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How Summer Camp Changed Me

Camp has been a place of growth for me since I first stepped foot on campgrounds at age 8. As legend has it, my mother carefully rolled up each day’s outfit—shorts, shirt, socks, and underwear and fastened them with a rubber band. This would make my 8 year old self able to identify clean clothing each day…or so my mom thought. However, as I navigated horseback riding, arts & crafts, swimming, and memory making, I never changed out of the same bathing suit and shorts for the ENTIRE week. When my parents came to pick me up, they saw past this because after 7 days and nights, I was dirty on the outside but absolutely shining on the inside. Camp was a place for me to embrace my adventure and make new friends who had no idea I was shy at school. I could be a comedian and risk taker with no preconceived notions. I found my oasis. So my parents saw past my grimy hair and dingy week old outfit and sent me back the next year with stern instructions to take showers and change my clothing. I have not missed a summer at camp since. It has given me the ability to try on new personality traits, experiment with sports, hone my artistic side, learn leadership, and make friends who mean the world to me.

My dream has always been to operate a summer camp and change the world. When I met Chris Hudson, I knew I found my kindred spirit to embark on this journey. We married our passions, ideas, and experiences to create Camp Highlight. I can say with certainty, that I would not have had the courage or drive to start such a big task had I not tested my skills as a camper, counselor-in-training, and counselor over the many years.

As Camp Highlight has grown so has the need for more programming. There is now something for everyone. Chris and I have taken time to listen to our campers about what makes our program great and how to implement change to develop a stronger program. We have heard from parents that they want to experience the magic of camp alongside their children and we created Highlight Family Camp. We have expanded our programs to include Leadership Academy, a program for 16-18 year olds who are getting ready to embark on adulthood and the challenges that ensue. If you love community building, adventurous programming, and character developing challenges, find that program that best fits your family.

Camp Highlight is for children (8-15 years old) with LGBTQ parents/caregivers. The program encompasses character building throughout each recreational activity with our unique Virtues Project. This runs August 12-19, 2018. Register here.

Leadership Academy is for young adults (16-18) who are interested in an experience that will prepare them for stepping in the role of adult. The curriculum challenges them to explore who they are, who they want to be and how to get there. There is opportunity to earn real life skills and work experiences that are valuable for college and employment applications. It runs August 12-19, 2018. Register here.

Highlight Family Camp affords LGBTQ families with children (0-18) the experience of camp. There is recreation and bonding suited for all ages while meeting and bonding with other families over the weekend. Families experience the enchantment of camp while growing as individuals and creating greater family bonds. This runs April 13-15, 2018. Register here.

I promise that you join a Highlight camp experience, you will find yourself shining brighter year round.

T: (646) 535-CAMP

PO Box 5173 Astoria, NY 11105

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