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West coast trio developing a summer camp for LGBTQ+ youth

A trio of young people from the west coast are organizing the first summer camp in western Newfoundland for LGBTQ+ youth. They are, from left, Madison Dicks, Jessie Lawrence and Vinn Elliot.
A trio of young people from the west coast are organizing the first summer camp in western Newfoundland for LGBTQ+ youth. They are, from left, Madison Dicks, Jessie Lawrence and Vinn Elliot.

Plans are now underway for the first LGBTQ+ youth summer camp in Western NL.

The one-week long outdoor adventure – run by youth, for youth - will take place at West Haven Camp in Pasadena in June 2018.
Jessie Lawrence, 15, Madison Dicks 17 and Vinn Elliott, 16 are the main organizers behind Camp Ohana.
Jessie lives in Pasadena. She said the camp will focus on education, self-acceptance and mental and sexual health.
“It will be a place where people in the community can be themselves. Where they can be safe and be accepted. And, hopefully, teach them some things that they can bring back to their communities,” Jessie said.
Organizers are now looking for volunteers to help run the camp, she said.
Madison, who lives in Steady Brook, said youth will also participate in numerous traditional activities such as arts and crafts, canoeing, hiking, and team building activities.
“There will definitely be some group activities and workshops as well. The camp will be a place to talk safety about different issues,” Jessie added.
Vinn, who lives in Corner Brook, said there are not as many resources for LGBTQ+ youth on the West Coast of the province are there are in larger areas such as St. John’s.
“There’s already an LGBTQ camp in St. John’s called Camp Eclipse so we decided to take it upon ourselves to have a camp here,” Vinn said.
The camp will be open to youth aged 14-18 and the goal is to recruit 65 campers.
Vinn said the organizers are grateful for the help they are getting from Youth Ventures in establishing the camp.
“They are helping us with grants and helping us figure out a business plan... they’ve been really good in helping us,” he said.
The organizers are now looking to get the word out about the camp and to raise money to help ensure its success. They’ll be attending numerous community events over the summer to promote the initiative and to seek sponsors.
Madison said there are many youth in Western NL who can benefit from the educational component of the camp.
“The camp is not just for Pasadena (youth). It’s for all of Newfoundland and as many who would like to come are welcome,” Madison said.
Visit Camp Ohana on Facebook and Instragram or e-mail campohana01@gmail.com for more information.
danette@nl.rogers.com

Youth Ventures back in full swing

By Allison Pittman
Special to The Star
With the help of the Youth Ventures program, participants in Corner Brook and the Bay of Islands have been busy establishing their own businesses and planning for future ventures. From attending local events, working on market research, and doing promotional activities, the Youth Ventures Coordinator and her 12 participants have been very active since the program began back in May!
The Youth Ventures program encourages entrepreneurship and provides free marketing material, mentorship, access to events, business development, and more. If you are a student aged 12-29 and would like to start your own business, please contact the Youth Ventures Coordinator at the Humber Community Development Corporation by telephone at (709) 639-7755 or by email at humber@youthventuresnl.com. It’s your business – so start it!
 

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