Queerest and Dearest Family Camp
This camp sounds AMAZING! How can I support it?
Donate to our Bursary Fund online, (select “Queerest and Dearest Bursary Fund” from the drop down menu) or by cash, cheque or credit card by contacting Rachel Taylor at the Synod Office ([email protected])
What is Queerest and Dearest?
Queerest and Dearest is a 4 night, 5 day long residential camp for LGBTQIA2S+ people and their families. This is a place for intergenerational connection for these communities and so whoever LGBTQIA2S+ people consider family are invited to join us - birth families, adoptive families, chosen families, extended families, church families, etc. We will be staying at Camp Artaban, an Anglican Camp on Gambier Island, and spending our days connecting with one another, with God, with the land and with ourselves. Camp will include summer camp activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, arts and crafts, archery, campfire and learning about the outdoors, as well as programming which addresses the specific needs of families that include people of gender and sexual minorities. Chapel will form a central part of camp, and will have a strong focus on queer and trans theologies and our lives as queer and trans Christians.
When and where is it?
Camp will run from Monday August 19 to Friday August 23, 2019. It will take place at Camp Artaban, on Gambier Island, on the traditional ancestral territory of Coast Salish Nations. Camp fees include the cost of the boat to and from Horseshoe Bay.
How much does it cost?
The fees for camp will be a sliding scale of $300-$400 for adults, and $200-$300 for children, youth and dependents. Toddlers under 2 are free.
A sliding scale model is one where participants are asked to pay what they can within a range: this allows those who are lower income to attend, and those who are higher income to contribute more to the cost of camp. The cost of running camp per individual is more than $450, and we are able to offer a lower fee due to a grant generously provided by the Anglican Initiatives Fund of the Diocese of New Westminster. We recognize that even this sliding scale model does not make camp sufficiently affordable for many, and we encourage everyone to apply, no matter how much you can pay. We have some money set aside for bursaries, and will do our best to find the funds for you to attend camp. Should you wish to contribute to bursaries for campers, please be in contact with us at [email protected].
Who is running this camp?
Queerest and Dearest is being sponsored by the Diocesan Youth Movement in the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster and specifically being organized by a diverse group of volunteers, which includes queer parents, straight parents of queer kids, queer adults without children, trans and cisgender parents, trans youth, cisgender queer youth, people of colour and white people, settlers and indigenous folks. We are mostly Anglicans, with one Lutheran amongst us. A number of us are involved in children, youth and family ministry, and a number of us have experience leading queer- and trans-focused camps as well as camps without this focus.
Tell me more about Camp Artaban!
Camp Artaban is an Anglican Camp on Gambier Island (north of Bowen Island), on Coast Salish Territory and has been running since 1923. Camp Artaban is a camp, not a retreat center. Cabins are cosy but basic - without heating or electricity, flush toilets and showers are in another building nearby. Camp Artaban has a dining hall where meals are shared together, a stunning outdoor Chapel, many outdoor spaces for activities, games and time to relax, a craft building and a Rec Hall for sports. There is a large waterfront area for boating and an enclosed tank for swimming in the ocean. If any of this is an accessibility concern for you, read more below on how we can accommodate you. Learn more at campartaban.com.
Who can apply?
This camp is for anyone who is LGBTQIA2S+ and their families of origin and/or their chosen families. Intergenerational connection is fundamental to camp. Not only is this a place where families can come – including kids, parents, extended family, grandparents etc. – but there will also be space for people to come with their chosen family. This can be friends, support people or anyone they count as their inner circle. People will also be welcome on their own.
Participants under the age of 19 must attend with their parent or guardian, or with another adult who is responsible for them, with the permission of their parent or guardian.
I’m not an Anglican/Christian, am I welcome to attend?
This camp is being organized by Christians, coming mainly from the Anglican Church, but also from the Lutheran Church. Many people of other christian denominations, of different faith backgrounds, and of no faith, are family, both biological and chosen, to LGBTQIA2s+ Christians, and they are very welcome to come to camp. Chapel will form a central part of camp, and will have a strong focus on queer and trans theologies and our lives as queer and trans Christians, and all campers will be expected to respect this. Participating in the worship life of the community will be by choice. If people from other faith backgrounds wish to share traditions from their faiths with us at camp, we would welcome this!
How do I apply? When is the deadline?
Families can apply together on one application form or on separate applications - whichever works best for you. When reviewing applications, we will consider a whole family as one unit. In order to ensure we are considering everyone in your family together, if you fill in more than one application, please let us know below so that we can link the applications together.
Applications are open on a rolling basis. We may not be able to accept everybody who applies. We aim to have as diverse a camp as possible and so we base our decisions on diversity, need and ensuring we have the capacity to make camp a positive experience for those who are there.
How accessible is camp?
Camp Artaban can provide vegetarian, vegan, nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free. If you have further dietary restrictions, we may be able to accomodate it or you may be able to participate in camp if you are able to bring your own food, but please contact us at [email protected] when you apply so that we can coordinate with the staff at Camp Artaban.
Camp Artaban is a rustic camp with unpaved roads, rugged walking trails and steep hills. Those with mobility difficulties, wheelchairs or walkers will likely find it difficult to navigate. One of our goals is to make camp as accessible as possible, so if mobility is a concern, please contact us at [email protected] and we can discuss the physical accessibility of camp in more detail and how we can best accommodate you.
Camp is a chance to unplug. Campers are encouraged to take a break from electronic devices at camp. Many campers may chose to bring devices in order to use the camera or to listen to music, but please know that Camp Artaban runs off a generator which is turned off at night and therefore there is no electricity during that time, and there is no electricity in the cabins. There is also no WIFI at camp, and cell service is intermittent. Camper and staff will find it difficult to charge their items, so we would encourage you to save your battery for times when you need it, like taking photos!
This camp sounds AMAZING! How can I support it?
Soon we will be posting for volunteer staff positions!