Summer’s here, but just because school is out and kids have a temporary reprieve from classroom indoctrination does not mean that parents can let their guard down. This summer, “trans and gender diverse” summer camps are all the rage, providing students the chance to participate in “trans-centered activities” away from the watchful (and judgemental) eye of the rest of the world, including their parents.

“In order to allow campers the freedom to socialize, grow, and express themselves in an environment without caregiver supervision, we do not allow caregivers to volunteer the same session as their child,” reports Camp Lilac, one such summer camp in Ohio.

At this particular retreat, where parental supervision is strictly forbidden, campers participate in makeup and hair tutorials, create “safe” chest binders, and share same-sex bathrooms. Camp staff includes several LGBTQ individuals, some of whom use they/them and xe/xem/xyrs pronouns. Disturbingly, the team’s Chief Staff Assistant, William, wears an elaborate demon/bat/insect costume.

(Pro tip: Be sure not to misgender William, who uses they/them pronouns.)

This alone should be reason enough for parents to keep their kids away from Camp Lilac, which has all the makings of a Stephen King novel. Sickeningly, however, several parents have openly praised the camp.

“My son has to have his defenses up and maxed all day, everyday until he gets home. At camp, he’s just who he is! Unapologetically! Running around in his binder and not having to explain himself. He came back 1,000,000% more confident in himself and ready to tackle being out at school and in his life,” gushed one parent.

A similar camp in California, Camp Mulberry, boasts that it is free for transgender youth as young as three.

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 “Join us and be a part of the magic! The program is for children 3-17 immediately affected by HIV/AIDS and their parents / legal guardians,” the website reads. At least this one doesn’t bar parents (probably because they don’t hire strange cosplay demons)! Notably, campers are placed in various cabin groups based not on biological sex but “gender identity.” In other words, adolescent, hormone-raging boys can sleep with minor girls and vice versa. What possibly could go wrong!

For those who insist that these camps are perfectly safe, kid-friendly environments, consider Camp Kaleidoscope. This camp was hit with multiple damning lawsuits alleging that boys between the ages of 7 and 10 were coerced into oral sex while negligently unattended at the camp in 2017.

“Due to the inattentiveness of the camp counselors and staff at Camp Kaleidoscope, John Doe’s bunkmates were repeatedly sexually assaulted by one of the eldest bunkmates… when John Doe and his bunkmates were left unattended and unsupervised for substantial periods of time,” one lawsuit claimed. “Specifically, as a result, John Doe witnessed his bunkmates engage in sexual acts that included oral and anal sexual contact on multiples [sic] nights at camp.”

Unfortunately, these camps are popping up nationwide, and negligent parents are more than happy to let their kids attend. For responsible parents, on the other hand, this serves as yet another reminder that kids are not safe in today’s world.

At the end of the day, trans and gender diverse summer camps are not about love or tolerance, or acceptance. Masked behind this noble-sounding cause is a far more sinister reality: our kids are under attack. They’re under attack at schools and on social media. And now, at summer camp, too.

Jakob Fay is a staff writer for the Convention of States Project.

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