Before we start discussing, what is a safe space summer camp? Let's understand first what summer camp actually is and what is the purpose of organizing such camps? Summer camp is a structured program which is organized for children and teenagers during summer vacations all over the world in a systematic way. The participants of this camp are known as campers. The purpose of arranging these camps is to accomplish those curriculum activities which are not possible to achieve during the academic year. Although some courses are added to summer camps which are not a part of graduate studies. Across the world, there are millions of students that get enrolled in these summer camps, some of them are identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBTQ).
Some researches indicate statistics that evince, one child in summer camp (in one community) is identified as LGBTQ every year. Sobering research reveals, 30% of LGBTQ's commit suicide and five times worth of that 30% have committed suicide with an attempt of some kind. From these statistics, one can conclude that a typical summer camp is not a safe space, and after knowing this fact; it is ultimately the parents would never permit their children to enroll in such camps that could not relate to their kids. After analyzing the whole situation the question that comes out is how to create a safe environment for all children and teenagers who are questioning their sexuality? Professionals and organizers of these summer camps make strategic plans to ensure parents that this is one space that is safe for your children. Staff is often equipped with knowledgeable and curious questions (both at the same time) that help young minds to understand the pain and suffering is not their fault. To make a space safe for summer camps requires some initial steps that must be taken into consideration, while the registering of the students in general does take time to recognize to self-identity each child to be enrolled.
For the sole reason behind this purpose, LGBTQ youth will be asked what will help them feel at ease if they are included in this program- keeping in mind that not every camper is raised in the same environment. Aim to respect, an individual's self-identity is critical always. Ensure all the campers that facilities and resources are managed according to gender identity. Provided that some alternative youth may include fostered kids who have been through too many LGBTQ communities. The regualr use of gender-neutral language helps to indulge participants in different activities. And of course the local partnerships with organizations who help provide services to the LGBTQ community, some of these organizations includes houses of worship, educational centers, some health care centers and obviously community outreach programs. Such kind of partnership will assist your staff beyond the scope. Monthly pride celebrations can be arranged to celebrate pride every kind during the summer camp days, and in these celebrations try to communicate with parents in a way that assures the safety of summer camp space.
As described earlier that the LGBTQ mental state is often depressive and suicidal, the transgender groups also show a rate of suicides and depression even higher than the general population! Gender specialists clarify that personal growth within the camps is greatly reflected by what they see in a community, because of the number of children recently coming out as transgender at such young ages. Summarizing the discussion, it can be concluded that we're stronger when we're inclusive and we always remain our doors open to all including LGBTQ community and individuals.