****** FINAL UPDATE*****
THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH EVERYONE!!!!!
Camp Out is the ONLY camp for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, sex and/or gender diverse and questioning teens in the whole of Australia!
Pretty incredible huh? We sure think so, that's why we, the 9 people who form the Camp Out crew, volunteer countless hours over the year to make Camp Out happen. All of us in the crew needed a camp like this when we were teenagers, a place to talk openly and honestly about our emerging identities and to be around other LGBTIQ teens without the fear of being bullied or discriminated against, but we can't time travel, so we are doing the next best thing, making our dream a reality for the younger generation.
We believe in, and have already witnessed the potential of Camp Out to deeply change young LGBTIQ youth's lives for the better! We are doing it for the love!!! This year will be our third camp and we hope that it has the same impact it has had on the teens who have come in previous years – in one word – PHENOMENAL!
Here are some of the things campers have said post-camp:
"This has been a life changing experience for me and all the other campers, and we are so grateful for all your effort you guys made to make it happen"
"IT WAS FABULOUS THANKS FOR EVERYTHING" "
I like that there was no discrimination with sexuality and gender, I felt comfortable all week with who I was and that was amazing"
"Camp out has been one of the best most exciting experiences I have had. I recommend it to others who are thinking of doing it. Camp Out has changed me in that I have gained confidence"
“I wish Camp Out could go forever!!!”
Camp Out is a place for diverse youth who share common experiences to come together and form a community that is truly their own. The camp week is filled with art, music, sports, games and other fun stuff, as well as hangouts like movie nights, beach trips and bonfires. As well as these more typical camp activities, there's open workshops and informal discussions on things like identity & what it means to be LGBTIQ-identified or questioning your gender or sexual orientation, dealing with homophobia & transphobia, coming out in highschool, coming out to parents or friends, and how to be a supportive queer ally. For the majority of these young people, this is the only time they can talk about these issues openly and honestly, in a safe and supportive environment.
Most simply, it's the chance to hang out in a place where you're not judged for who you are, or who you like.
It is experiences like this that we believe are going to create a future generation with lower LGBTIQ youth suicide rates. As the CampOut word is spreading across the community with larger number of campers attending camp each year our dream of having an amazing annual camp is becoming a reality. But we are relying on grants and the love of the community to get enough money to make the camp happen again! If we can reach our fundraising goal we will be able to meet all the costs of camp this year without being in the red.
If you are an LGBTIQ person, think about how incredible it would have been to be a teenager and experience this kind of support, and if you are an ally to the LGBTIQ community, sending a message to youth that there are other people out there that care about their wellbeing is so powerful!
We are turning to the community to ask if you would like to see the next generation of LGBTIQ people grow up empowered, self accepting, and ready to take on the world! We can’t do this without you, so spread the word! Camp Out needs a hand!
What We Need: We anticipate that the cost of Camp Out for 2012 will be $15,000. This includes food, transport, insurance, workshop facilitator fees, equipment, venue hire, printing and promotional material, postal costs, petrol, etc. As a non-profit organisation, Camp Out is currently supported by a $5,000 LINC grant, as well as winning the Inner City Courier’s Project Local competiton with a grant of $2500 and an estimated further $2,000 from camper attendance fees. We have applied and are waiting for a response to another small grant for more and better equipment. Camp Out currently needs at least another $3,500 to go ahead.
FYI WHEN DONATING AMOUNTS ARE SHOWN IN US $.
Other Ways You Can Help: We have a wish list of other ways to help Camp Out if you cannot give financial support. Perhaps you know someone in the 13-17 year old age range who might want to come to camp - as we're still only in our third year; we need your help in getting the word out about Camp Out!
Or perhaps you, or your workplace, or your friends, could help by donating food, sporting equipment, art supplies or other goods for the camp week - please get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to lend or donate any equipment or supplies.
Lastly, please check out our website for updates and more information on Camp Out - www.campout.org.au