Campers and staff of all gender-identities are welcome at Camp Echo. In recent years, Camp Echo has successfully made several programming shifts based on age and development. This has had positive results for campers. We also create space for all campers to be placed in cabins, and use bathhouses, that they are most comfortable using based on their gender identity.
As we work to provide as inclusive of a camp experience as possible, we are continuing to offer our on-site campers the opportunity to stay in an all-gender cabin while guaranteeing a boy-identifying or girl-identifying cabin for anyone that prefers this. We are continuing to explore how to provide gender inclusive spaces for our teen and trip programs.
This opportunity is not just for gender-nonconforming campers. Anyone can opt into the all-gender cabin! In 2021, we were excited to offer our first all-gender cabin on Main Camp.
In all cabins, privacy is an expectation. Cabins are all equipped with a private changing space, such as a changing tent on the porch, and campers will be taught to change privately.
Benefits of gender inclusive spaces at camp
There are not barriers to inclusion in the space or need to conform to societal expectations.
Those who live outside of the traditional gender binary are included holistically.
People who are included in the space have a chance at learning from peers they would not usually be housed with.
Activities are more likely to be chosen based on likes than gender stereotypes.
Creates a broader understanding and empathy with people of all genders.
On the camper application, we will ask families the following:
What is your camper’s cabin preference?
- No preference
We cannot guarantee all-gender cabins every session for every grade. We will offer all-gender cabins if there is enough interest to support this option to create a complete cabin group in a given session.
If there are not enough campers of a similar age interested in the all-gender cabin in a camper’s preferred session, the Echo staff will contact you to try and coordinate and align session enrollment.
All-Gender Cabin Protocols
All-gender cabins will always have multiple gender-identities represented on the team and are specifically chosen to support campers of all gender identities. All staff will sleep in the counselor cubby.
The groups will address cabin expectations/norms to ensure everyone feels safe.
The expectation for all cabins, regardless of gender, is increased privacy by using changing stations on the back porch.
All-gender cabins will be located close to KYBO North, so campers and staff can use the KYBO pod of their choice. All staff can stand in the entryway door of any KYBO pod for increased supervision.
COUNSELORS In Camp Echo Cabins
There are at least two counselors in every Traditional Camp cabin. In boy-identifying and girl-identifying cabins, there is always at least one counselor of the same gender-identity as the campers. Second (and sometimes third) counselors are most often also of that same gender-identity, though it can also be valuable for to have a counselor of a different gender-identity. All-gender cabins will often have multiple gender-identities represented on the team.
Counselors are selected and trained specifically to be able to support our campers and keep them safe in all settings, regardless of gender.