CampOUT 2017

The 2017 CampOUT proved to be one of the best ones yet!

The 2017 CampOUT proved to be one of the best ones yet!

Mia Galex, Staff Writer

Once a year, one of South Florida’s oldest LGBTQ center, Pridelines, organizes CampOUT: a youth weekend leadership retreat for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.  Pridelines is a non-profit organization that supports, educates, and empowers LGBTQ youth and the community through programs and services to promote dialogue and foster social change.

CampOUT took place the weekend of Feb. 17. Activities included cabin camping, nature hikes, archery, canoeing, campfires, and interactive workshops. The workshops shed light on topics that do not receive enough attention including mental health and safe sex. Mentors teaching the workshops were very open and honest with their attendees and discussed the importance of equal education of all different sexualities and gender identifications.

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This was my second year at campOUT and both years I’ve been so appreciative of Pridelines for putting it on. Even coming from a home and a school that is so accepting of me, going to campOUT is such a uniquely welcoming experience where I can discuss different parts of my identity as queer without reservation. The most important part to me, however, is hearing other youth from families and schools that aren’t accepting say that they finally feel embraced and loved.

— Senior Angie Viscito

The camping retreat allowed participants to have fun in a nurturing environment where everyone felt included and accepted. They helped each other heal during this time of separation in our country and served as a reminder that things would get better.

“CampOUT was a growing experience for a lot of campers there. I myself acquired new skills, a plethora of important knowledge for kids our age, and a newfound appreciation for the people in my community,” sophomore Anna de la O said

Overall, CampOUT 2017 proved to be an awesome weekend filled with great people, fun activities, and good food!

For students interested in attending the 2018 CampOUT, information is available on the Pridelines website. The organization begins planning the trip in November and the application process ranges between December and January.