Greater NW Pride: Queer Pride Camp: High School, Aug. 6-9, 2020, Camp Magruder, Oregon!


Queer Pride Camp: High School, Aug. 6-9, 2020, Camp Magruder, Oregon!

This blog post is really an announcement this week.  In 2019, I led and was part of a great team of LGBTQ+ clergy persons  and straight allies in the United Methodist Church’s Western Jurisdiction (UMC WJ), who brought about a very unique camping experience: Queer Pride Camp for young adults, ages 18-25 years old. The camp was held at Camp Sky Meadows in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California.  26 campers—all LGBTQIA—and staff of five had a great three days together, along with JJ Warren and the Rev. Izzy Alvaran of Reconciling Ministries Network. There are plans afoot to hold another Queer Pride Camp: Young Adults in CalPac conference for Spring 2020 for those in the WJ, so stay tuned!
This year, the OR-ID UMC Conference is sponsoring a Queer Pride Camp for high schoolers for the UMC WJ at Camp Magruder on the Oregon coast, Aug. 6-9, 2020. 
Our focus on high school aged young people this year comes from the great need among high schoolers for a safe place to gather both in their regular lives back home, as well as in the camping experience, which is primarily made up of other LGBTQ+ people. Many high schoolers today live in communities in which they are still the only LGBTQ+ person they know of who is out.  Many LGBTQ+ high schoolers may still be in the closet, or experience bullying in their school.  Some LGBTQ+ youth have been quietly turned away from their faith communities or social network in their community, because there is a stigma of being LGBTQ+ in their town or city, while others have been rejected by other family members because they are LGBTQ+. Our hope is that Queer Pride Camp: High School 2020 will provide a safe, fun, comfortable place for young people to simply hang out, and be reaffirmed that we are all created in the image of God, loved by Christ, and accompanied daily by the Holy Spirit.
If you know of any LGBTQ+ high schoolers who are people of faith or inquiring or looking for such a camping experience, please share this info with them, knowing more information will be forthcoming in the coming months. Scholarships for travel to Camp Magruder and registration will be available so that all who want to come can join us.
We also will need LGBTQ+ camp staff, so please drop me a line (brett@umoi.org), and let me know of your interest as a counselor, program person, chaplain, or help in transportation.
This is another “first” in the WJ, and possibly in the UMC, and we hope that it will not be the last, but a regular, yearly event. 
So, start spreading the news of this camp! Add it to your calendar of events this coming summer. And see you there!

Brett Webb-Mitchell
Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell is an openly gay Presbyterian pastor in the Portland area serving as the part-time LGBTQ+ advocacy coordinator for The Oregon-Idaho Conference of the UMC. He can be reached at brett@umoi.org. Become a subscriber to the Greater NW Pride blog to get Greater NW Pride in your email box!