Join us for an unforgettable Summer Camp experience: registration is open NOW for Camp Outright AND Camp BranchOUT!

Camp Sunrise

A Permanent Camp and Retreat Space for LGBTQ+ youth.


Building Radical Hope.  Cultivating Resilience.  Shaping the Future.


We're on the verge of realizing a dream!

We are moving closer to securing a permanent home for Camp Outright, our residential summer camp with a queer twist, designed for LGBTQ+ and allied youth, ages 13-17 years old.

Our goal is to acquire Camp Sunrise, a 146-acre parcel of lakefront property in Addison and Rutland counties. The purchase will not only ensure a permanent place for Camp Outright, it will allow us to expand our programming to support more LGBTQ+ and allied youth.

HECK YEAH!

Thanks to a grant from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), we have accomplished a significant milestone and we’re getting closer to our goal. However, purchasing property of this size requires continued due diligence, and we’re not there yet. We hope to close by Spring.
 

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Camp Outright meant the world to me. Its very existence is proof that queer joy is beautiful, accessible, consensual, and forever possible.”
// Outright Camper


Here's Why it Matters to LGBTQ+ Youth.

Urgency: 

Responding to what LGBTQ+ youth want and need.

As the escalation of coordinated anti-LGBTQ+ hate campaigns persists, the need for support among LGBTQ+ youth has intensified. As a result, we have seen a significant increase in demand across all our programs, including Camp Outright, our overnight summer camp. Based on the Vermont Department of Health’s 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Assessment (YRBS), LGBTQ+ youth are at a higher risk of self-harm, school absenteeism, and harassment compared to their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts.

Demand: 

Too often LGBTQ+ youth are left out or sidelined.

Although we expanded Camp Outright in 2021 to double the number of campers from an annual average of 60 to 120, we still decline well over a hundred youth annually, all without widespread advertising. Also, there’s a significant need for outdoor programming for families with children under 13 years old.

Gap: 

Sparse landscape of LGBTQ+ friendly camps, despite large population.

Camp Outright is Vermont’s sole camp tailored to LGBTQ+ and allied youth. According to the American Camp Association, only 36 of the nation’s roughly 16,000 day and overnight summer camps are considered LGBTQ+ friendly, making Camp Outright a unicorn and a national leader in camping for LGBTQ+ youth. As per the 2021 YRBS data, 29% of the 17,412 high school and 32% of 12,210 middle school respondents identified as LGBTQ+, showing a significant LGBTQ+ youth population in Vermont.

Opportunity: 

It’s a unique chance to acquire an ideal campsite in Vermont.

The expansion of Camp Outright is an absolute necessity to support LGBTQ+ and allied youth. The ability to purchase land in Vermont that borders two lakes and already has key camp structures in place is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We’ve planned for this moment and are poised for the next steps.

Together, we're creating a world of boundless possibilities.

More LGBTQ+ youth will find their people, 

discover their power, and experience queer joy! 

Building Radical Hope.

Expanding Camp Outright brings to life the principle and power that radical hope offers, just as it did over 30 years ago when Outright founders defiantly clung to radical hope and envisioned a future where LGBTQ+ youth would experience a sense of belonging where their identities were celebrated and embraced.

Safe access to the outdoors is still new ground for LGBTQ+ youth who have historically and currently are excluded from, denied access to, and harmed by outdoor youth programming that is steeped in traditional gender norms.

Creating more opportunities for LGBTQ+ youth to safely experience the outdoors where there’s an intentional community that is all about celebrating them for who they are, finding their people, building connections, living into queer joy, and discovering their power is a historic shift toward a more just society.

Check out The Gay Outdoors: Rethinking how we do Camp to learn more about supporting LGBTQ+ youth at camp by Outright’s Executive Director, Dana Kaplan.

Cultivating Resilience.

Camp Outright is a sanctuary for LGBTQ+ youth and offers them a place where they can rest, safe from a world that doesn’t accept or understand them. Here, they can thrive in an environment that prioritizes their needs and comfort. They get the chance to participate in an intentional community that is designed for them and where they are understood, seen, and celebrated. The transformative power of discovering their power and reveling in queer joy is profound and can last a lifetime!

And, we know that generally positive camp experiences can help youth thrive. Key findings from the American Camp Association's 2022 study highlights the health benefits of high-quality camp experiences for youth.

Shaping the future.

The ability to expand Camp Outright will enable more LGBTQ+ youth to safety and connection in an outdoor setting, and will increase accessibility to Outright programs in the region. This acquisition enables us to, and further amplify the impact of Outright’s mission.

  • Increase the number of LGBTQ+ youth able to access and safely experience a typical outdoor camp with a queer twist.
  • Deepen our roots in the southern part of the state, increasing accessibility to our program for LGBTQ+ youth, families and our partners.
  • Create opportunities for LGBTQ+ youth to connect with the healing power of nature.

  • Expand the number of weeks we offer camp while maintaining a high-quality experience.

  • Develop needed outdoor programs for families with children under 13 years old.

  • Provide a fantastic experience with nature where campers can reflect, heal, adventure, and find peace.



FAQ

The following is based on actual questions from community members. We will update Q&As as we move forward.



Supporter Engagement



Programmatic



Financing & Sustainability



Partnerships



Conservation



Operations

Nex Benedict, Rest In Power.

Hate will never win. Together, we will rise with and alongside you.

Statement & Resources