For five years The Ten Oaks project has successfully run a youth camp for 8 –17 years olds from the queer community. This year the project extended its branches to Project Acorn — a leadership camp for older youth who identify as LGBTQ, children from queer families and allies.
Over a long weekend Project Acorn became a place where friendships were forged in a safe environment where knowledge, experiences and ideas were shared.
Each day was filled with activities and leadership workshops — creative writing, public speaking, leadership styles, build your own queer superhero and the greatest queer spawn.
Sonja Prakash, Project Acorn Coordinator and Ten oaks Project Board member, worked closely with the Youth Advisory Committee planning Project Acorn.
“This project is definitely the product of an adult-youth partnership where youth voices have been at the forefront of the planning and the push of what Project Acorn was to be,” says Prakash.
For the four days of the camp, Prakash was coordinator, liaison, problem solver, working around the clock to make sure everything ran smoothly.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, so it’s hard to figure out what emotions you are feeling because you don’t have time to sit and feel them,” says Prakash.
“But, there has been different times, at the opening camp fire, at the talking circle, where you can finally sit and feel all the emotions that are coming up and one of them is definite excitement.”
After a long weekend of rain and sun the camp closed, the participants went their separate ways with new friendships formed and new stories to be shared.