Campers describe Brave Trails as their “favorite place on earth” and “a home away from home.” Every day is full of adventures, laughs, new friends, and growth, surrounded by positive adult role models and supportive peers that celebrate each camper for who they are.
Camp Brave Trails is a leadership focused summer camp and campers should expect to be challenged and heavily focus on activism and making change. Every day is centered around developing campers’ personal leadership skills through activities, workshops, and fun programming. From roasting marshmallows and drag shows to archery, swimming, and social justice workshops, there are plenty of activities to choose from! Learn more about our programs and activities by clicking here!
Camp Brave Trails is an incredible and life changing experience! We take campers of all leadership levels and give them the tools to be leaders and change makers in their communities. We have shy campers, outgoing campers, confident leaders, and campers who are just starting their leadership journey. It's important that you understand the commitment you are making when applying for leadership camp. You will have a TON of fun, but you will work hard, too. If you have any questions about camp and if it's right for you, feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!
If you are expecting:
- Leadership focused & activist based learning. All levels of leadership experience welcome.
- A safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ Youth.
- A highly social environment (interacting with people all day with little alone time).
- Loud, Fun, & High Energy Environments
- A high expectation of kindness and compassion from all campers.
- A commitment to leadership, activism, and making the world a better place.
- Electronics Free Environment
Camp is probably a good fit for you!
Session 1 - California: June 26 - July 9, 2019 (Two Week)
Session 2 - California: July 13 - July 19, 2019 (One Weeks) - FULL - Wait List Open
Session 3 - California: July 24 - August 6, 2019 (Two Week) - FULL - Wait List Open
Session 4 - Maryland: August 12-August 18, 2019 (One Week)
We strive to make camp as accessible as possible. In 2018, we awarded over $40,000 in scholarships. There is a $20 non-refundable application fee.
One Week Session: $995
Two Week Session: $1990
Tuition includes: All meals & snacks, programs materials, high level leadership activity instruction and workshops, lodging, on-site medical team and center, staffing costs, a camp t-shirt, and so much more!
Transportation Fee: If the camper is using our transportation services, there is $40 round trip transportation fee. We offer transportation at select times from a Los Angeles location, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI). Please see your Camper Handbook upon admission for exact pick-up/drop-off times.
Fundraising opportunities & financial assistance are available to families in need. Please see the "Financial Assistance & Fundraising" section for more information.
50% of tuition is due by May 1, 2019.
We never want money to be the reason a camper can't attend camp!
We strive to be as equitable and accessible as possible to our families. In 2018, we awarded over $40,000 in camp scholarships to 52 amazing campers. Our scholarships are limited and awarded on a first come, first serves and needs basis. Additionally, we offer great fundraising tools, which many of our campers have raised their full tuition cost with!
How do I apply for financial aid?
The financial aid application is part of the general camp application. Please fill out the camp application and the financial aid form fully, including the $20 application fee. Once received, our staff will determine your eligibility and award amount based on your household income and family need.
We do not give any "free weeks", only partial scholarships. Brave Trails does NOT assist with airfare or cost of travel to camp.
Youth, ages 12-18, who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and their allies are welcome at Camp Brave Trails! We welcome campers from all over the country and internationally.
Camp Brave Trails is a leadership focused summer camp and we look for campers of all leadership levels who have an interest in making their community and the world a better place.
First: The prospective camper will fill out an application and submit a $20 non-refundable application fee. Only applications that are complete and accompanied by the application fee will be processed.
Second: After reviewing the prospective camper's application, we will move forward with scheduling a camper interview. Interviews are informal and even fun! It will take place on the phone or Skype. The purpose of the interview is to learn more about the camper's leadership aspirations and to make sure the camper understands the commitment of attending LGBTQ leadership camp. This is also a great time to get to know the Brave Trails staff a little better and ask us any questions you may have.
Third: After the interview, campers are selected by a committee of staff based on their application and interview. We choose a wide variety of campers from diverse backgrounds who have an interest in developing their leadership skills (regardless of previous experience) and meeting mentors and peers who share a similar experience and aspirations.
Finally: If the camper, family, and Brave Trails feel that camp is a good fit, we will email the camper and family a formal acceptance letter. The letter will contain next steps, such as filling out paperwork, making payments, packing info, and more!
We hope to see your application soon!
What does it mean to be accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA)?
The ACA Accreditation process is a commitment by camps to the highest standards of health, safety, and program quality. This means we meet over 250 standards in health, safety, staffing, training, and transportation verified by the ACA on a regular basis. At Brave Trails, we are committed to providing the highest level of safety and fun to our camper and their families. We are proud to be an accredited camp!
Learn more here: https://www.bravetrails.org/about/aca-accredited/
Our California camp is located just outside of Los Angeles, CA, in the pines of the Angeles National Forest. For safety, we only release our exact address to registered families only.
Our Maryland camp is located in the the wonderful Catoctin Mountains of western, MD. For safety, we only release our exact address to registered families only.
While at camp, all meals are included in tuition. Our kitchen staff pride themselve on delivering nutritious meal that keep our campers and staff going throughout day. Campers enjoy three healthy, balanced meals per day, along with snacks and special treats! We honor vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free food restrictions but require proper notice for appropriate planning.
Breakfast: Pancakes, sausage (chicken or veggie), fruit & yogurt bar, and orange juice. Every morning we have a cereal bar, milk, and a fruit assortment available.
Lunch: Veggi & turkey paninis, soup, and a salad bar is available every day.
Dinner: Tacos (veggi & chicken) with all the toppings, rice, beans, and a salad bar is available for dinner every evening. For dessert churros!
Camp Brave Trails is not a peanut free camp but we are “peanut aware”. Contact with peanuts or peanut residues can be life threatening for many children. At Brave Trails, we have respect for each individual camper, and while we are not a totally “peanut-free” camp, we go to great lengths to remove peanut products from camp.
Traces of an allergen product can surprise the best of us at any time. What we do to make our camp a safer environment for peanut allergic campers:
⇒ We peanut butter alternatives available, such as sunflower seed butter, jam, butter, cream cheese, and other spreads so campers have a variety of alternatives.
⇒ We instruct the kitchen to prepare dishes with nuts in a designated part of the kitchen.
⇒ We instruct campers that nut products cannot be brought in to camp from home.
Campers will stay in bunk style cabins along with 8-10 peers and two adult counselors sleeping in each cabin for support and safety. We divide campers in to cabin groups by age; we never divide campers by gender identity/expression. There are plenty of bathrooms, showers, and personal hygiene facilities, complete with privacy for maximum comfort.
Families may purchase our transportation services to get their camper to & from camp via bus at select pick-up/drop-off stations only. These stations are typically: West Hollywood, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI). The cost is $40 round trip.
Campers flying in and expecting to use our transportation services to & from camp must arrive and depart from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) during the times specified in the Camper/Family Handbook. Staff will be at each terminal during the time slots to gather and escort campers to and from the shuttles.
Campers and families will receive a detailed Camper/Family Handbook, containing information you need to know regarding location and transportation options, upon admission in to camp.
Having an amazing staff means our campers have an amazing summer! As such, our directors dedicate a lot of time and energy to assembling a diverse and multifaceted group of professionals for our staff team. We choose dedicated, knowledgeable and nurturing mentors who have a great interest in helping youth become confident and empowered LGBTQ leaders. Every staff member at camp has undergone an extensive application, interview, and background check process. Our team is complete with medical staff, therapists, lifeguard, teachers, and many more experienced professionals. The average age of our staff is 27. Many staff members return to camp each summer from all around the country and even internationally.
The goal at camp is to make new friends, try new things and grow as a leader. That's pretty tough to do if you’re on social media or texting and calling friends all the time. We want our campers to be focused and present for their camp experience. As such, we do not allow anything with a screen at camp (phones, smart devices, gaming devices, music players, etc.).
Please leave your cell phone and electronics at home or they will be confiscated at camp. Exceptions are made for campers flying in from other parts of the country; their phones will be collected upon arrival at camp and kept safe until their departure. Small point & shoot cameras are okay as long as they do not connect to the Internet, but we suggest you leave them at home as they could get lost or damaged. We will have photographers at camp taking pictures for you to cherish when camp is over.
At camp, we have two medical staff on-site 24/7 to provide basic care and first aid to campers and staff. Anything beyond basic care will be directed to the nearest urgent care or hospital. All campers must have heath insurance to attend camp.
We do our very best to accommodate campers with physical disabilities to the extent allotted by our resources and facility. If your child has a disability, please be as honest and detailed as possible with our staff (ahead of time) so we can make the necessary arrangements to make your camper's stay with us comfortable. We highly recommend giving us a call before applying for camp if are unsure whether our camp is a good fit for your camper.
Regardless of the positive and empowering nature of camp, it can be an emotionally and physically demanding experience. Camp Brave Trials is not a therapy camp and campers should be in a stable emotional/mental state before coming to camp. Campers should be prepared and excited for very loud, energetic, and highly social environments, with little alone time. If the camper is highly uncomfortable with social environments or uneasy around a lot of noise and people, our camp is likely not the a fit.
Camp Brave Trials is a leadership focused program and much of what we discuss revolves around social justice and activist related subjects. Campers should be aware that we do discuss topics related to mental health, race, body image, environmentalist, injustice, LGBTQ related issues, and other related topics. Campers who are distressed by such topics may have a hard time at camp and should talk to a director before applying to discuss.
If the camper shows signs of or is experiencing high levels of mental and/or emotional distress, has a known serious mental disorder, and/or is hospitalized before camp, please contact a director to discuss before applying and together we can assess if our camp is the right fit your camper. While camp can be an uplifting experience, it should not be use a form of treatment for mental health disorders.
While Camp Brave Trails is not a special needs or therapy camp, we do have at least one medical staff on site at all times. Our medical center is equipped with the necessary materials to provide basic first aid. Additionally we have at least one licensed mental health professional on site at all time to provide basic emotional support, not therapy. ..........................................................
Physical Health Needs
Brave Trails Refund Policy
We carefully plan each session of camp for maximum fun. We understand that your schedule may change but our staffing, program, and meal arrangements are finalized several months in advance based on projected attendance. With that in mind, please read our refund and payment policies carefully.
All families will be put on one of our auto-pay payment plans upon acceptance to the program, unless the full amount of tuition is paid upfront within 30 days after the camper is accepted to camp. Credit and debit card is the only form of payment accepted by Camp Brave Trails, unless you are paying the entire amount of tuition upfront within 30 after the camper is accepted to camp. All applications require a non-refundable application fee of $20. Only applications that are accompanied by the deposit will be processed. This includes applications to be added to the Waiting List. The balance of camp tuition will be automatically charged to the card on file 30 days prior to the camper's camp start date. Prior to May 1, 2019, camp tuition fees are refundable. Between May 1-May 24, 2019, 50% of the full cost of the camper's tuition is refundable. Absolutely no refunds will be issued starting on May 25, 2019. All application fees are nonrefundable. There will be no fee reductions, refunds or reimbursement for absences from camp due to illness, homesickness, dismissal, voluntary withdrawal, family emergencies, vacation, summer school, unexpected visits from relatives, unhappiness with the program, or for any other reason. There will be no fee reduction or reimbursement for changes in programing on our part. All decisions to change programming are made with the best interest of the camper’s safety and experience in mind.
Registered campers will receive a more detailed outline of our refund & dismissal policy.
Camp Brave Trails admits through an application process. Not all campers who apply will be admitted to camp. Camp Brave Trails is a leadership specific summer camp and we look for campers who have a great interest in activism and leadership skill development. We choose a wide variety of campers from diverse backgrounds who have an interest in developing their leadership skills and meeting people who share a similar experience. Campers are chosen by a committee of staff and camp alumni based on their application and interview.
We gladly welcome out-of-state and international campers to apply for camp!
In 2018, over 30% of our campers traveled to camp via airplane. For a small fee of $40, we offer our airport campers a round-trip shuttle to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or Baltimore Washington International (BWI). We will tell you exactly when your campers should land & depart so our staff can safely escort them to & from their terminals. We cannot provide "Unaccompanied Minor Service" or go directly to the gate to retrieve/drop-off a camper. You must select an airline that will allow the camper to fly unaccompanied. Please contact your airline for details.
International campers must have:
- valid and updated passport
- travel medical insurance