It’s Transgender Awareness Week. This is a time to recognize, honor, and celebrate transgender and gender non-conforming people in our community. At OSRUI, we believe in celebrating every camper for who they are. We strive to be an open, supportive, and inclusive environment for everyone at camp!
In honor of Transgender Awareness Week we wanted to highlight two families’ experiences
“When I told the people in my cabin that I was trans, they didn’t think anything of it. I got to shower somewhere else, not the locker rooms, which made me feel a lot more comfortable. Everyone was very nice. I don’t make kid friends easily, so it was nice to be with other kids my age. Nothing happened that I couldn’t do because I was trans. I could do everything there if I wanted”
-Current OSRUI Camper
“In December 2017 my daughter came out as Transgender. This was also the first year she wanted to go to overnight camp. I had signed her up for kallah aleph at OSRUI just a couple of months prior to her announcement (trying to take advantage of the early bird special and increasing the chances that she wouldn’t change her mind or back out). I was worried about how her communities would react to her coming out and began advocating on her behalf. One of the first people to reach out to our family was OSRUI. I had emailed Debbie, who called me to reassure me that Penny would have a safe place at camp. Although she didn’t have all the answers (as Penny was one of the first trans kids to attend OSRUI), she eased my fears and assured me that Penny was welcome in the OSRUI community. The camp worked with Penny, giving her autonomy over her story, her coming out and making sure that she felt safe, included and “normal”.
Although I knew that the staff was open minded and inclusive, the worry remained; would the kids be accepting? What I didn’t expect was just how supportive the community would be. Several families reached out to meet with our family before camp even started. This gave Penny the opportunity to meet other campers prior to camp so she would have advocates and friends even before getting on the bus to Oconomowoc. And it helped a lot! She had the BEST time and will be going back for her third summer in 2021.
The community at OSRUI is open, inviting, supportive, caring and loving. We are so lucky to be part of the OSRUI family.”
-Current OSRUI Parent