General Questions about Camp
If you are applying for a leadership position, try again next year! On the other hand, if you are a camper, contact us about applying for the waitlist.
Yes! While CampOUT! prioritizes and caters to the needs of queer, trans, and Two-Spirit youth, we value the solidarity of our allies. Our ally campers and leaders help us create strong communities that work towards equity and social change. We value all expressions of gender and sexuality and work to provide programs for youth across all spectrums of identity. "Straight" and "allied" campers tell us that they valued their time at camp, learned a lot, had lots of fun, and discovered how to be better allies and agents of change in their home communities.
We follow all BC Camping Association accreditation guidelines to ensure rigorous safety measures for all at CampOUT! For example – campers are assigned to cabins by age groups and Cabin Leaders for each cabin are at least two years older than their oldest campers. All campers over the age of majority (19-21) are in a cabin with the oldest cabin leaders (typically 23-25). Each cabin is supervised by two Cabin Leaders who go through a rigorous 4 day leadership training process with us.
In addition to adhering to BCCA guidelines, each cabin is supervised by two Community Mentors (who are typically over 26 years of age and do not reside in the cabins with the leaders and youth). All leaders and volunteers are screened and undergo a Criminal Record Check to help ensure the safety of campers and other participants. The staff of the host camp are also screened and trained in respectful, accommodating communication with 2SLGBTQIA+ folks.
CampOUT! hires a Care Team (a nurse, doctor, first aid attendant, and child & youth mental health worker) to provide support to campers. Leaders and volunteers are trained to refer all situations beyond their expertise to the Care Team, with backup from UBC staff.
Camp Fircom is a magical site on Gambier Island with 120 acres of West coast forest and oceanfront beauty. There are newly refurbished yet rustic cabins and brand new bathrooms, showers, and bathtubs. The food is great, and there are canoes, kayaks, rowboats, swimming beaches, a basketball court, volley ball nets, an outdoor campfire ring, archery, a costume closet, arts and crafts room, gardens, a good sound system, and more! To see pictures, check out their website!
Cabins are organized by AGE! There are 6 cabins, one for each age group. While age does not determine a camper's maturity or needs, it is a helpful way to organize cabins to be gender inclusive! "Gender inclusive" is a term that we use to be inclusive of all experiences of gender. Most youth events are organized by differentiating between "boys" and "girls", but as so many of our camper and leader experiences do not fit neatly into these two categories, we are organized by age groups rather than gender experience. Our bathrooms and cabins are gender inclusive. As privacy needs do not depend on your gender, all showers and toilet stalls are private/single stall and campers can set up change rooms in their cabins for additional privacy. Gender inclusivity offers an opportunity for youth to engage with one another person to person. At CampOUT!, we offer an opportunity to develop mature, communicative, and respectful relationships with one another across all genders.
CampOUT! takes place at Camp Fircom on Gambier Island. Overlooking the ocean, Camp Fircom is situated on the south-east corner of beautiful Gambier Island in Howe Sound and is accessible by public transit from downtown Vancouver and then water taxi (that we provide) from Horseshoe Bay Public Dock.
CampOUT campers meet on June 30th, between 9:30 and 10:30 AM at the Horseshoe Bay Public Dock which is located at the foot of Nelson Avenue beside The Boathouse Restaurant. Water taxis depart at 11:00 AM! Come prepared with your waivers, camper fee, and medications to give to us when you check-in. The dock is located at 6695 Nelson Ave, West Vancouver, BC. To view a map of the location click here.
Water Taxis will depart at the scheduled time! The boat ride to Camp Fircom is a beautiful ocean experience and a great way to feel “away from it all” in just a few short minutes, but it won’t be able to wait for latecomers!
If you need to fly into Vancouver the evening before camp and do not have family or friends to stay with and get you to the ferry: CampOUT! can arrange chaperoned accommodation for the night before camp and transit to the water taxi the morning of camp. Please contact us in advance to arrange this.
Campers will arrive back in Horseshoe Bay between 2 and 2:30 pm on July 3. Please arrange for timely camper pick-up at the government dock. There is free two-hour parking and pay parking at various locations in Horseshoe Bay. A camp volunteer will be returning medications to participants as they leave. A volunteer will also be present to walk campers over to the ferry terminal and the public bus stop. We will have bus tickets for campers who need them. Email or call us if you need assistance arranging a ride to the bus station or airport.
TRANSPORTATION and DIRECTIONS:
Public Transit: From Granville and Georgia take the 257 Express Bus to Horseshoe Bay (Approx 41 min ride). It’s then about a 2 minute walk west to the dock where your boat awaits! There will be a CampOUT! person near the bus stop to point you in the right direction when you arrive in Horseshoe Bay. You will walk through a park with a playground and walk down the long Public Dock - there is a little red building at the end of the public dock.
Ferry: From Vancouver Island take the ferry from Nanaimo’s Departure Bay to West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay. If you don’t see someone in a CampOUT! t-shirt immediately, ask a ferry staff to point you in the direction of the Boathouse Restaurant. Meet us at the end of the very long Public Dock located just before the Boathouse Restaurant. If you get to Horseshoe Bay early, there are a couple of coffee shops between the ferry terminal and the wharf from where we will be departing.
Driving: To drive to Horseshoe Bay from Vancouver/Lower Mainland, follow these directions:
- Head west on the BC 1 W/Trans-Canada Highway towards Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver.
- Slight right to stay on BC-1 W after the #4 Caulfield/Woodgreen Exit.
- Take exit on the left toward Village.
- Keep left. Turn left at BC-1 E. Turn right on Keith Road.
- Turn left on Bay Street.
- Turn right on Nelson Avenue towards the public dock.
- Unload at the roundabout and walk down the dock to water taxi.
There are two options for parking:
- BC Ferries Parking Lot ($24/day) - After unloading your luggage at the public dock, turn around and go straight up Nelson Avenue. Drive two blocks and turn left. Drive two more blocks and turn right on Keith Road. Head straight into BC Ferries Parking garage.
- Lions Tiddycove Parking Lot ($10/day, Fri-Sun, free Mon-Thu) - After unloading your luggage at the public dock, turn around and go straight up Nelson Avenue to the roundabout at the top of the hill. Go around and left onto Marine Drive towards the highway. At the next roundabouts go right onto Marine Drive. The Lions Parking Lot is on the left hand side under the highway. (NO DEBIT/MC/VISA)
If someone is dropping you off, they can do so right at the Public Dock and can use street parking on Nelson Ave.
Because we believe in radical generosity! And our donors and supporters make it possible! The camp actually costs us over $1000 per camper but it is important to CampOUT! that our program is financially accessible and that everyone pays the same amount to be at camp regardless of their financial means. $75.00 is an amount that most youth can earn in a few months and contribute to show their commitment to attending camp. Our Volunteer Community Advisory Committee and UBC staff work very hard to raise the funds required to ensure the success of the camp through a donation program, funding from organizations, and a budget from UBC itself. Please contact us if $75 is a barrier to participation for you - this fee can be waived upon receiving an email or phone call outlining detailed travel plans from you (how and when you will arrive in Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver on June 30th by 10am) to confirm commitment to attend the camp.
The steps for UBC to reimburse your travel costs are as follows:
- To be considered for a travel bursary, please send us an email before May 15th that outlines the following:
- What are your total travel costs to get to either Horseshoe Bay, YVR, or UBC, and return home?
- What are you able to financially contribute?
- What other fundraising or payment avenues have you explored?
- We will reply after June 1st to inform you as to the percentage of your costs that CampOUT! will contribute toward your travel expenses.
- Once approved, download the CampOUT! Reimbursement Form: CampOUT! Travel Reimbursement Form.
- After camp, if we have received the completed form and all original hard copy receipts, UBC-CampOUT! will process forms and instruct UBC Finance to issue a cheque and mail it to your address. Submitted receipts must arrive no later than 10 days after camp. The UBC cheque can take up to two months to process.
We recognize that it can be tricky to book travel plans without cash or credit. Please connect with family, friends, and service agencies to see if they would be willing to book the travel and pay for it. We will email with them to confirm the travel reimbursement process and information. We are keen to help you connect with folks in your area that may be able to support you this way!
Upon successful application, we will send you a registration form upon successful application that you'll need to fill out as well as the CampOUT! waivers/release forms at http://CampOUT!.ubc.ca/campers/waivers-releases/
You will need to print out, complete (with a parent or legal guardian if you are under the age of 19), and return by fax, mail, or email by May 31, 2020.
Contact your local library or corner store if you don’t have access to a fax machine in your home, work, school, or parent’s workplace. You may also use a photocopier or scanner to scan the signed document to PDF and return it to us via email.
As you may have noticed, if you are under 19 years of age, we will need parent/caregiver permission for you to attend the 4-day camp and the forms in the registration package will require their signature. If you are not currently “out” to your parent/guardians about why this unique camp is perfect for you, no problem! Being 'out' isn't the end all and be all for everyone.
If you are looking for resources to chat with folks you think will be keen to love and support you, check out P Flag’s websites http://www.pflagvancouver.com/ and https://pflagcanada.ca/ for resources for yourself and your parent/caregiver.
We also encourage you to read through the following information at building strong communities: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/guide/the-coming-out-handbook about “coming out” to caretaker figures in your life and what kinds of things to consider. Or, for some local resources to help support you during this process, visit here: https://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/visions/lgbt-vol6/lgbt-resources. These websites have information that may be helpful to you as you think about whether or not it is the right time to talk to your parent/guardian/caretaker about this.
If you are attending as an ally, this link could be used as a resource for you and may be helpful if your friends/family need help in understanding how important allies are in building strong communities: http://egale.ca/how-to-be-an-lgbtq-ally/. Likewise, all campers can check out the above link to understand the importance of allies, and it may inspire you to begin the journey of becoming an ally!
In order for all participants to have access to the benefits of the camp, the four following ground rules are non-negotiable:
- We are committed to being a physically and emotionally safe environment that is alcohol, drug, and sex free.
- We will not tolerate disrespectful, harmful, or inappropriate behaviour.
- All participants accept responsibility for taking care of their health and wellness by getting adequate sleep and nourishment
- We will respect the facility and rules of our host camp.
Anyone who breaks these ground rules will be sent home immediately at their own expense. Please see the CampOUT! Community Agreement for a more complete list of rules and guidelines.
- All of us will agree to respect ourselves and fellow CampOUT! participants, leaders, staff, and volunteers.
- All of us are required to be present for and commit to full participation in all camp programming to the extent that we are able.
- All of us agree to limit use of electronic devices (cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) to support community building at camp
- All of us are responsible for taking care of personal health and wellness by getting adequate sleep and nourishment and seeking medical attention/assistance when appropriate.
- All of us will agree to an 11 p.m. curfew. If you experience wakefulness or difficulty falling asleep, bring a flashlight so you may read without disturbing your cabin mates.
- All of us will be following COVID-19 protocols, including requiring two vaccinations and booster/s two weeks before camp, indoor mask use , handwashing, etc.
- Campers taking any medication must inform the Camp Director and/or Camp Doctor/Nurse.