Camp is for Everyone: Intentional Inclusion of Gender-Expansive Teens at Camp
Keywords:gender-expansive youth, summer camp, LGBTQ , inclusion, 4-H
Camp remains a powerful experience for youth of any age, but special care must be taken to ensure camps are supportive of diverse audiences. This article describes the process by which 4-H camp organizers created a welcoming and affirming camp for teen dependents of active duty, retired, or veteran military personnel, especially those campers who identified as non-binary or LGBTQ+. This included careful consideration of language used in recruitment documents, evaluation documents, volunteer and staff training, as well as communication with campers and families. Through careful planning and implementation, the 4-H adventure camps engaged over 90 teens, and survey results showed statistically significant improvements in camper perceptions of self-worth and satisfaction after their camp experience.
Abramovich, & Cleverley, K. (2018). A call to action: The urgent need for trans inclusive measures in mental health research. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 63(8), 532–537. https://doi.org/10.1177/0706743718777393
Barnes, Davis, H., & Treiber, F. A. (2007). Perceived stress, heart rate, and blood pressure among adolescents with family members deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Military Medicine, 172(1), 40–43. https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED.172.1.40
Brigham, F. (2022). Medical care for trans and gender expansive youth. In J. Shelton & G. P. Mallon (Eds.), Social work practice with transgender and gender expansive youth. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429297687
Chandra, A., Burns, R. M., Tanielian, T., Jaycox, L. H., & Scott, M. M. (2008). Understanding the impact of deployment on children and families: Findings from a pilot study of Operation Purple Camp participants. RAND.
Collier, K. L., Van Beusekom, G., Bos, H. M., & Sandfort, T. G. (2013). Sexual orientation and gender identity/expression related peer victimization in adolescence: A systematic review of associated psychosocial and health outcomes. Journal of Sex Research, 50(3-4), 299–317.
Gambardella, K. (2022). Social work practice with trans and gender expansive youth and their families. In J. Shelton & G. P. Mallon (Eds.), Social work practice with transgender and gender expansive youth. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429297687
Garofalo, R., Wolf, R. C., Wissow, L. S., Woods, E. R., & Goodman, E. (1999). Sexual orientation and risk of suicide attempts among a representative sample of youth. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 153(5), 487–493. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.153.5.487
Hatzenbuehler, M. (2011). The social environment and suicide attempts in lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. Pediatrics (Evanston), 127(5), 896–903. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2010-3020
Kinney, M. K., & Muzzey, F. K. (2022). The chosen name process: Developing gender identity & bolstering support networks. In J. Shelton & G. P. Mallon (Eds.), Social work practice with transgender and gender expansive youth. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429297687
Marshal, M. P., Dietz, L. J., Friedman, M. S., Stall, R., Smith, H. A., McGinley, J., Thoma, B. C., Murray, Pamela J., M.D., M.H.P, D'Augelli, A. R., & Brent, David A., M.D. (2011). Suicidality and depression disparities between sexual minority and heterosexual youth: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Adolescent Health, 49(2), 115–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.02.005
McGlashan, H., & Fitzpatrick, K. (2018). ‘I use any pronouns, and I’m questioning everything else’: Transgender youth and the issue of gender pronouns. Sex Education, 18(3), 239–252. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2017.1419949
Mueller, C. M., & Dweck, C. S. (1998). Praise for intelligence can undermine children’s motivation and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(1), 33–52.
Ozier, L. W. (2018). You are what you think: Growing mindsets at camp. The Camping Magazine, 91(3), 42.
Poirier, J. M., Francis, K. B., Fisher, S. K., Williams-Washington, K., Goode, T. D., & Jackson, V. H. (2008). Practice Brief 1: Providing services and supports for youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, or two-spirit. National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development.
Shelton, J., Kinney, M. K., & Ritosa, A. (2022). Social work practice with nonbinary youth. In J. Shelton & G. P. Mallon (Eds.), Social work practice with transgender and gender expansive youth. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429297687
Wagaman, M. A., Shelton, J., & Carter, R. (2018). Queering the social work classroom: Strategies for increasing the inclusion of LGBTQ persons and experiences. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 38(2), 166–182. https://doi.org/10.1080/08841233.2018.1430093
Wallace, M., White, A., Deen, M., & Jensen, M. (2017). Creating safe spaces through mutual affirmation. Retrieved from https://rex.libraries.wsu.edu/esploro/outputs/99900501543401842
White, A. E., Moeller, J., Ivcevic, Z., Brackett, M. A., & Stern, R. (2018). LGBTQ adolescents’ positive and negative emotions and experiences in U.S. High Schools. Sex Roles, 79(9-10), 594–608. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-017-0885-1
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
- Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
- The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
- Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;
- The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a prepublication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
- Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
- The Author represents and warrants that:
- the Work is the Author’s original work;
- the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
- the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
- the Work has not previously been published;
- the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
- the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
- The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.
Revised 7/16/2018. Revision Description: Removed outdated link.