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LGBTQ Christian youth camps preparing for summer outings

As summer approaches, many people think of that quintessential summer youth rite of passage: camp!

More than a handful of summer camps around the United States are devoted to youth who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning or allied.

LGBTQ camps include:

Camp Aranu'tiq – for transgender youth, with locations in California and New England

Camp Lightbulb – in Massachusetts

Camp Ten Trees – in Washington

Spiritual Pride Project – in Texas

• Wonderful Made – in Pennsylvania

Camp applications are being taken now.

The original LGBTQ camp

The Naming Project is the first and largest Christian camp for LGBTQ youth.

Organizers said today that its 2013 summer camp theme will be “Rooted and Grounded in God’s Love.” It is now accepting registrations for camp the week of July 28-Aug. 2 in Bay Lake, Minn. This will be the 10th Naming Project Summer Camp.

"This year's theme reflects the reality that youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities have created and loved by God. Whoever they become as they grow, they always have the love of God as a root for their identity," said Ross Murray, director of The Naming Project.

"We anticipate a wide range of youth, some who are secure in their faith identity and others who are still questioning, as well as some who are sure of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and others who are still discovering who they are. Our intention is to provide a safe place for them to discuss and explore various aspects of their identity with others who are going through the same discovery."

The Naming Project Summer Camp attracts about 20 youth between the ages of 14 and 18. Youth can be of any sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Youth also come from a wide variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds. The common thread is interest in discussing and understanding sexuality and gender in terms of a spiritual journey.

Camp includes a daily Bible study to discuss faith, Scripture, sexual orientation, gender identity, relationships and life together in Christ. Youth can expect to be actively involved in exploring scriptural themes and how they relate to life experiences.

The Naming Project is facilitated by a group of adult volunteers who have been screened and trained. Youth will engage in activities and active conversation with counselors. They will also have a fairly typical summer camp experience with campfires, crafts, swimming, games and summer camp fun in the beauty of God’s creation.

About The Naming Project

The Naming Project is a faith-based youth group serving youth of all sexual and gender identities. The primary focus is to provide a place for youth who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning or allied to learn, grow and share their experiences. In this way The Naming Project is a space in which youth can comfortably discuss faith and who they understand themselves to be -- whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender ... or straight.

The Naming Project was the subject of the award-winning documentary film “Camp Out,” as well as featured on “Our America with Lisa Ling.” See The Naming Project’s media appearances HERE.