April 4, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Brave Trails Summer Camp for Queer Youth

The campers at  Brave Trails are told, above all else, they get a “second family” while participating in this Los Angeles-based LGBTQ+ youth summer camp. 

Brave Trails blossomed out of the love that founders Jessica and Kayla Weissbuch’s share for summer camp and queer youth mentorship. 

“With the skills learned at camp, our campers will be primed to thrive in their schools, workplace and personal lives,” Jessica said. “In addition, our campers will have the knowledge and confidence to be more impactful leaders and implement innovative social change in their communities.”

The camp’s program focuses on four key elements: Leadership, Community Building, Self-Realization, and Service. They use workshops, adventure and artistic programming, service projects, peer connections and positive role models to “create a safe space where youth can thrive.” Jessica said that with the skills learned at Brave Trails, campers will be primed to thrive in their schools, workplace and personal lives. In addition, Jessica said that campers will have the knowledge and confidence to be more impactful leaders and implement innovative social change in their communities.

“It is important to have a queer-specific space for our youth because the campers are able to connect with one another in a very different way,” Jessica said. “They are able to talk about things they have in common and find a tribe that they fit into.  Even though much of Los Angeles is a liberal bubble, not all of it is.”

Most campers come to Brave Trails with a “shield of armor” on, but through the course of the program, they are able to “take that off,” Jessica said. 

“We give them the space to not have to look over their shoulder and defend themselves (which they often have to do at their schools and in their communities),” Jessica explained. 

This year, Brave Trails has partnered with Los Angeles-based Camp TAZO ambassador JD Knapp for more fun and mentorship.  Camp TAZO® ‘Passion’ was TAZO tea’s inaugural camp experience that brought 30 strangers from across the country to Marble Falls, TX to break out of their comfort zones, and send them to a sleep-away camp directed by vivacious drag queen Alyssa Edwards.

“Brave Trails attendees can expect a surprisingly heartfelt yet undeniably entertaining speech from me this June,” JD said in an interview with the Pride LA. “My life story is truly a work of fiction and I cannot wait to start using my past pain to help encourage and inspire the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders. 

“For some people with especially difficult childhoods, it doesn’t just get better once you get to live your life for yourself: it starts.”

Brave Trails takes place from June –  August with several one or two week long programs available. The campsite is in the Angeles National Forest. For more information, visit the website at bravetrails.org.

Related Posts

WeHo’s High COVID-19 Rate

April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

City of West Hollywood has highest rate of COVID-19 in LA Countywide, LGBTQ population at risk By Sam Catanzaro As...

Elderly LGBT people in California at high risk for COVID-19 illness

April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

By Staff Writer 162,000 LGB and 9,000 transgender elderly people in California at high risk for COVID-19 illness, according to...

Coronavirus Blamed on LGBTQ Community?

March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture.* Aaron Schock out of the closet?* Coronavirus Blamed...

West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

57-year-old mayor in self-quarantine By James Mills West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico has tested positive for the coronavirus. West Hollywood...

Coronavirus’ Added Risk for LGBTQ+ Communities

March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

More than 100 LGBTQ+ organizations have signed an open letter outlining the added risk the novel coronavirus poses on the...

Long Beach Pride Postponed

March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

Event to be rescheduled for later in the year By James Mills Amid coronavirus concerns, both LA Pride and Long...

Find Out What Country Has Banned Conversion Therapy: E.P.I.C Pride show – March 16, 2020

March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture.* Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn co-starring again?* Country...

LA Pride Postponed due to Coronavirus

March 13, 2020

March 13, 2020

Organizers assessing situation By James Mills Amid coronavirus concerns, LA Pride officials announced Thursday, March 12 that it was postponing...

Edify TV: LGBT Participation in the Democratic Primary

March 13, 2020

March 13, 2020

Did you know that nearly 10 percent of Super Tuesday voters identified as LGBT? Learn more in this video made...

E.P.I.C Pride show – March 12, 2020: Trial of Gabriel Fernandez

March 12, 2020

March 12, 2020

E.P.I.C Pride show – March 12, 2020 – Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture.*...

Charlotte Awberry’s rendition of “Shallow” goes viral: E.P.I.C Pride show – March 5, 2020

March 6, 2020

March 6, 2020

Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture.* Charlotte Awberry’s rendition of “Shallow” goes viral.* Charlotte...

Another State Bans LGBTQ Youth Conversion Therapy

March 6, 2020

March 6, 2020

By Staff Writer This week, another state has banned LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. On Monday Governor Ralph Northam signed...

MIKA, Lil Nas X and More at GLAAD Awards

March 6, 2020

March 6, 2020

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that recording artist and...

Bollywoods first gay romantic comedy banned, RuPaul’s drag race moving to Showtime? The Pride L.A.: E.P.I.C Pride show – March 2, 2020

March 3, 2020

March 3, 2020

Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture.* RuPaul’s drag race moving to Showtime?* Bollywood’s first...

Los Angeles LGBT Center Sets $51K Fundraising Goal For Big 5K Run

March 3, 2020

March 3, 2020

Celebrating its 51st year of helping LGBT people thrive, the Los Angeles LGBT Center has set a goal to raise...