Deer Crossing actively promotes inclusion and respect for ALL people. Our culture of inclusivity goes well beyond non-discrimination. Campers and staff at DCWC represent diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds from across the US and around the world. During their time at DCWC, campers and staff benefit and grow from this inclusive community while they develop an appreciation for the out-of-doors, enhance their understanding of their roles and responsibilities toward nature and each other, and simply have fun while building strong outdoor and social skills.
Young people today are much more aware and vocal around gender issues. As with other sensitive topics (e.g., politics or religion), our staff are trained to steer conversations toward more neutral topics, but also, to provide safe space for small group discussions if and when appropriate. We are sometimes asked by campers to call them a name and/or pronoun that is different than that provided on their camper application. At camp, we will acknowledge the name and/or pronoun change during the session. While parents and caregivers may choose a different approach at home, as a youth serving organization, it’s not within our scope to tell campers what they are not. Additionally, the best available data shows the importance of acknowledging, validating, and accepting a camper’s chosen name and pronouns, even if the change is temporary. Research, while limited, reflects a 29% decrease in suicidal ideation and 56% decrease in suicidal behavior for youth when their chosen name is used. (Parents.com Article and The Trevor Project Data)
As a camp that has welcomed LGBTQ+ staff and campers for decades we are committed to providing a safe and inclusive place for all people. Our policy is to allow campers and staff to sleep in the tent area of the gender with which they most closely identify (our 1-3 person tents are set up in separate male and female areas). For staff, this conversation happens during the hiring process, and for campers, it happens during enrollment. We validate and normalize their choice, and the camper or staff member is under no obligation to share information about their gender identify.
The land we are on was used for thousands of years by the Washoe people prior to being managed by the US Forest Service. Deer Crossing Wilderness Camp operates under a special use permit from Eldorado National Forest (US Dept of Agriculture).
Federal non-discrimination statement: In compliance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, Deer Crossing Wilderness Camp does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
Deer Crossing Wilderness Camp is an equal opportunity provider.