Gender at Farm & Wilderness
Farm & Wilderness strives to empower young people to understand and navigate the social pressures they encounter in their lives, pressures that may be related to their gender identity. At Farm & Wilderness, we offer community members the opportunity to choose a camp environment that best supports their gender identity. To this end, all programs educate about gender during the summer to provide a safe space for campers to share their thoughts on and experiences with gender, and to become familiar with others’ experiences. These conversations vary depending on the ages of the participants and may include an understanding of the following terms.
Assigned sex: Biological sex (male, female, intersex) as determined at birth by a medical professional.
Gender Identity: An individual’s internal sense of being male, female, or something else. Since gender identity is internal, one’s gender identity is not necessarily visible to others.
Gender Non-Binary: Any gender that is not exclusively male or female, which includes intersex.
Cisgender: People whose gender identity is the same as their sex assigned at birth.
Transgender: People whose gender identity, expression or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. Transgender is a broad term and is good for non-transgender people to use.
Farm & Wilderness camps and communities are not divided by an individual’s sex assigned at birth. Rather, we support each community member to be in housing that most aligns with their gender identity. F&W includes non-binary and transgender staff and youth, and to model inclusivity, we ask that all community members share their gender pronouns as willing. F&W is a place where campers and staff (housed in tents/cabins, etc.) use the full spectrum of gender pronouns (she, he, they, ze) and identify within the full non-binary spectrum of gender.
Here’s what gender looks like across our programs:
At Flying Cloud and Timberlake, campers and staff discuss masculinity and the male experience. In saying masculinity, note that not everyone identifying as masculine identifies as a boy or a man. Community members discuss social pressures and engage in conversations about what it means to be male. Our communities explore what gender means to individuals and to their own identity through respect, simplicity, and honoring the land and spirit. The result is a meaningful opportunity to challenge male social constructs and prejudices, such as homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny.
At Indian Brook & Red Spruce Grove, campers and staff discuss femininity and the female experience. In saying femininity, note that not everyone identifying as feminine identifies as a girl or a woman. Community members discuss social pressures and engage in conversations about what it means to be female. Our communities explore what gender means to individuals and to their own identity through respect, simplicity, and honoring the land and spirit. The result is a meaningful opportunity to challenge female social constructs and prejudices, such as homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny.
At Saltash Mountain Camp, Questers, and Tamarack Farm, these mixed-gender communities explore individual gender identities while developing empathy, critical thinking, and skills to advocate for others whose gender identities differ from themselves. Tamarack Farmers have several housing options: mixed-gender housing, girls and gender non-binary cabin, or boys and gender non-binary cabin. Tent group assignments at Saltash Mountain Camp and Tamarack Farm on multi-day trips are based on the cabin assignment at camp, though parents or guardians can opt for mixed-gender tent arrangement. Quester cabin and tent groups are often mixed-gender. The result is a meaningful opportunity to challenge male and female social constructs and prejudices, such as homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny.
At Barn Day Camp, our youngest members of the F&W community, staff, and campers create a community where children are free from experiences based on the gender binary. The community explores gender stereotypes through activities offered. At the Barn Day Camp, gender identity and social justice are woven in throughout the day.