ABOUT

We are a camp for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer (LGBTIQ), and Sex &/or Gender Diverse teens, same sex attracted, curious & questioning teens aged 13-17.

CAMP OUT offers the chance to attend an away-from-home camp with people who share similar experiences, offering a supportive and safe space to learn and express yourself, an opportunity for capacity building and a fun environment in which to do so.

Most of all, it's the chance to hang out in a place where you're not judged for who you are, or who you like.

There's heaps of art, music, sports, games and other fun stuff happening during camp, as well as hangouts like movie nights and bonfires!

As well as your more typical camp activities, there's open workshops and informal discussions on things like identity & what it means to be LGBTIQ-identified or questioning your gender or sexual orientation, dealing with homophobia & transphobia, coming out in highschool, coming out to parents or friends, and how to be an awesome LGBTIQ ally.

With all the Camp activities it's up to you how you want to participate -- you choose your own Camp experience!

Camp Out 2019 will be held from 30th September til 4th October!

Applications will be opened at the end of July 2019 and the link to apply will be posted here and on facebook - stay tuned folx!


MISSION STATEMENT

Camp Out is a five-day camp for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual young people, and an activist organisation, rolled into one. We exist because we want to create space for LGBTQIA young people to talk about their experiences, to share knowledge, and to support each other. We exist to support LGBTQIA young people to support each other, create communities, to find their strength and their courage and their fabulousness. Camp Out fundamentally seeks to imagine different kinds of futures (and presents) for LGBTQIA young people and the communities they are building. Camp Out:

Is Grassroots

Camp Out believes in working with a community, to effect change in that community. Camp Out works directly with LGBTQIA young people to build our community’s ability to both support themselves, each other, and to effect change. This capacity-building goes two ways—the young people we work with also teach and skill Camp Out Collective in resourcefulness and resilience and courage. Camp Out Collective also relies on the support of the queer community, at the grassroots level, to donate a whole bunch of stuff like  art supplies,costumes,energy,time and fabulousness in order for Camp Out to exist. We believe change is more likely to trickle up, not down; we believe change comes from the grassroots and grows up.

Believes in Creativity/DIY Ethos

Camp Out firmly believes in the idea that, with the right skill-sharing, and the right community, anyone can do pretty much anything! Emerging from queer punk communities, the idea of do-it-yourself or DIY practice means that Camp Out believes in making things, doing things and figuring out obstacles ourselves, sharing skills whenever possible, and empowering each member of Camp Out Collective to take on new challenges and learn new skills. Creativity is a crucial ingredient of Camp Out—from our Art Space, to our home-made banners, signs and bunting, we believe that creativity not only helps us find solutions to problems, but also adds all kinds of magic to Camp.

Believes in Self-Determination

At Camp, we encourage young people to make their own decisions—about everything from food to the structure of their day to what their individual learning, support and social needs might be. We aim to skill Campers in thinking outside of what they are “meant” to do, be, think and feel, and focus on what they feel their needs are. We want to encourage young, LGBTQIA people to be self-directed and self-determined—to have the resources necessary to know and communicate their ideas, identities, needs and feelings.  

Autonomous

Camp Out is not government-funded, and is not formally affiliated or regularly funded by any other community organisation. Though we work in collaboration with other community organisations, and rely on their support, all decisions about Camp Out rest solely with the Camp Out Collective. Camp Out is also an autonomous queer organising space—meaning that the Camp Out Collective is made up of queer individuals; it is politically salient for us that all organising decisions are made within a safer space for queer people. Although offers of funding and support from external organisations are appreciated, Camp Out Collective will make all final decisions about when funding is accepted, from whom funding is accepted, what happens at Camp, and so on, autonomously and by consensus.

Community

The idea of community is central to Camp Out’s organising principles. Camp Out aims to skill LGBTQIA young people in reaching out to queer communities, drawing support from those communities, and also in forming their own communities. Camp Out believes in the power of horizontal support that queer communities are able to offer each other. Camp Out is also the product of a community: Camp Out exists only because of the incredible, collaborative efforts of the queer community. Camp Out Collective and its members draw their energy from involvement in all kinds of communities, and these communities enable Camp Out to keep on happening.

Collaboration

Camp Out values both intra- and inter-organisational collaboration. Collaboration is a perspective and way of relating, not merely a tactic or set of skills or tools. Collaboration requires The Collective's mutual engagement and trust and focuses them on the achievement of a common objective. Participants work to satisfy, not just their own but rather, the interests of all members. All perspectives should be considered. The collaboration produces tangible, substantial and sustainable results by moving from formational stages to joint action. This should happen within The Collective, and between The Collective and its allied organisations.

Queering

Camp Out is a collective guided by queer politics. We foster an environment for both the Collective members and Campers that rejects the mainstream's notions of self and identity. We firmly reject the gender binary. For us, one of Camp Out’s central missions is helping campers to imagine what their futures might look like outside of compulsory heterosexuality—to introduce them to ideas and people that better fit their own conceptions of their sexualities and gender identities. Helping campers to queer their ideas about the future is a key goal.

Diversity / Inclusivity

We are an anti-racist, anti-ableist, feminist organisation. It is our responsibility to ensure equality and accessibility for anyone who comes into contact with Camp Out, on any level. We are committed to challenging all forms of oppression, at every level of Camp. We recognise the systematic and cultural oppression of female-identifying people, and the privilege that male-identifying people often inherit. We acknowledge intersectional oppression as a valid framework for understanding the world.

Empowering

Camp Out should be an empowering experience for all involved. We understand that sharing power and knowledge, with an emphasis on complete transparency, will lead to effective collective decision-making, and positive outcomes. The sustainability of Camp Out’s future  depends heavily on skill-sharing and reflecting on all levels of power.

Ultimately, Camp Out stands for community.

We aim to create our own world, guided by unanimously agreed upon facets of queer and feminist politics. We aim to create a safe, creative, nourishing and inspiring environment through which The Collective members organise, and project into the Camp itself.

 
“I feel more confident in my identity so I can face the world and know no matter what other people think of me, I am who I am and they cannot change that.”
— camper 2015