Returning summer 2023!
We are so excited to be offering campers a Gender Inclusive Cabin. This is to ensure that ALL campers feel included and welcome at Camp Geddie. We encourage guardians to have the discussion with their camper around which cabin best fits their needs and comfort level. You can choose to opt into up to 2 cabin options.
Why do we have a gender inclusive cabin?
Camp Geddie believes every person has the right to identify, express themselves and live in accordance with their authentic identity. Traditionally our cabin system has been structured according to an assumed binary division between male and female or boy and girl campers. Organizing our cabins solely according to a male/female division perpetuates heteronormative and cisnormative ideas of gender and sexuality that do not make space for equally valid forms of non-binary gender expression. For campers and staff who identify as non-binary, being asked to choose between two binary gendered spaces is harmful and exclusive. Moving forward, Camp Geddie is committed to creating a space in which people of all gender identities and sexualities feel welcome, safe and celebrated. The introduction of our gender inclusive cabin option this summer is an important step toward the creation of such a space.
How do I ensure my camper is placed in the cabin best suited for them?
This year, you will have the opportunity to indicate on the registration form (online or paper form) whether or not your child would like to be placed in the gender inclusive cabin. Online there will 2 places to select your cabin options. On the first opportunity to select your cabin choice please select your first choice. Within the registration form questions online, the second opportunity to select your cabin, please note first and second choice as you can select up to two of the following three choices: Gender inclusive cabin, Female spectrum cabin or Male spectrum cabin. Male and Female spectrum cabins will be hosted by staff who identify with male and female expressions of gender identity and campers who also identify or feel comfortable in these gendered spaces. If you select the Gender Inclusive Cabin, please also select a second option. If we do not have enough campers to operate a Gender Inclusive Cabin we will use your campers second option.
Who can be in our gender inclusive cabin? Is this cabin only for non-binary or transgender campers?
This cabin is open to campers of all gender identities! We encourage campers who would like to be in a cabin with their siblings or friends who use different pronouns to opt into the gender inclusive cabin. We also want to emphasize that if your camper identifies as non-binary, transgender, gender fluid or uses they/them pronouns, they are also free to choose which cabin is best suited for them. If a non-binary camper would prefer to be in a female or male spectrum cabin we fully support this decision and will always defer to their preference.
Who will be in charge of the gender inclusive cabin? What will their gender be?
Our policy of camper gender affirmation and inclusion also extends to our staff members. Counsellors and Leaders in Training (LIT) will be asked what cabins they feel comfortable overseeing and will be assigned accordingly. All of our staff have been trained in creating gender inclusive spaces and will be held accountable to a rigorous code of conduct and standard of professionalism. We are confident that any staff member or LIT charged with overseeing our gender inclusive cabin will uphold our guidelines and policies regarding workplace conduct.
Where will campers get changed?
There will be an area in the cabin with a privacy curtain for changing. This ensures that campers in these cabins have access to privacy while getting dressed throughout the day.
What about bathrooms?
Camp Geddie currently has only male and female washrooms at our washhouse, with a Gender Inclusive washroom in our main lodge. We fully support campers in using which ever section of the washhouse feels right for them. Camp Geddie has plans to build a new washhouse in the near future that will provide a gender inclusive section. If you would like to donate to this project to help it become a reality please contact the Executive Director, Whitney Canning, email@example.com
If you have any further questions about our Gender Inclusive Cabin or Gender Inclusion policy, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-926-2632
*If you are unsure or curious about some of the terminology used in the statements above, here are some helpful definitions:
Gender Identity: Every person has a gender identity. This identity is constituted by the way we choose to dress, the pronouns we use and the way we understand ourselves as individuals. Gender identity is different from sexuality which refers to a person’s sexual orientation. Gender identity is also different from a person’s sexual identity which is characterized by physical attributes of a person’s body, including their genitalia, reproductive organs and hormones.
Non-binary: Adjective. The term non-binary refers to a gender identity that does not directly reflect or represent the traits and qualities of male/female or traditionally masculine/feminine gender identities. People who identify as non-binary may feel more comfortable presenting as a blend of both male and female gender identities, they may identify with neither masculine nor feminine gender expressions or they may gravitate more towards one while still not feeling that they are a boy or a girl. Non-binary people often use they/them pronouns, although some also identify with she/they, he/they, etc. Non-binary gender identities are equally valid forms of gender expression as binary expressions of boy and girl. At camp we recognize that there is no one way to be non-binary and respect and welcome all forms of gender expression that may be considered non-binary.
Transgender: Adjective. Someone whose gender identity differs from the one that was assigned at birth. Many transgender people identify as either male or female, while others may see transgender an umbrella term and identify as gender non-conforming or queer. How transgender people choose to express their gender is individualistic, as is their transition. For some people transitioning includes changing the way they dress, style, and present themselves. Others may not feel compelled to modify these aspects of their identity but are equally valid in their transgender identity. At camp we are committed to supporting and celebrating transgender campers and staff in every moment of their transition.
Female Spectrum/Male Spectrum: Gender is often understood according to a binary division between male and female or boy and girl. This understanding of gender suggests that a person chooses one of two genders and shapes their identity both internally and externally to match. However, gender is better understood as a broad spectrum of unique identities within which an individual may feel drawn to one, multiple or no specific identities. By identifying some of our cabins as male and female spectrum cabins we recognize that some campers and staff, who may or may not use binary pronouns or identify as a binary gender, may still feel more comfortable in a cabin structured according to more overtly masculine or feminine gender expressions. Describing gender expression in terms of a spectrum allows for a space in which both cisgender and non-binary people can feel welcome and affirmed.
Cisgender: Adjective. A person whose gender identity matches the gender they were assigned at birth.
Heteronormative: This term describes ideas, practices and policies that promote and reinforce the generalized assumption that most people identify with a binary gender identity and are sexually or romantically attracted to people on the other side of that binary.
This page has been put together with the help and information of Sherbrooke Lake Camp.