New for Summer 2022!
Gender Inclusive Cabin Option
At Kidston, we strive to ensure that all campers feel included and welcome. As part of this, we are excited to share that we will offer a gender inclusive cabin option for all Summer 2022 programs!
Each week, campers are divided into groups of up to 8 children who share a cabin. Campers tend to spend the most time with their cabin, and therefore also often make the closest friends with those in their cabin. A 'gender inclusive cabin’ is one which may include campers of more than one gender (male, female, non-binary, etc.).
We strongly encourage parents/guardians to have a discussion with their camper(s) around which cabin best fits their needs and comfort level.
Camp Kidston Inclusion Statement
Camp Kidston, a member camp of The United Church of Canada and an accredited member of the Camping Association of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (CANSPEI), welcomes diverse children and youth to our summer programs. We are committed to creating a just, nurturing environment in which children are fully free to be themselves and to explore their place in creation. We appreciate the beautiful diversity of our children reflected in race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, seuxual orientation, gender identity or expression, and ability. We honour all children as expressions of one God.
Why do we have a gender inclusive cabin?
Camp Kidston believes that every person has the right to identify, express themselves, and live in accordance with their authentic identity. Traditionally, our camps have divided campers into "boys" and "girls" groups. This was comfortable for some of our campers, but not for others. It meant campers sometimes had to hide part of who they were, or made them choose between two options, neither of which fit for them. It also meant siblings or friends of different genders could never be in the same cabin.
Moving forward, Kidston is committed to creating a space in which people of all gender identities and sexualities feel welcome, safe, and celebrated. We now have three cabin options to choose from: female, male, and gender inclusive - so that we can best suit everyone’s needs and preferences.
How do I ensure my camper is placed in the cabin best suited for them?
When you fill out your registration forms this year, you can indicate which type of cabin group(s) your camper would prefer. You can choose 1 or 2 of the following: gender inclusive cabin, female cabin, or male cabin. There will also be the option to include a brief explanation of your camper’s preferences, although this is not mandatory.
If you select the Gender Inclusive Cabin, please also select a second option. If we do not have enough campers to operate a Gender Inclusive Cabin, we will use your camper’s second option.
Who can be in our gender inclusive cabin?
This cabin is open to campers of all gender identities! Gender inclusive cabins are perfect for many campers, including those who would simply like to be in a cabin with siblings or friends of a different gender.
We also want to emphasize that every camper is free to choose the cabin that is best suited for them. For example, if a non-binary camper would prefer to be in a female or male cabin, we will always follow their preference.
Who will be in charge of the gender inclusive cabin?
Our inclusion policies apply to both campers and staff members. Counsellors will be asked what cabins they are comfortable overseeing and will be assigned accordingly. All of our staff will be thoroughly trained in creating safe and inclusive spaces and will be held accountable to a rigorous code of conduct and standard of professionalism.
Where will campers get changed?
Currently, most campers choose to change in the washhouse (with privacy of bathroom stalls).
We are also exploring options to install privacy curtains in each cabin for changing (regardless of gender option).
What about washrooms?
Camp Kidston has several washroom options (toilets and showers). Our washhouse currently remains divided with male and female options. Our main lodge (Wilson) has two gender neutral washrooms (including one gender neutral shower facility). We fully support campers in using whichever washroom they prefer.
I have more questions. Who can I reach out to?
If you have any further questions about our Gender Inclusive Cabin or Inclusion policy, please contact Janice Noble, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are unsure or curious about some of the terminology used in the statements above, a helpful glossary is available here from the United Church of Canada:
United Church Statement on Gender, Sexuality, and Orientation:
Affirm United, Affirming Ministries: Frequently Asked Questions:
The Youth Project, Resources and Information:
The Trevor Project, Resource Centre: