Camp Pringle in Shawnigan Lake is hosting a week-long gender inclusive summer camp in July. (Camp Pringle/Facebook)

Camp Pringle in Shawnigan Lake offers gender inclusive camp week

Cabins sorted by age, not gender, at gender inclusive summer camp

A summer camp in Shawnigan Lake seeks to make the camp experience more comfortable for everyone by offering a gender inclusive camp week this summer.

Camp Pringle, run by the United Church of Canada on the shores of Shawnigan Lake, decided to turn the week of July 21 to 26 this summer into a gender-inclusive camp week.

Katherine Brittain, a minister at the United Church of Canada and with the camp, said she is excited about being able to host a week where children who are transgender or have a different gender identity or expression can feel welcome.

Brittain said the camp had received inquiries from parents of kids who are not cisgender about whether or not their children would feel comfortable at camp.

READ MORE: UVic consulting on campus-wide gender inclusive washrooms

“We thought it would be amazing if we had a whole week of a gender inclusive camp,” Brittain said. “Nobody has to worry about being different or singled out, you could just come and be a kid again.”

This is the first time Camp Pringle has hosted a gender inclusive camp. Cabins will be grouped by age and there will be a male-identified and female-identified counsellor in each cabin.

There will be privacy in change rooms and bathrooms for the campers, Brittain said.

Camp staff will also be trained in things like gender neutral language use and will be told to ask questions if there is anything they think they can’t handle.

Brittain will also be at the gender inclusive camp week as a camp parent as will her daughter.

“We’re learning as well,” Brittain said. “Safety, security, feeling safe and being safe are our highest priorities.”

READ MORE: Greater Victoria schools ensure gender inclusive options on all SD61 forms

Brittain said she hopes the camp helps normalize different gender identities and also helps children feel welcome and included. She said she wants children to feel part of the same, big group for the week so they can relax and just enjoy being a kid.

Camp Pringle has also offered to allow parents to sign up for a different camp week for free if they are already registered for this one and do not feel comfortable with their child at the gender inclusive camp.

The camp offers activities such as archery, high ropes, canoeing and arts and craft.

“We just want to be the place where people who don’t feel welcome in a lot of different places and a lot of different churches and faith organizations are welcome here,” Brittain said.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read