kids these days

The Summer Camp for LGBT Kids, Where Your Bunkmate Won’t Call You a Fag

Aside from the set of bored looking young people at the beginning of this video, Philadelphia’s Mountain Meadow Summer Camp actually looks like a pretty dope place to spend part of those three warm months in between school years. Founded in 1981, Mountain Meadow is one of those places where LGBT 9-17-year-olds (or straight tweens and teens with LGBT families) can spend two weeks out of the summer, which organizers call a “safe haven” for kids who have two moms, two dads, or some mix there of.

Not only do we need more Mountain Meadow campus out there, we need more of them promoting themselves through the channels today’s kids interact with. Like YouTube. Because kids aren’t going to be impressed by your pamphlet any more.

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  • Josh NYC


  • Sam

    @Josh NYC: It’s not segregation if it’s chosen. Only if it’s forced upon you.

  • Josh NYC

    @Sam: Voluntary segregation then.

  • James

    Josh NYC: Are gay bars “voluntary segregation” then too?

  • Alexander

    Wow, they’re going to be pulling little boys off of each other left and right at Mountain Meadow.

  • Sam

    @James: Or gay cruises? Or LGBT community centers?

    Sorry, I just don’t think you can call it ANY kind of segregation when you choose it yourself.

  • terrwill

    Can’t be any more Gay teen sex than any other sleep away camp….. : P

  • terrwill

    No. 2 · Josh NYC: Josh many of these kids experience torture
    every single day of their lives in “regular” schools, for
    them to be allowed to be themselves and open is freaking
    fantastic! LOGO has a program ’bout a bunch of teens at
    a Gay prayer camp of all things. Talk about a double whammy
    a Gay teen and dealing with the religous fright! The camp
    was a great experience for those kids………..

  • Magnus67

    JOSH NYC has a two word name and a one word comment “Segregation?”.

    This seems ‘bass ackwards’ to me somehow. Josh, please trade your city name in for an extra word in the comment section. Thanks.

  • Kris

    Camp fYrefly also has another location in Saskatchewan and more locations will be opening across Canada in the future. You can follow us on facebook and/or check out our videos from camp at:

    Our camp is unique as it is the only program of its kind in the world affiliated with a major university, which ensures our programming is research-informed, appropriate and fun!

  • Jon B

    While I can see the need for something like this. I would NEVER trade my sleep away camp experience for an LGBT sleep away camp experience. I spent 13 years at one camp, and I forged the best friendships I’ll ever have there, all with straight guys. I hope these kids are having a similar experience. However, like Josh NYC, I kinda feel like this is a form of preemptive self-segregation, but sometimes that is needed.

    The one thing I can’t get behind though is the focus on LGBT everything, from gay pride flags to singing about rainbow power. If the point of the camp is to give the kids an experience or acceptance and normalcy, why do they need to be reminded over and over that they are somehow different (although are they really so different?) and be forced into singing corny songs about rainbows. No teenager wants to sing about rainbows, even the gay ones.

  • Clint

    I only went to straight camps, but there was a lot of hanky-panky among the boys. I think when you’re with others who don’t know any of your friends back home, you tend to take more risks with regard to your sexual curiosity. This seems to be true with adult men on business trips.

    I think this camp is a beatiful, wonderful thing. And most of all, i’m glad they didn’t call it something awful like “Dignity Camp”. *retch*

  • Clint

    I think it should be emphasized that this camp was also (perhaps mainly?) for the *children* of gay couples. It’s not a separatist movement. They feel isolated and minoritized in mainstream society. After a couple weeks at camp with other kids who have similar experiences and feelings as they do, a kid stands a chance of finding a new sense of pride and self-esteem.

  • Steve

    For gay youth, the Boy Scouts has served the purpose quite well for a hundred years. The problem BSA has is that they refuse to allow gay people (either adults or youth) in the program. Same-sex couples are excluded, as are gay singles of any age if they are “out”.

    Boy Scouts used to be a very gay organization. I mean that in the sense that a lot of the boys were gay. They just didn’t tell the adults, but it was an open secret among the boys. With the trend of youth “coming out” at earlier ages, I suspect the gay youth are not staying in Scouting as much or as long as they used to.

    Outdoor exploration helps boys to develop independence and confidence, and various practical skills that they will need to be independent in life. Independence and confidence are hard to develop while helicopter parents are hovering over every activity. Anything that helps the boys get away from the parents, while still being safe, is good.

    I can just see the right-wingers take on this — They will call it “sex camp”. That might be a great marketing thing for the camp. When I was a teenager – If I had been given a choice between sex camp and any other kind of camp, I know which one I would have chosen.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    LOL @ Steve’s sex camp. Me too – if I had done any sort of camp as a kid, which I didn’t.

    I was extremely introverted, an only child with a religious mom, and spent the entire school year getting picked on by the jocks and chased home by some of the girls. The last thing I wanted was to have those monsters ruin my carefree summers as well.

    However, had there been a gay camp — and in some alternate universe where my mom didn’t have a stroke when I asked to go — I would have SO been there.

    This camp is a wonderful thing for kids who not only need a break from their parents, but also from some of their peers.

  • Noelley B

    This camp isn’t just for gay kids, it’s for kids in gay families. I would have loved going to this as a kid. It sure beats the militant Christian camp I went to in Virginia. It would have been wonderful to make friends with kids whose parents wouldn’t freak out about my parents trying to rape them or turn them gay.

  • D. Z.

    It’s less segregation and more of people with something in common getting together. It’s like people who all enjoy knitting getting together to knit. While being gay isn’t a hobby, this camp does much of the same thing. Anything can be seen as discriminatory or segregating if you look hard enough. The more important thing to look at is does it do more good than harm. Ideally we would like something that does no harm and all good, but usually that’s just plain impossible.

  • cierra nelson

    I would really like to be in thhis camp because I like girl but it is hard to tell the rest of tha. Family how iam .

  • Tyler

    When does this camp takes place? If it has already started is it to late to sign up?
    And do you know of any camps like this -maining for transgender kids- in the San Diego, CA area?

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