to reflect on who they are and who they want to be all while enjoying the incredible, rich landscape of the outdoors.  

For Backpacking Basics, youth between the ages of 13 – 18 are invited to join queer and trans field specialists for a hiking adventure through the Sonoma County backcountry. Learn all about trip planning, including compass and map reading. Study the basics of water filtration and safety practices on the trail. Meet new people and bond with each other on the trail. Build confidence in yourself and test your limits in a safe and supportive environment. Camp out under the stars!

NOTE: Campers will spend most of the days with their peer groups (youth of the same or similar age) and part of the day with the whole camp. Youth 17+ can decide whether they want to be with their peer group or if they want to be a Junior Mentor that joins a younger peer group. .  

Location

Our Queer and Trans Youth and Allies Camps take place at the beautiful Bohemia Ecological Preserve, located in Camp Meeker, Sonoma County, CA on the ancestral home of the Coast Miwok people, past, present, and future. We recognize them as the first people and the first stewards of this land. We are on occupied territory and acknowledge the ongoing devastation of colonization.   

Youth will visit a waterfall, redwood forests, meandering creeks, serpentine rock ridges, a glorious pond, and “Top of the World” hills.  

Accessibility 

Throughout the week, youth will be hiking on trails with uneven terrain with changes in elevation. We will be hiking an average of 1 to 4 miles per day. Youth carry their own backpack, water, and other gear that they need throughout the day.  

We strive to create a space that is open to multiple levels of participation and engagement so that campers can feel comfortable and included. We welcome neurodivergent youth and youth who are navigating mental health challenges.  

Staff 

The QTYA camp staff all identify as LGBTQAI+ and our staff are trained to work with queer and trans youth. Additionally, our staff are CPR and First Aid-certified, skilled, and trained outdoor educators bringing years of experience working with youth in outdoor settings.

The staff to camper ratio for the QTYA camp will be no more than 1 to 12 (and closer to 1 to 5 with our amazing volunteers). All QTYA Camp staff and volunteers have been fingerprinted for background checks. 

Scholarships 

LandPaths is actively committed to making camp accessible for every child. Thanks to funding from partners and donors, we can offer scholarships to at least 50% of participants. Please don’t hesitate to apply for a scholarship if the cost makes camp inaccessible for you! 

Important: Make sure to fill out the scholarships application and then wait to hear back from a LandPaths’ staffer BEFORE registering for camp. All scholarship applications must be pre-approved before you register for camp.  

The link for the scholarship application is below. Please fill out your scholarship application no later than May 23, 2022. Scholarships are available based on need and funding availability and will be awarded on a rolling basis until filled. Each scholarship recipient is asked to pay a $50 minimum (No one is turned away for lack of funds. Let us know if the $50 fee is prohibitive for your family).

Becas

LandPaths se compromete a hacer que el campamento sea accesible para todos los jóvenes, independientemente de los obstáculos socioeconómicos. Ofrecemos becas a un 40% de nuestros estudiantes, con el objetivo de reflejar la comunidad del condado de Sonoma. En el 2012, comenzamos a ofrecer transporte limitado a nuestros campamentos, ya que nos dimos cuenta de que el transporte era el obstáculo principal para muchas familias. ¡Si una beca le ayudaría a su familia, por favor llene la solicitud! Todas las becas deben ser aprobadas, antes de inscribirse con beca. ¡Solicite con anticipación ya que los espacios pueden llenarse rápidamente!

Questions? Preguntas?

If folks want to stay connected with Seed and Anna, you can contact them at metamorphmentorship@gmail.com . QTYA camp is a partnership between LandPaths and Metamorph Mentorship (a collective of LGBTQ+ mentors) and our work together is seasonal.

For information about QTYA family/caregivers events, please reach out to Benji Dambach at benji@landpaths.org. 

Queer and Trans Youth and Allies Camp Participant

" This camp changed my whole year for the better. I’ve never had a place that I’ve felt this safe with the most amazing people ever. "

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