Brave Trails Mission
The Brave Trails Mission is to provide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning youth and their allies, ages 12-20, innovative, impactful summer camp programs that foster meaningful relationships and develop 21st century skills to become the leaders of tomorrow.
What we do
Brave Trails is more than just your average summer camp. While we have a lot of elements of a typical camp, our main focus is helping our campers grow in to the brave leaders they are destined to be. Our program focuses on four key elements: Leadership, Community Building, Self Realization, and Service. We use workshops, adventure and artistic programming, service projects, peer connections, and positive role models to create a safe space where youth can thrive. With the skills learned at camp, our campers will be primed to thrive in their schools, workplace, and personal life. In addition, our campers will have the knowledge and confidence to be more impactful leaders and implement innovative social change in their communities.
Why We Do It
Brave Trails was formed to respond to the needs of the large and growing population of LGBTQ youth in the greater Los Angeles area. There is not a summer camp anywhere in our target area, which specifically serves LGBTQ youth. We believe camp provides a unique outlet to build leadership and community while exploring the outdoors and just having some good old fun! Given the current climate of inequality in our world, there is a need to empower the next generation of LGBTQ leaders and give them the tools to continue in the quest for justice and civil rights, for all.
According to statistics found in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) study, “Growing Up Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) in America” LGBT youth have experienced the following:
- A 40% higher rate of suicidality
- Half as likely to report being happy as compared to their non LGBT peers
- 29% feel that they do not have a trusted adult to confide in
- Over half are likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol, as compared to 22% of their straight counterparts
- Over half report being verbally bullied and harassed
- 77% believe things will get better in the future
In the face of these statistics, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer (LGBTQ) youth are found to be resilient, innovative individuals. When given a safe and supportive environment, these youth are natural leaders with the capacity to thrive.