Wednesday, October 7, 2015

T*Camp expands to NorCal and New England in 5th year

T*Camp launched in 2012 as an intercampus retreat in Southern California.
After four years as the only intercampus retreat in the nation for trans/genderqueer and gender-questioning college students, three T*Camps will be offered in 2016.

SoCal T*Camp, set for January 8-10, 2016, is now accepting applications online from California college students. In addition, students from 5 Northern California campuses may apply in January 2016 to attend the new NorCal T-Camp, to be piloted later this academic year. New England T*Camp will open applications this Spring for college students in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. NE T*Camp is scheduled for October 2016.

Campus LGBT center staff at San Jose State University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, and UC Santa Cruz are collaborating to pilot the inaugural NorCal T-Camp. Not only will NorCal T*Camp be more geographically accessible to students in the region, offering two California retreats will also expand the number of students benefitting from the experience.

“Each of the past few years, over 100 California students have applied to attend T*Camp,” says Nancy Jean Tubbs of UC Riverside’s LGBT Resource Center. “Due to space limitations, only about half of interested students could join us on the mountain.”

New England campus staff, including former T*Camp facilitators, began working on their own regional T*Camp retreat earlier this year.

“NE T*Camp will create a safe and affirming space in which students can together, and individually, explore their gender and gender identity without fear,” says Keith Waak of University of Massachusetts, Boston. “We want to utilize this program to educate and encourage dialogue and growth within, and around, trans* community members and their allies.”

T*Camp has its origins in a 2011 UC Irvine retreat for trans/genderqueer and gender-questioning students. In 2012, the intercampus retreat was launched as a way to build community for often isolated college students. Today, SoCal T*Camp is co-facilitated by campus LGBT center staff, returning student T*Campers, and trans/genderqueer community mentors.

NE T*Camp organizers point to the scholarship of Sylvia Hurtado and Deborah Carter, who wrote that involvement, engagement, and affiliation are central to students' development and progress in college. And Peregrine Silverschanz theorized that students' educational success is strongly influenced by the "context of the attitude toward their education...including their sense of school and social 'inclusion' and 'exclusion.'"

“We want to create a social network and sense of belonging among students to emphasize support, care, and personal development long after the retreat has ended,” says Van Bailey, director of Harvard’s Office of BGLTQ Student Life.

The T*Camp program model is available on the LGBTQArchitect website by entering “T-Camp” into the search bar.

For more information, please email: - SoCal T*Camp - NorCal T-Camp - New England T*Camp