Camp Brave Trails Mission
Transforming LGBTQ youth and families into leaders through summer camp and innovative programming.
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, creative 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. There is not a summer camp anywhere in our target area, which specifically serves LGBTQ youth in a leadership capacity. 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 2017 Human Rights Campaign Foundation study of over 12,000 youth aged 13-17 from 50 states, LGBTQ youth have experienced the following:
- 85% of LGBTQ youth rate their average stress level as ‘5’ or higher on a 1-10 scale
- 70% of LGBTQ youth have been bullied at school because of their sexual orientation
- 51% of Trans Youth can never use the restrooms or locker rooms that match their gender identity
50% of transgender girls have been physically threatened
- 67% of LGBTQ youth hear their families make negative comments about LGBTQ people
- LGBTQ youth of color report hearing family express negativity about LGBTQ people more frequently than their white peers
- 29% feel that they do not have a trusted adult to confide in
- 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 and create change!