Camp is for Everyone: Intentional Inclusion of Gender-Expansive Teens at Camp

Ashley M. Hall, Kimberly H. Zemel

Abstract


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.


Keywords


gender-expansive youth; summer camp; LGBTQ+; inclusion; 4-H

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2022.1250

Copyright (c) 2022 Ashley M. Hall, Kimberly H. Zemel

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