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Ten Oaks extends its branches to Project Acorn

New leadership camp opens for youth from queer communities

MORE CAMP. Kate Moore, executive director of The Ten Oaks Project, holds a bag touting the name of their newly launched program, Project Acorn. Credit: Noreen Fagan

Kate Moore has come full circle.

As a teenager she attended a leadership camp where she learned an important lesson — to create her own path in life.

Today, as the first executive director of The Ten Oaks Project, Moore is helping launch a new leadership camp for queer youth leaders — and this time she will be facilitating the learning.

Moore started with the Ten Oaks Project in April; three months later, Moore and the board of the Ten Oaks Project will throw open the doors to a new camp for young gay, lesbian, bi and trans people and queer spawn.

Project Acorn is a four day leadership camp for 16 to 24 year olds from queer communities. The Ten Oaks Project is best known for its a weeklong sleep-away camp aimed at a younger demographic — people aged 8-17.

As for Project Acorn, it’s been a year in the making, as the group’s board of directors worked with a committee of young people to develop the program.

“They’re the ones who have dreamt up the concept — it’s very much youth for youth. Board member Sonja Prakash, who is the project coordinator, has been working for the past year with youth advisory committee to make this program gel,” says Moore.

For four days the Project Acorn team leaders will be facilitating workshops —from leadership styles to round table dinner discussions that focus on teaching leadership and life skills to the participants.

 “We are delighted with the uptake and hopefully, that’s something we can continue to grow both in terms of interest for the program and the number of spots available,” says Moore.

The camp had room for 30 participants but after receiving more applicants than they expected, they extended that number to 32 — and they still have a waiting list.

Each day will begin with an optional yoga session in the morning, leadership workshops during the day interspersed with guest speakers, outside facilitators for a two-spirited workshop and physical activities such as rock climbing and a rope course.

For the staff and participants of Project Acorn, this weekend will be an exciting first time – it will be a long-weekend of learning, sharing and creating a safe place for community members.

“That is one of the primary goals, of project Acorn is to create a safe place, as well as to build knowledge of self, of our communities, and of available resources, to build capacity, to build bridges, to recognize and to celebrate,” says Moore.