This month (and every month for that matter!) we celebrate the love and diversity of the LGBTQ+ community around the world. As passionately as we believe in the right for students to feel safe in a learning environment, we are equally dedicated to promoting a world where people have the right to love freely and proudly.
In the spirit of summer, vacations, and the transformational power of love, this month we are supporting our local organization Outright Vermont and their summer camp. Outright Vermont’s mission is to provide a safe, healthy environment for LGBTQ+ and questioning youth ages 13-22, and their summer camp is a remarkable place that helps campers build confidence, find support, and grow and thrive among friends old and new.
As a teen or young adult, even on a good day, life can be tricky at best. For many queer kids, it is still very common to feel isolated. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24, and LGBT youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth. In a national study, 40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt, and 92% of these individuals reported having attempted suicide before the age of 25.
Camp Outright is an active force in combating isolation by building an explicitly anti-racist and anti-oppressive space where all queer youth can grow, thrive, and learn about themselves and others.
“For most campers, their week at Camp Outright is a first or only opportunity they've had to be their true selves within a community of peers,” says Dana Kaplan, executive director of Outright Vermont. “At camp, LGBTQ+ youth are able to access activities they might not otherwise, dive into queer identity, and learn skills for general social thriving.”
“Camp Outright has been a highlight of my kids’ summers since 2013! It helped him get through some harder times, just knowing he was going to a place where he felt safe and encouraged to totally be himself. I can't express how much this one week out of the year helped him become the happy, confident, well-adjusted young adult he is now. We owe Outright Vermont, the staff, volunteers, and his fellow campers so much.”
- Parent of a Camp Outright camper
Doing what we do at Social Sentinel, we are intimately familiar with the challenges facing today’s youth. Our incredible team of employees initiated an employee-driven and company-matched fundraiser for the month of June to support the great work of Outright and the 2019 Summer Camp Session. We invite you to learn about Camp Outright and help support the growth of our next generation and their right to love and be loved freely, proudly, and confidently.
[Photo credit: Outright Vermont]