Schools are letting kids out for the summer, and many of those kids are either heading to, in or soon will be attending a summer camp. For one to two weeks they get to engage in various activities, meet new friends and spend some time away from home at the same time.
With transpeople now beginning to transition as early as ages five and six, they now face the same 'where do they fit in' issues as we late teen and adult transitioners in addition to having some unique to childhood.
For parents of transkids who would like their children to have that classic summer camp experience, that becomes problematic when trying to find one that will not only accept their transchild, but provide a relatively drama free environment as well.
Introducing Camp Aranu'tiq. It's a weeklong, tuition-free, overnight summer camp for transgender and gender-variant youth ages 8 through 15 located in Southern New England.
For obvious reasons I and the staff will not reveal the actual location so that it stays a safe place from the conservafools and idiots like the Phred Phelpses of the world.
As for how it got its name, Aranu'tiq is a Chugach word for a person who was thought to embody both the male and female spirit. The Chugach are an indigenous people who live in Alaska. Aranu'tiq people were often revered and thought to be very lucky because their existence transcended traditional gender boundaries.
Camp Aranu'tiq has a traditional summer camp program that includes arts and crafts, dance, drama, swimming, music, canoeing, creative writing, and land sports such as basketball, soccer, dodgeball, kickball, and beach volleyball. The week will also include campfires (with s'mores!), a talent show, an all-camp capture the flag game, and other special activities in age appropriate groups.
There are also a few professional therapists at camp for campers who may want to talk about various issues, but the main focus of the week, just like it is for any summer camp is on having fun.
This year's dates for Camp Aranu'tiq calls fir the campers to arrive on Sunday, August 22 and depart Saturday, August 28, 2010.
The camp is full for this inaugural season, but you may want to check with the camp staff and get on the wait list.
You can contact them with this link or contact the camp office.
P.O. Box 620141
Newton Lower Falls, MA 02462
It is a 501c3 organization founded in 2009, and you can give them a tax deductible donation on their website.
According to their website, Camp Aranu'tiq will have kids from all over the United States and Canada, and will provide transportation from the New York and Boston areas to their facility which is a 2 hour drive from those cities.
Have fun kids in the camp's inaugural session, and may Camp Aranu'tiq live long, prosper and serve the trans and gender variant community well.