Transcend Talahi Camp
A collaboration of Camp Talahi Retreat & Nature Center and Transcend the Binary.
Transcend Talahi Camp
A collaborative program through Transcend the Binary and Camp Talahi Retreat & Nature Center.
One of a kind experience
FREE 2B ME!
FREE TO BE ME. That is the theme for the 2023 cohort of Transcend Talahi Camp. We’re celebrating our
ADDED A SECOND SESSION! New this year, we add a second session:
– middle school, Fri., 6/30 – Mon., 7/3
– high school, Mon., 7/3 – Fri., 7/7
We’ve teamed up once again with Camp Talahi Retreat & Nature Center to offer a truly unique experience for transgender and gender diverse youth, ages 13 to 17 on the campgrounds in Howell, Michigan.
The mission for our camp is to build on the confidence, resiliency, and empowerment of youth in our community through mentorship, skill-building, and creative activities. Our programming is crafted and led by trans/gender diverse folks, with support from mental health professionals, school counselors, social workers, wellness clinicians, teachers, artists, peer support specialists, and the excellent Camp Talahi staff.
Workshops include building on relationship skills, boundary setting, and confidence in interpersonal interactions. We focus on positive coping skills, stress management, and health & wellness.
We create opportunities for mindfulness and meditative self-reflection. We create a safe, affirming environment for youth to share their stories and make new friends in our community.
Transcend the Binary leads the programming for the annual trans/gender diverse teen camp, in collaboration with the Camp Talahi Retreat & Nature Center Nature (an accredited youth camp/nonprofit). The programming is developed by trans/gender diverse young adults, peer counselors, peer advocates, social workers, and wellness workers to create a one-of-a-kind experience.
Join our efforts!
We are currently accepting applications for Camp Counselors! We are looking for counselors who can commit to either, or both, camp sessions this summer. Counselors ages 18 to 20 are considered Counselors in Training and will be paired with an experienced counselor. Counselors will co-lead “family groups” of four to six campers. We are looking for individuals to develop leadership skills, enjoy working with youth, are effective listeners and bring an affirming, celebratory approach to empowering youth.
The sessions are:
Fri., 6/30 – Mon., 7/3 (middle school camp)
Mon., 7/3 – Fri., 7/7 (high school camp)
Counselors arrive early the day of camp for an onsite tour to prepare for the camp sessions, and are free to leave anytime the final day of camp session (staff will stay for parent pick up).
We will ensure that each “family group” is led by a member of the trans/gender diverse community. For LGBTQIA super-allies interested in supporting onsite programming, we still want to hear from you! While there may be openings to co-lead family groups, there will definitely be opportunities to help with programming, workshops and activities (see more below).
Unable to participate in the full camp? Are you a queer/lgbqia+ super ally? Do you have skills in fun activities or facilitating interactive / empowerment workshops for youth? You can apply to be a workshop/activity facilitator!
Counselors will be accepted on a rolling basis (as received). Workshops and scheduled are in the process of being solidified. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, first come, as received. Don’t wait. Apply now!
A full week of camp
- Redistribution rate ($550): Contribute towards the scholarship of another youth accessing camp.
- Full cost of camp ($500): Covers the complete cost of camp.
- Solidarity rate ($450): Promote access to camp at a reduced rate.
- If you wish to apply for an additional scholarship for your camper, please fill out the form, linked here.
- Please note that there are a limited number of scholarships. If you have questions about the camper scholarship process, you can contact Camp Talahi directly at (810) 844-1499 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support trans youth
Deepened confidence and support
Supportive experiences such as Trans/Gender Diverse camp can be life-changing for youth – to be in an affirming space, surrounded by adults/young adults in their community, and making connections with peers of similar lived experiences. Each year, we literally bare witness to youth growing in confidence, comfort, and self-esteem while leaving camp with new friends, and a deepened support system.
Supportive experiences such as Trans/Gender Diverse camp can be life-changing for youth.
Access to this camp experience is largely dependent on generous donations and sponsorship of youth. All of our camp counselors and trans/gender diverse folx supporting the camp experience, at this point in time, are volunteers. This means that 100% of the funds go towards the cost of the camp. The majority of our youth attend on scholarship, and we want to continue to be able to ensure that no youth is turned away for financial reasons. We need your support.
We need your support to continue our commitment of ensuring that no youth is turned away for financial resaons.
Learn more about how you can support youth by reaching out to email@example.com. We are always looking to grow our network of like-minded organizations that value the health and wellness of trans/gender diverse youth. Help us ensure access for all.
Help spread the word
The more trans/gender diverse youth that we reach, the greater we can instill protective factors for a highly vulnerable, marginalized community. Research shows that strong supports, familial support, and positive social experiences make an impact in terms of lowering rates of self-harm, self-injury, and suicidality. Protective factors such as building a community of peers can greatly make a difference in youths’ lives – where they return back to schools, general peer groups, sports, extracurriculars, and administration, that may or may not be supportive and inclusive. We seek to create a week where youth get a break from the mainstream headlines and celebrate, get creative, have fun, and just be kids. We believe that they deserve that, and it’s an honor to be a part of their journey and give them that in an affirming and supportive environment.
Help us create change in youths’ lives.
Transcend Talahi Camp Crew
Transcend the Binary (TTB)
Camp Talahi Retreat & Nature Center (CTRNC)
What to expect
Sample Camp Schedule
|8:30 am||Breakfast & morning check-in’s|
|9:00 am||Meditative art/journaling
Pair & Share (optional)
|10:00 am||Skill-building workshop
(e.g., Coping Skills, Resilience-building, Relationship Skills)
|1:00 pm||Recharge and downtime (personal time for quiet activity)|
|2:00 pm||Waterfront activities
(e.g., swimming, beach, canoeing)
|4:00 pm||Nature center|
|6:30 pm||Campfire: Collective storytelling (improv)|
|Fireside chat & support|
|9:30 pm||Evening wind-down|
Camp counselors and staff
All camp family groups will be led by counselors who are members of the transgender, nonbinary, gender non-conforming community (trans/gender diverse). Additionally, all camp counselors are provided training on how to provide emotional support to campers and provided resources. Camp staff includes allies, school social worker, community members, and individuals experienced with curating camp programming. All staff members are trained on supporting trans/nonbinary/gender diverse youth.
All youth and camp counselors are bunked together in the main cabin (ratio of 1 adult to every 5 campers). Camp counselors are evenly dispersed among the campers between two large dorm rooms. Campers are allowed to choose their own bunk from either of the dorm rooms. Each camper has a shelving and storage adjacent for their personal items.
Below is a general packing list:
- Long pants (enough to reach the shoes!)
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Bathing suit
- Towels (2)
- Twin sheets
- Sleeping bag
- Book or quiet activity
- Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste/brush, etc.)
- Insect repellents (protection against mosquitos and ticks)
- White shirt for tie-dye
Please note that CTNRC / TTB cannot be held responsible for lost or damaged property. Please do not bring expensive electronics, jewelry, or other valuable belongings.
Prohibited items include: Food, Weapons (knives, etc.)
Check-in and check-out
Camp begins at 4 pm EST on Sunday, January 3rd, 2022.
Check-out for camp is at 11 am EST.
Camp Talahi Retreat & Nature Center
Transcend has partnered with Camp Talahi Retreat & Nature Center (CTRNC) for several years, collaborating to offer empowering and supportive programming for the youth within our trans/gender diverse community. CTRNC is a 501c3 nonprofit organization formed by a consortium of Michigan United Church of Christ members and ministers – a liberal, progression denomination that supports the authentic expression of self and the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Their regular programming is affirming and accepting of people of all faith. Further, CTRNC is cognizant of the “church hurt” that exists within our communities and offers a genuinely supportive and accepting space.
None of the programming for Trans/Gender Diverse Camp is religious.
Our programming focuses on connectedness with one another, with nature, and with ourselves.
Secular, affirming programming
You can read more about Camp Talahi Retreat & Nature Center (CTRNC) above, and on their website.
Trans/Gender Diverse Camp is a secular and non-religious camp experience. While we are certainly affirming and accepting of each individual’s faith practices and religious affiliations, none of the programming for T/GD Camp is religious.
In some ways, one could consider our camp to have a spiritual element in a humanistic, connecting with ourselves and others sort of way. However, none of this ties directly to any form of religious practice or teaching.
- Connecting with nature
- Connecting with each other, humanistically
- Developing a personal sense of meaning in one’s life
Members of Transcend have histories of church hurt/exclusion in faith communities, so this is very important to us. We have found genuine affirmation and support from our co-collaborators at CTRNC. Benefits from this partnership have included the opportunity to heal from church hurt, working closely with people who themselves are active in their faith and belong to communities that completely accept and embrace us. Having histories of “religious tolerance” – it is easy to see and feel the difference of being accepted.
If you have any questions or concerns on the programming, we would be happy to answer them.
At Transcend Talahi Camp, we hold space for:
- spending time disconnected from technology
- encouraging time with nature and connecting with community
- the comfort and security that comes from accessing one’s phone
Therefore we have a hybrid policy where campers will have access to their phones during designated down-time.