Our 2024 sessions will take place:

  • Tuesday, May 7 from 1:00-3:30pm ET
  • Wednesday, May 15 from 12:00-2:30pm ET
  • Thursday, May 16 from 4:00-5:30pm ET – refresher session for returning facilitators only.

Summer camp can be one of the most formative experiences for Jewish youth and emerging leaders. When they are affirmed and supported at camp, youth are able to flourish, build a strong sense of self, and form lifelong connections. However, far too many LGBTQ youth report that camp is one of the places in Jewish life where they encounter obstacles and barriers to full participation. We know that our camps will be at their best when all campers and staff are able to bring their full selves to the camp experience. 

At Keshet, we believe all of us share the responsibility to ensure LGBTQ+ campers and kids from LGBTQ+ families have the same opportunities to have fun, build community, develop leadership skills, and make great memories that last a lifetime.

Here’s how—

Book a staff training!

We know that as camp leaders, you want your campers and staff to have the best summer possible, but how do you figure out what steps to take to make your camp a place of true LGBTQ+ belonging? Keshet offers comprehensive trainings tailored to you and your team.

Reach out now to schedule a training, including:

  • An all-staff training during your Staff Week. This session will provide all seasonal staff the basic language to understand LGBTQ+ identities, respond supportively to camper needs, and help build a positive and supportive camp environment.
  • A leadership training for year-round staff. This session is designed for leadership teams and year-round staff to learn best practices and policies for building affirming camp environments, prepare to address potential barriers, and build skills for leadership and communication to ensure a culture of LGBTQ+ belonging.
  • A session with other stakeholders, such as boards, parent communities, or international staff to address their unique needs or questions about LGBTQ+ belonging at camp.

Sign up for Camping OUT

Not able to bring us in to train your staff in person? Our popular Camping OUT program is a set of tools that provides introductory LGBTQ+ training for your staff. This program equips key members of your team with skills and materials to train your entire staff. Camping OUT includes:

  • An online Facilitator’s Workshop for 2-6 staff facilitators
  • 10 short videos on LGBTQ+-affirming practices for camps
  • A curriculum weaving these videos into a 2-session staff orientation, to be delivered by your staff

We recommend that for this program, you appoint staff in roles such as unit heads, specialists, members of the camp’s leadership team, or social workers to train with us. At the end of this training, these individuals will have the skills to facilitate two sessions on LGBTQ+-affirming practices for the rest of your staff. To make this program as accessible as possible, we’re offering a subsidized rate of $360 per camp. Returning camps can access this program at a rate of $180 per camp.

 The Camping OUT curriculum covers:

  • The basics of LGBTQ+ identity
  • Jewish values for building LGBTQ+-affirming communities at camp
  • How assumptions about gender and orientation may negatively impact LGBTQ+ campers and staff
  • Confidence using LGBTQ+-affirming language
  • Tools for interrupting anti-LGBTQ+ bullying
  • Tools for proactively building LGBTQ+-affirming culture

These sessions book up quickly, so sign up now!

What’s the difference between staff trainings and Camping OUT?

Our staff trainings are delivered in-person or over Zoom by Keshet staff and they last around 90 minutes. They provide a primer on topics related to the LGBTQ+ experience at camp and provide a foundation for future learning. We can adapt these trainings to the needs of your staff and campers.

Camping OUT is designed to support a small group of facilitators from your staff to provide high-quality, focused LGBTQ+-affirming introductory trainings for their own entire staff, as opposed to learning directly from Keshet staff.

When does Camping OUT take place and how can I register?

Camping OUT 2024 takes place in May. Participants attend one of two available session dates. We’re also offering a special Refresher Session for returning facilitators. Registration will be on a first-come first-served basis. If you’re interested, we encourage you to book as soon as possible!

Whether you’re seeking a staff training directly from Keshet or interested in Camping OUT, we have lots of resources to help you review and update your camp policies as they pertain to the LGBTQ+ experience. Be sure also to check out our resource library for ways you can start making your camp a community of belonging!

As camp staff prepare for the upcoming season, Keshet is here to help staff create camps of belonging and celebration for your LGBTQ+ campers, families, and staff!