Advocacy + Outreach · June 26, 2019

Pride and Partnership

In the midst of New York's World Pride celebration, I caught up with the Rev. Bryan Breault, executive director at Holmes Camp & Retreat Center, about Camp Q, an innovative new program for queer-identified youth. Holmes—a mission partner of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church—is collaborating with another mission partner, Parity, to bring Camp Q to life. Here’s a snippet of my conversation with Bryan.

There’s a new summer camp program at Holmes for LGBTQ+ youth kicking off in July. You might call it “Holmes Pride.”

Exactly. Camp Q is a camp experience for LGBTQ+ high schoolers. It’s designed to help each youth connect to their authentic self and work for a more just world. It’s all the fun stuff of camp—swimming, boating, archery, ropes courses, music, camp fires, s’mores, crafts—and an exploration of LGBTQ+ history, realities, celebrations, challenges, and ways to organize.

So Camp Q will make history and study history this summer.

Yes, this is the first season of Camp Q at Holmes! Highlights will include a walking tour of Greenwich Village, remembering the June 1969 Stonewall riots, that launched the modern LGBTQ rights movement in the U.S., and seeing Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway!

That sounds amazing. I’m curious what goes into the creation of a new program offering like Camp Q.

It’s been an amazing team effort, including a committed group of faith leaders contributing to the Camp Q vision from a variety of lenses of LGBTQ+ experience. I’m honored to be serving alongside the Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, executive director of Parity, and Mylika Slaughter, whose home church is sponsoring her for a week at camp. Together, in divine grace, we’ll facilitate a week of understanding, exploring, and feeding our spiritual selves in community and nature.

Bryan Breault, executive director, Holmes Camp and Retreat Center

How can families learn more about Camp Q? Where do we sign up?

All the information is on the Holmes website. Camp Q is set for July 7th through the 13th, so I hope that anyone who is interested will sign up quickly. LGBTQ+ youth and their friends and allies are all welcome to be part of this exciting week!

About Holmes Camp & Retreat Center
For over 70 years, Holmes Camp has been a special place where the Holy Spirit’s presence in nature, camp activities and visitors endures. The 550-acre camp is set among pristine forests, lakes, cliffs, trails and wetlands in the hill country of the Hudson River Valley, on the border of Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Holmes operates in partnership with churches in the presbyteries of Hudson Valley, Long Island and New York City and is a member of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association, which brings together people who support and represent the 150+ Presbyterian camps and conference centers in the United States and Canada.