If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community and you’re looking for a summer camp that’s open and welcoming to all, you’ve come to the right place! There are plenty of gay-friendly camps out there that provide an accepting, safe space for kids and teens of all genders and sexual orientations. But no matter where you decide to go, it’s important to be prepared and know how to make the most of your summer camp experience. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 7 tips for LGBTQ+ campers to have the best summer ever!

1) Talk to the camp director beforehand about your needs
Being LGBTQ+ at summer camp can be a daunting prospect. In order to make sure that your camp experience is as comfortable and safe as possible, it’s important to talk to the camp director beforehand about your needs. Make sure to discuss any concerns you may have about the environment or treatment of LGBTQ+ campers. It’s important for the director to know that gay campers are welcome at their camp and that you feel comfortable being yourself. Additionally, if you require certain accommodations, it’s important to let the director know this in advance.

By speaking up and voicing your concerns, you can help ensure that the camp is a safe space for all LGBTQ+ campers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure that your needs are met before signing up for camp. It’s also a good idea to look into whether or not there are any other LGBTQ+ campers attending the same session.

2) Find out if there are any other LGBTQ+ campers attending
It can be intimidating to attend a summer camp as an LGBTQ+ person, especially if you don’t know anyone else in the same situation. Finding out if there are other LGBTQ+ campers attending your summer camp can help you feel more comfortable and supported.

If the camp director hasn’t already given you information about other campers’ sexuality or gender identity, it’s important to respect everyone’s privacy by not making assumptions or asking invasive questions. However, you can still find out if there are other LGBTQ+ campers at camp by talking to other campers and staff. If someone is openly gay at the camp, that might give you the confidence to express yourself more freely.

Be sure to ask the camp director for resources like support groups, gender-neutral bathrooms, or any other services they may have for LGBTQ+ campers. This will ensure that you have access to the appropriate resources throughout your stay at camp. Additionally, ask the director if there are any activities specifically designed for LGBTQ+ campers or allies, such as pride parades or safe spaces to talk.

Finally, take advantage of online resources like LGBTQ+ summer camps, which provide information about different camps that cater to LGBTQ+ youth. Knowing that you’ll be among like-minded peers can make all the difference in helping you feel secure and accepted at your summer camp.

3) Don’t be afraid to be yourself
It can be intimidating for LGBTQ+ campers to go to summer camp. It can feel like you have to hide your true self and pretend to be something else. But it’s important to remember that camp is a place where everyone should feel comfortable being themselves. No matter your sexuality or gender identity, camp should be a place of acceptance and support.

If you identify as LGBTQ+, don’t be afraid to talk about it at camp. Being open and honest about who you are will make it easier for everyone else to understand and accept you. Even though there may not be other LGBTQ+ campers, you may find allies in the other campers and staff. Use inclusive language to make sure everyone feels welcome and respected.

It’s also okay to talk about your experiences as an LGBTQ+ camper. You don’t have to keep everything to yourself. If you feel safe and comfortable, try talking about it with other campers or staff. Maybe even suggest some activities that could help educate others about LGBTQ+ issues, such as discussing different gay rights movements or watching films with LGBTQ+ characters.
At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to be yourself at summer camp. Know that you’re not alone and that there are people out there who accept you for who you are.

4) Use inclusive language
When you’re at summer camp, it’s important to use language that is inclusive and respectful of the LGBTQ+ community. Avoid using words like “gay” as an insult or to mean something negative. Instead, use words like lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) in an affirming way. For example, if someone asks you about your sexual orientation, you could say “I’m gay.” Similarly, if you’re talking about a group of people, you could say “LGBTQ+ campers.”

It’s also important to avoid making assumptions about someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Just because someone looks or acts a certain way doesn’t mean they necessarily identify with that label. Be open and respectful of others’ identities and avoid using outdated and offensive terms.

By using inclusive language, you can make summer camp a more welcoming and safe environment for everyone. So remember to use language that is respectful and affirming of the LGBTQ+ community.

5) Avoid making assumptions
It can be difficult to navigate the world of LGBTQ+ when you’re at summer camp. Everyone has their own unique identity and journey, so it’s important to avoid making assumptions about another person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, don’t assume that a camper who is participating in activities typically associated with a certain gender is “gay” simply because they are participating in those activities. Instead, be respectful and mindful of their individual experience. It’s also important to keep in mind that not all LGBTQ+ people use labels like “lesbian”, “gay”, “bisexual” or “transgender” to identify themselves. Respect the identities of others and remember that not everyone identifies as one of these labels. Ultimately, at summer camp or anywhere else, respect each person’s right to identify as they choose and don’t make assumptions about anyone’s sexuality or gender identity.

6) Educate others about LGBTQ+ topics if they’re curious
If you’re at a summer camp and someone is curious about LGBTQ+ topics, it’s important to be prepared to educate them in an age-appropriate manner. Explain the basics of gender and sexuality and talk about the importance of using inclusive language like “partner” or “significant other” instead of gender-specific terms like “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” You can also explain how it’s okay to identify as LGBTQ+ and that it’s not something to be ashamed of.

If you’re comfortable with it, you can also share your personal experiences being gay at summer camp and discuss any challenges you faced. Being open about your sexuality can be a great way to help other campers feel safe and accepted, no matter who they are or who they love.

7) Have fun and enjoy your time at camp!
Summer camp is all about having a good time and making the most of your experience. It’s important to remember that camp can be a place where you are free to be yourself, regardless of your sexuality or gender identity. As a gay camper, don’t be afraid to let loose and have some fun! This could mean taking part in different activities, playing sports with friends, or simply exploring the outdoors. Don’t let anything hold you back from making the most of your summer camp experience. You can also take advantage of any LGBTQ+ support networks at the camp. If there are other LGBTQ+ campers, get to know them and feel free to talk to them about your experiences and feelings. Having a support system at camp can make your summer much more enjoyable. So, go out there and have a great time at summer camp!