kin·dom camp is an opportunity for LBGTQIA+ youth ages 12-17 to feel safe and free to show up as their full selves. Campers will have the chance to experience all the fun that camp has to offer in a week filled with affirmation, community, and celebration. This camp is affirming – full stop. It affirms all genders, sexualities, identities, religious backgrounds, and varieties of belief. The only thing we expect is a commitment to welcoming and celebrating everyone where they are, as they are.
|12 - 17
|Tier 1 - Subsidized
|Tier 2 - Partially Subsidized
|Tier 3 - Actual Cost
|June 30 - July 3
"Say it Proud" means speaking up for ourselves and our community and stepping proudly into who we are. In the last year, we've witnessed a drastic increase in bills that threaten to take space away from the LGBTQIA+ community and particularly queer youth. We want our campers to be able to say for themselves and their community that they are here, they are queer, they are loved, and they are not alone.
Camp Staff:MEET OUR CAMP DIRECTOR: Rev. Sammie Smith
We're thrilled to welcome Rev. Sammie Smith as our camp director working alongside Pyoca and kin·dom staff! Sammie serves as a hospital chaplain at Deaconess Hospital. She is a camper and staff alumna of Pyoca, as well as a member of Pyoca's board of directors, and is also an alumna of PCUSA’s Young Adult Volunteer Program (Asheville '16-'17). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Indiana State University and a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School. She is an avid rock climber, home cook, and lives in Evansville, Indiana with her wife, Hazel, and beloved cats Kiwi and Sundae. KIN·DOM CAMP STAFF: We're Hiring!
We're looking for fully-affirming, welcoming, and loving adults to help us make kin•dom camp a success this summer! This will be a wonderful opportunity to connect with, mentor, and learn from our youth, but most importantly, we ask that you are ready to celebrate everyone where they are, as they are. Click here for all available camp positions and staff expectations.
Support kin•dom camp:BECOME A KIN•DOM SPONSOR:
kin•dom camp is special. It provides a safe space for youth to thrive and come into the fullest expression of themselves. In order to make this program the very best it can be, it requires a bit of extra financial support to cover specialized programming, bringing in additional specialized staffing (nurses, licensed clinical therapists, etc.), and start-up costs. In order to off-set these costs and keep camper fees down, we're inviting our community to become kin•dom camp sponsors! Our sponsorship goal for 2024 is $12,000. Join us in making this program sustainable for years to come. SUPPORT CAMPER SCHOLARSHIPS:
We strive to make camp accessible for all youth and have been able to provide scholarships to all who request them due to generous support from donors. Each year Pyoca supports 1 in 5 campers through scholarships, coming to over $15,000 in camp scholarships in 2023! We want to ensure kin•dom camp and all of our programs are accessible to any camper who wants to join, so please consider donating to our Scholarship Fund.
Donate to our Scholarship Fund or become a sponsor at the link above.
Frequently Asked Questions:WHAT IS KIN·DOM COMMUNITY?
kin•dom is a queer-led organization creating space for queer community, belonging, and celebration. Inspired by the concept first named by theologian Ada María Isasi-Díaz, “kin•dom” envisions the full inclusion and interdependent relationships of all people. kin·dom community’s vision is to be an example of what is possible when love and inclusion are the norm. MY CAMPER IS EXCITED ABOUT THE LGBTQIA+ ASPECT OF CAMP, BUT WE HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROGRAMMING...
While Pyoca programming is typically faith-based, we are fully committed to the work of kin•dom camp and to creating a safe environment for our campers. As a community, we recognize the pain and hurt that the church has caused LGBTQIA+ people. As part of our desire to dismantle prejudices in faith spaces and see this harm healed, campers have the opportunity to sign up for workshops and activities that may relate to faith and spirituality. Those conversations remain opt-in only; our camp-wide curriculum centers around the queer experience. Camp curriculums are rooted in shared beliefs, and we know that our common ground is a desire to be in queer-affirming community. There is no expectation of faith – the only thing we expect is a commitment to welcoming and celebrating everyone where they are, as they are. WHAT DOES "KIN•DOM" MEAN? The word “kin•dom” offers a new way of imagining the full inclusion and belonging of all people. It is a word that offers an alternative to "kingdom" and allows a more expansive view of how we are all connected. It moves beyond dynamics of power and oppression, and invites us all to see the ways we are interconnected and made better together. The word was originally brought forth by theologian Ada María Isasi-Díaz, who used the word to speak about the liberation that is intended for all people. This camp is a direct part of kin·dom community, and there is no greater vision we can imagine for LBGTQIA+ youth than for them to know that they belong, that they are loved, and that they are free and safe to be their whole selves. HOW WILL KIN•DOM CAMP BE DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER SUMMER CAMP?
Now more than ever, LGBTQIA+ youth are in need of unconditional love and acceptance. kin•dom camp will be a week for LGBTQIA+ youth to experience belonging and affirmation. The week will include plenty of "traditional" camp activities and recreation, plus some specialized programming to incorporate activities and conversations around queer history, culture, and experiences.