Those of us who went to camp in our youth understand that it’s more than just kickball and campfires, no matter how many s’mores one might have eaten (too many). Some of my fondest memories, and all of my best stories, come from summertime campground shenanigans. Camp’s a place of friendship, learning, and fun. If you’re missing any one of these ingredients, then is it really camp? At a One Heartland camp, you never have to ask that question.
On August 25, LGBT young people participating in out-of-home programs across the Northeast made the trek to the woods of Madison, Connecticut for Camp True Colors: Northeast and a week’s reprieve from life’s demands. Yes, there was kickball. And yes, there were s’mores (I can finally cross “Eat marshmallows toasted in ice cream cones” off my bucket list). But the week was educational, as well, as youth participated in skill and professional development workshops throughout the week.
Made possible through a partnership with One Heartland, Camp True Colors is a week long experience that provides an atmosphere of acceptance, collaboration, and – of course – fun! Each camp is designed to help build confidence in youth, introduce them to a community of support and understanding, and provide them with an escape from the stresses of living in out of home care. One Heartland’s mission to “improve the lives of children, youth and families facing significant health challenges or social isolation” makes them the perfect partner for this important work.
One Heartland was founded in 1993 as Camp Heartland, and began as a camp focused on giving youth affected by HIV/AIDS the best week of their lives. Over the years, the organization expanded its programs to offer year-round support to campers. Today, One Heartland serves not only young people affected by HIV/AIDS – but also those living in transitional housing, youth struggling to achieve a healthy weight, and of course, those who identify as LGBT.
If you’re a youth who’s interested in attending Camp True Colors, or if you’re an adult who knows a young person who might enjoy the experience, we have camps in the Northeast, Texas, and Minnesota.
We encourage you to learn more about One Heartland and the programs they offer. They’re worth it! And spread the word on programs like this by sharing on Facebook and Twitter.