Camp Ten Trees is a Seattle resource for LGBT youth and their families shared with us via Bridget Adams.Here’s her post from 11 March about them. Please visit their site and if you are in Seattle, please consider helping out.
Remember a few months ago, everyone was concerned about LGBTQ youth? We all wore purple, changed our Facebook statuses and patted ourselves on the back…and then went back to our lives with the next news cycle. Except, guess what Poppets? LGBTQ youth are still out there. They are still trying to figure it all out and it’s not necessarily any easier now than it was six months ago.
Luckily, not everyone moved on with the next news cycle. Enter Camp Ten Trees, headquartered out of our very own Seattle. And let me tell you – this is one freaking cool camp. What drew me to their website was an event they are having next month and I promise I will tell you about it (because trust me, you really want to hear about it) but first I have to say that every tab I clicked, every link I followed, took my breath away. For eleven years now, they have been committed to LGBTQ youth and are still the only residential camp in the Pacific Northwest serving the community. Not only do they have a week-long camp for LGBTQ teens, but they also offer another week for youth, ages 8-17, of any orientation, from LGBT and/or nontraditional families.
They offer traditional outdoor activities, arts and crafts, and sports. They also offer performance opportunities and community projects. However, underneath the fun surface, the camp’s values of inclusivity, safety and acceptance permeate all the adventures. These values are so important to Camp Ten Trees that, while the rates for camp are reasonable to begin with, they also have a sliding scale and camperships for families that need some assistance footing the bill.
All of which is wonderful and exciting, assuming you are, or have, a child or teenager. But what about the rest of us, who are – be honest – a little past our 18th birthdays? There’s fun for us, too. Next month, on April 23rd, at Herban Feast, 3200 1st Avenue S., Ste. 100, in Seattle, at 6:00 PM, the camp is holding its annual dinner and auction. For $55.00, you get an amazing dinner and access to the silent auction. Add another $20.00 and you get the open bar, instead of having to pay cash. If you really feel like splurging on a great night out for an even better cause, $125.00 will get you a VIP ticket: pre-event reception, open bar all evening, first crack at the silent auction items, goodie bag, raffle ticket, and dinner.
Don’t worry if you’re busy on the 23rd, though. You can still help. Not only are they still accepting donations for the auction, but they accept donations, both financial and in-kind, for the camp year-round. The neatest part of the website, for me anyway, is the page where they tell you exactly what your money pays for. This is where you learn how much it costs to send a camper to Ten Trees for a week or run background checks on staff. Monetary donations can be made online. Auction donations can be arranged through the website. Contact Camp Ten Trees for information regarding in-kind donations, as their needs change so often. And if you happen to speak with Airen, tell him Bridget says hi.
Poppets, being a teenager wasn’t easy when we were kids. It’s certainly no easier now. Videos and purple shirts and Facebook statuses are fine. They make us feel good. But these folks at Camp Ten Trees…they are making a real difference, every day. Seems to me, the least we can do is enjoy a night out to help them. For more information, go to http://www.camptentrees.org/ or call 206-288-9568. It’s easier than finding a purple shirt and has a longer lasting impact.
Until next month, Poppets, take care of you – and each other.
c. Bridget Adams, 2011