What’s this all about?
What is Queerest and Dearest?
Queerest and Dearest is a 4 night, 5 day long residential camp for LGBTQIA2S+ people and their family members. Anyone you consider family is invited to join us - birth, chosen, found, immediate, extended, church, or otherwise. This is a place for intergenerational connection. We will spend our days connecting with one another, with God, with the land and with ourselves. Camp will include summer camp activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, arts and crafts, archery, campfire and learning about the outdoors, as well as programming which addresses the specific needs of families that include people of gender and sexual minorities. Daily worship will form a central part of camp, and will have a strong focus on queer and trans theologies and our lives as queer and trans Christians.
When and where is it?
Camp takes place at Camp Artaban, an Anglican Camp on the unceded, traditional, ancestral territory of the Squamish nation (colonially known as Gambier Island). Camp fees include the cost of the boat to and from Horseshoe Bay.
This year we have chosen to do a one-day event instead of our overnight camp. Location and details are still being worked out, but it will take place sometime between August 19th-23rd, somewhere in the Lower Mainland. Stay tuned for dates for the camp in 2020.
How much does it cost?
The fees for camp will be a sliding scale of $300-$400 for adults, and $200-$300 for children, youth and dependents. Babies and Toddlers under 2 are free.
A sliding scale model is one where participants are asked to pay what they can within a range: this allows those who are lower income to attend, and those who are higher income to contribute more to the cost of camp. The cost of running camp per individual is more than $600, and we are able to offer a lower fee due to a grant generously provided by the Anglican Initiatives Fund of the Diocese of New Westminster and donations from donors. We recognize that even this sliding scale model does not make camp sufficiently affordable for many, and we encourage everyone to apply, no matter how much you can pay. We have some money set aside for bursaries, and will do our best to find the funds for you to attend camp.
Should you wish to contribute to bursaries for campers, you can do so through the Diocese of New Westminster’s pushpay site by selecting “Queerest and Dearest Bursary Fund” from the drop down menu.
Who is running this camp?
Queerest and Dearest is sponsored by the Diocesan Youth Movement in the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster and specifically organized by a diverse group of volunteers, which includes queer parents, straight parents of queer kids, queer adults without children, trans and cisgender parents, trans youth, cisgender queer youth, people of colour and white people. We are mostly Anglicans, with one Lutheran and one Baptist amongst us. A number of us are involved in children, youth and family ministry, and a number of us have experience leading queer- and trans-focused camps as well as camps without this focus.
Tell me more about Camp Artaban!
Camp Artaban is an Anglican Camp on Gambier Island (north of Bowen Island), on Coast Salish Territory and has been running since 1923. Camp Artaban is a camp, not a retreat centre. Cabins are cosy but basic - without heating or electricity, flush toilets and showers are in another building nearby. Camp Artaban has a dining hall where meals are shared together, a stunning outdoor Chapel, many outdoor spaces for activities, games and time to relax, a craft building and a Recreation Hall for sports. There is a large waterfront area for boating and an enclosed tank for swimming in the ocean. If any of this is an accessibility concern for you, read more in our FAQ section on how we can accommodate you. Learn more at campartaban.com.
Who can apply?
This camp is for anyone who is LGBTQIA2S+ and their families of origin/adoption and/or their chosen families. Intergenerational connection is fundamental to camp. Not only is this a place where families can come – including kids, parents, extended family, grandparents etc. – but there will also be space for people to come with their chosen family. This can be friends, support people or anyone they count as their inner circle. People will also be welcome on their own.
Participants under the age of 19 must attend with their parent or guardian, or with another adult who is responsible for them, with the permission of their parent or guardian.
How do I apply? When is the deadline?
Please find the application page here. If you are unable to apply online, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an alternative application eg. phone, skype, interview. This year’s deadline is June 1, 2019.
Families can apply together on one application form or on separate applications - whichever works best for you. When reviewing applications, we will consider a whole family as one unit. In order to ensure we are considering everyone in your family together, if you fill in more than one application, please let us know on your forms so that we can link the applications together.
Applications are open on a rolling basis. We may not be able to accept everyone who applies. Diversity, need and ensuring we have the capacity to make camp a positive experience for those who are there are considerations for who we prioritize.