The Naming Project is a Christ-centered youth group serving youth of all sexual and gender identities. Our primary focus is to provide a place for Christian youth who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning or allied to learn, grow, and share their experiences through a lens of faith.
The Naming Project Summer Camp is for 14-18 year olds or those who have completed 8th-12th grades who are of any sexual orientation or gender identity or expression who are interested in discussing and understanding sexuality and gender in terms of their own spiritual journey and are excited to spend time with other teen campers and staff while canoeing, swimming, hiking, singing, doing arts and crafts.
Over the past ten years, more than one hundred youth from all across the country have been a part of our program. We have been blessed to be featured on the documentary Camp Out, as well on an episode of Our America with Lisa Ling.
You can see more about The Naming Project and our camp at: www.thenamingproject.org
What We Need & What You Get
Over the years, the funding for The Naming Project has gone up and down. We got some great visibility and donations from Camp Out and Our America, but it’s time to secure us for the years to come.
We do what we do with about 6-8 volunteers, some who work year round, and some who give a week to make this the best week of camp for the campers possible.
A week of camp roughly costs about $8,000. We do get registration fees from campers, but no camper at The Naming Project is turned away for a lack of funds. We often grant registration scholarships, and occasionally purchase plane tickets. Our other regular costs include: the cost of renting Bay Lake Camp for our camp site, transporting campers to and from the Twin Cities, and purchasing the supplies we need to run the camp.
The following are just a few of the comments we have received about The Naming Project from our campers:
“After being made fun of on a daily basis in high school and frequently going to the principal’s office crying, the time I spent with the Naming Project helped me realize that I was not alone. Participating in their summer camp taught me that I was doing nothing wrong and being gay and Christian was OK. If it wasn't for the Naming Project, I do not believe I would be where I am today. My experience with them came at a very crucial time of my life. They definitely helped me realize it was ok to be myself. After spending time with the Naming Project, I felt I could finally begin my journey as a young, gay Christian man, without judgment.” – Jesse
“Sometimes the right things come at a time when they are needed the most, and sometimes the right things come before you know you'll need them. The Naming Project was both of those things for me. It was a positive environment where discussion was permitted, and growth became the result of that positive environment.” – Kasono
"While TNP served as a sort of safe sanctuary for many of my friends who felt their families or churches didn't accept them for who they were, TNP served as a way for me to expand my faith with people who yearned to do the same in an accepting environment. Because I was able to connect with my camp friends on such a deep spiritual level, I've remained friends with them even though I no longer attend the camp." – Hannah
“My time with the naming project was undeniably the most, beautiful, emotional, heartwarming experience of my entire life. Being there, surrounded with such genuine, amazing people really made me realize that there is a place for someone like me on this earth and for that, I would like to give the biggest most sincere thank you ever! I love my TNP family more than words could ever possibly describe!” – Devin
“The Naming Project helped me find my inner peace. It was through TNP that I learned, if you surround yourself by people who love you and who you are, you can do anything. I am filled with love, happiness, and strength each day thanks to The Naming Project and I wouldn't be who I am without it being in my life.” - Julian
Other Ways You Can Help
We need your help identifying young people who might benefit from the ministry of The Naming Project. We are asking you to share this opportunity in your newsletter, on your web site and social media, communication to youth ministry workers, and congregational leaders.
Suggested tweet: Any 14-18 YO Christian campers for gay church camp? The Naming Project Summer Camp is July 20-25, 2014 www.thenamingproject.org
You can also LIKE us and share our Facebook page.
Please include the following message in your communications:
The Naming Project Summer Camp
- Dates: July
Bay Lake Camp, Minnesota
The Light Shines
The Naming Project Summer Camp is for 14-18 year olds or those who have completed 8th-12th grades who are of any sexual orientation or gender identity or expression who are interested in discussing and understanding sexuality and gender in terms of their own spiritual journey and are excited to spend time with other teen campers and staff while worshipping, bible study, canoeing, swimming, hiking, singing, doing arts and crafts. Scholarships are available for limited basis. Our theme for this summer is The Light Shines, based on John 1. The light was a part of all creation, and the light has dwelt among us. And we carry a bit of that light with us out in the world. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.