By Frank Golden
It’s official: I love camp. Last year, Adam and I took our family to CampOut Family Camp, a camp for LGBTQ Families. We had the time of our lives, and decided to do it all over again this year. It was the same amazing experience: the activities, the counselors, the campfires, the joy. This time, however, we were amongst familiar faces, faces we saw last year, faces we have gotten to know. Attending an LGBTQ camp is enough to make you feel like part of a community, but this year, we were part of the CampOut community, and we were honored to be included.
CampOut Family Camp is a summer camp experience for LGBTQ Families. This year, CampOut took place from August 17th- August 20th. During the rest of the summer, the camp grounds are used to accommodate hundreds of children in an overnight camp program lasting two, four, or eight weeks. My husband, Adam attended the camp for eight years when he was child. For Adam, attending CampOut was a mix of new experiences and nostalgia. He remembered the camp grounds and the fun he had, and now as an adult and as a gay man, he got the opportunity to experience the same fun with his family.
Last year, our first year at CampOut, the entire experience was a whirlwind. I was overwhelmed with the idea of being surrounded by other LGBTQ Families. I was enthralled with the idea of attending camp for the very first time – as a child, I never went to camp. I was excited, overjoyed, and anxious to get familiar with the camp experience. This year, I returned to camp as an experience camper; I was prepared for the entire camp experience, and as a result, I was able to savor every activity, every moment. I am not an outdoorsy person. You won’t find me “roughing it” in the woods. You won’t find me hunting, fishing, or hiking on a regular basis. However, for one weekend a year, I transform into a person who loves it all. I love the water activities, the crafts, the campfires. I love the dirt, the sweat, and the smell of nature. Read more