Check out the recent press Tawonga has received on this pilot program – and don’t miss the full-length feature in the New York Times from August 23, 2019! Our community has been very receptive to this initiative, and we are grateful for the encouragement and support to be able to center the margins for our camper community.
At Camp Tawonga, Near Yosemite, an All-Gender Cabin Offers Respite
August 23, 2019
In an All-Gender Cabin, Summer Campers ‘Don’t Have to Hide’
August 22, 2019
Why are you offering all-gender cabin options?
Providing more choices for housing allows us to accommodate more campers’ gender identities and housing preferences. This is aligned with Tawonga’s mission of allowing each camper to be their authentic selves. Our goal is to ensure that every child who attends Camp is welcomed, included and celebrated.
Are you offering an all-gender cabin in any summer camp sessions and to which ages?
In 2022 we are pleased to offer two all-gender cabins during Session 4. One is for rising 6th and 7th graders and one is for rising 9th and 10th graders. If there is sufficient interest in other sessions or amongst other age groups, we will consider adding additional All-Gender Cabins as well. ALL of our counselors are trained on how to create a safe and welcoming space for campers of all genders in EVERY cabin.
If my child is attending a session and is in the eligible grade spread for an all-gender cabin, is there a chance that they could be housed in an all-gender cabin even if they don’t want to be?
No. This is an opt-in program.
How will you handle privacy and changing clothes in all-gender cabins?
Campers can change clothes in the bathroom, in their sleeping bags, behind a curtain which will be installed in the cabins like a fitting room at a clothing store, or in open area of the bunk, depending on how much privacy they desire. This is a personal choice everyone gets to make for themselves.
Who should live in an all-gender cabin?
These cabins are open to anyone in the eligible grade spreads who opt in during registration. It is a great option for children with non-binary gender identity, children who prefer to bunk with children of other genders, children who want to bunk with a friend who is non-binary, and campers who feel this is the best fit for any reason.
How will you determine which cabin my child lives in?
Parents whose children are in the eligible grade spreads can register for their child to live in an all-gender cabin.
What is the bathroom situation?
The all-gender cabins will have access to all-gender bathrooms and showers, as well as the boys’ and girls’ bathroom and shower facilities.
Who will be the counselors?
We will assign loving Tawonga counselors to the all-gender cabins and provide additional training and resources to them.
Will the all-gender cabins take away from the boys and girls cabins’ bunk experience?
Not at all! Creating community within each cabin remains the cornerstone of the Tawonga experience. We know there is a lot of power in girls creating a diverse sisterhood and boys creating a diverse brotherhood within their cabins, and that isn’t going away. We will continue to train counselors that there are many ways to express gender, and all gender expressions will be accepted and celebrated in all cabins.
Will there still be diversity of gender expression within the boys and girls cabins?
Yes. Tawonga believes there is not one right way to be a girl or be a boy and encourages all campers to just be themselves regardless of what cabin they live in. Trans campers are welcome in all cabins.
Where can I find more information on gender diversity?
Here is a link to articles, books, and resources.