Empowering smiles and action in leadership, community service and social justice among LGBTQ Youth and Families since 2015.
In 2018, we:
- served 214 campers in 30 states and from 9 countries!
- awarded 52 scholarships totaling $40,075, 16 of the scholarships specifically allocated for youth of color
- worked with 72 volunteer staff from who came from 17 different states to give their hearts and time to these youth!
- provided 6 weeks of overnight leadership camp
- offered our 1st week of camp on the East Coast!
- added year round programs, including an improv program, monthly Brave Space meetups, a mentor program and a camp reunion
- started our first Family Camp weekend for LGBTQ parents and their children
Chance and Ryan
Meet Chance and Ryan, a beautiful bond of friendship who shared the common goal of starting a Gay/Straight Alliance Club at their school to combat bullying! When their principal told them no, they didn’t back down, they fought even harder until finally their school gave them permission to organize their club. Their journey did not stop there once they got approval. Chance and Ryan stumbled upon Brave Trails and were destined to attend so they could learn how to be even stronger leaders in their community. They raised their own funds through a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Had Brave Trails not been operating, who knows if Chance and Ryan would have had the success in bringing their school community together! Because of Brave Trails leadership programming Chance and Ryan continue to be awesome warriors in a community that almost didn’t support them.
Meet Lou Lou who identifies as “they/them”. Lou is 12 years old and lives in the Los Angeles area. Destined to attend Brave Trails, Lou did all of their own fundraising to get to camp. Lou is a natural leader and attended many workshops at camp including, public speaking, how to create your own GSA, LGBTQ history, and activist storytelling. After camp Lou went back to school and found a teacher that would be the advisor for a new LGBTQ group at school, which are very rare in middle school. Lou worked with their teacher to get the club up and running and at their very first meeting they had 40 middle school students attend. Lou helped create content and projects for the group every week and put their public speaking they learned at camp to use by being the spokesperson of the group. The group is still up and running strong.
I am working with the student senate at my school to create a gender neutral uniform and am working on my own to create more gender neutral bathrooms within my school, as everyone wants to use the single stall one we currently have, leaving many individuals unable to use it when they need to. I have acted as a Youth Advisor for a social justice internship hosted by The Center in downtown Manhattan. This year I am also acting as a member of my Model United Nations club’s secretariat, which entails me being the Undersecretary General of Public Relations.
Mason and Cory
We have been working on a project we called B.ACTY, or Bringing Activism and Collaboration Through You! which we got the idea for at camp when we created our pamphlet during social entrepreneurship. Currently we have a facebook page and an instagram account, while a website is in the works and should be up within a month or two.
Our idea centers around creating informational pamphlets discussing topics prominent in the media and activism, in a way anyone can understand and interpret. Our goal from this is to encourage people to get involved within their capabilities by providing them with rudimentary information and further resources they can use to get involved. We also hope to provide information from outside resources to share and get people involved, such as news articles, change.org petitions, and information directly from the US government.