From 2013 to 2015, Rachel Hearn was a camp counsellor at Welcome Friends’ Rainbow Campfor LGBTQ Two-Spirit and allied youth ages 12 to 17. To say the least, it was a life-altering experience.
Every August there existed a tiny, week-long place of sanctuary that said, “We do see you, and you are welcome here.” That is exactly what Rainbow Camp is all about.
“Rainbow Camp is a place of radical resistance against the oppressive forces of hetero-normativity and cis-normativity that exist across the world today,” says Rachel. It is like other summer camps, but the learning is focused around sexual health, healthy relationships, understanding our identities, and figuring out how to work around a society that is not designed to enable queer people to thrive. Even though there is no marching or petitions, the world is still changed for every camper who finds a friend or feels like themselves for the first time.
“At Rainbow Camp, we changed the world for young people by giving them the tools and skills they needed to flourish. If you create a space where people can be open about who they are and accept others doing the same, you will learn what it means to love and to trust.”
Rainbow Camp’s ministry is made possible because of Mission & Service.
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