Can you believe summer is almost over already?! The only good thing about the end of summer is that it means it’s time for ‘Camp’ Camp once again! In just a few weeks, 234 LGBTQ people from 34 states across the U.S. – as well as Australia, Canada, Germany, the U.A.E., and the U.K. – will all be gathering in beautiful southwestern Maine to have the best time ever! This summer marks our 22nd season of a fabulously unique week of summer camp activities, fun evening social events, and tons of smiles & laughter with new friends.
Fifty-four of this year’s Campers have been with us for an astounding 10 years or more, including this year’s 15th-Year Campers: Amy Ojerholm of Yonkers, NY; Ben Minish-Malinconico of Bayonne, NJ; Dana Muldoon of Cambridge, MA; Jeff Perrotti of Cambridge, MA; John Michel of Arlington, VA; Scott Ettinger of New York, NY; and Steven Bedenbaugh of Metairie, LA. We will be donating $100 in each of their names to The Trevor Project in honor of their noteworthy Camp anniversary, a tradition we began back in 2011 when we first had Campers celebrating their 15th year at ‘Camp’ Camp.
The following year we established our annual “Camp Gives Back” campaign which recognizes and supports an organization serving the LGBTQ community through a combination of donations from our Campers & Staff and a pledge of 10% of our Camp Store sales. Past beneficiaries of the campaign include Mainers United for Marriage ($1100 raised in 2012), Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund ($1435 raised in 2013), SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) ($1888 raised in 2014), Camp Aranu’tiq ($1685 raised in 2015), the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) ($1673 raised in 2016), and, last year’s recipient, Immigration Equality ($2090).
America’s current political climate continues to feel increasingly hostile towards many of us in the LGBTQ community. Most recently, certain factions have turned towards working to prevent us from simply forming families through adoption. In recognition of this sad reality, we have decided to do our small part to support those who wish to do so by choosing one of the nation’s leading LGBTQ family advocacy organizations, the Family Equality Council, as the beneficiary of our 2018 Camp Gives Back campaign.
The Family Equality Council, or FEC, works every day to fulfill their vision of a future where all LGBTQ families, regardless of creation or composition, live in communities that recognize, respect, protect, and value them, a world in which every LGBTQ person has the right and the opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or the intersection of these characteristics. And, importantly, they work to realize systems of service and support that are free from discrimination and that maximize opportunities for LGBTQ youth needing permanency and LGBTQ adults seeking family formation through adoption, foster care, assisted reproductive technology, or other means.
If you are coming to Camp this summer, you can help support the FEC simply by buying an extra Camp t-shirt or souvenir or two (or three) in the Camp Store. You’ll also be able to make additional donations to the Family Equality Council via your Cashless ‘Camp’ Camp account.
If you aren’t able to join us this summer, we suggest that you pop over to the Family Equality Council’s website and make a donation. (Be sure to note that you were referred by ‘Camp’ Camp.) Please join us in support of our LGBTQ families and donate today.