GENDER IDENTITY INCLUSION STATEMENT AND POLICIES
Cape Cod Sea Camps strives to create a fully inclusive culture and environment that values equality and fosters respect for all people. One of the goals of Cape Cod Sea Camps is to bring together a diverse community of individuals that include campers and staff from a variety of geographic, socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. In this way we seek to bridge social, economic, and cultural gaps to build positive relationships and deep mutual understanding for our young campers. We endeavor to promote a culture of equity that is free from bias and injustice. We strive to achieve equal access, identify and resolve inequities, and work to remove institutional barriers that limit the ability of all people to develop their full potential. Cape Cod Sea Camps recognizes that gender identity exists on a spectrum and the Camp community welcomes people of all genders.
All people have a gender identity. For most people, their gender identity matches their assigned sex at birth. For transgender people, that is not the case. Transgender girls are individuals who were assigned the male sex at birth but whose lived experience of who they are is female. Transgender boys are individuals who were assigned the female sex at birth but whose lived experience of who they are is male. As a camp community, we want to provide a safe environment and support all of our campers and staff so they can flourish and have positive experiences. That means making sure that our Camp’s policies and practices are inclusive and respectful of all campers and staff, including transgender individuals.
Inclusion is a Journey, Not a Destination
Camp Cod Sea Camps seeks to provide a learning environment in an outdoor setting based on community living, working, and playing together. We work hard at developing sensitivity training involving campers and staff during the course of a summer, establishing policies for inclusion, anti-bullying, sexual harassment; and promoting core values. Through education and a commitment to a fully open and supportive community, championing values of equality and respect, Cape Cod Sea Camps continues to provide opportunities for healthy growth and development of the entire camp community.
We work at having a positive impact on each individual who comes to Cape Cod Sea Camps. Cape Cod Sea Camps is committed to working with individuals to ensure the greatest inclusion that is reasonably possible within facility and resource limitations.
Why does CCSC need a policy about Gender Inclusion?
Our primary objective is to provide an excellent summer experience for all campers. Cape Cod Sea Camps is committed to working with individuals to ensure the greatest inclusion that is reasonably possible within facility and resource limitations. We have developed sensitivity training involving both campers and staff during the course of the summer, have established policies for inclusion, anti-bullying, sexual harassment, and promoting core values. Through education and a commitment to a fully open and supportive community, championing values of equality and respect, Cape Cod Sea Camps continues to provide opportunities for healthy growth and development of the entire camp community. We ask that everyone in the Sea Camps community respects the gender identity of each other. This includes sleeping area assignment, names, and pronouns.
Is it required for a parent/guardian to disclose to CCSC upon registration that their child is transgender?
It is not required that a parent/guardian inform CCSC that their child is transgender. However, CCSC prefers that parents, if comfortable, indicate that their camper is transgender when they register for camp. Being aware of a transgender camper will allow our staff to be prepared so we can put forth our best efforts to help ensure every child has a positive experience at camp.
Which bathrooms do campers use?
The Camp offers two options for bathrooms: traditional gender-labeled bathrooms, as well as single occupant bathrooms. Campers may use the bathroom that corresponds with gender with which they identify. All single occupant bathrooms at the camp facility will be designated as “Gender-Neutral” and available for use by any person, regardless of the gender with which they identify. If a camper is not comfortable using the gender-labeled restrooms, staff will seek ways to find an option that makes the individual feel comfortable. All available options shall be presented in an unbiased way, and staff will work with each individual to identify the individual’s desired outcome.
How are campers housed at CCSC?
Generally CCSC has binary gendered sleeping areas. At Cape Cod Sea Camps, campers typically sleep in cabins according to their gender and cabin assignments will generally be made based on the gender with which each individual identifies. There is not a “one-size-fits-all” housing policy for transgender or gender non-conforming youth. Due to the limitations of our facility, it will be vitally important to openly communicate with the youth about their needs and desires to create the best solution. Some transgender youth may feel more comfortable housing with the gender that corresponds to the gender with which they identify, whereas others may prefer to house with others of their biological sex. Other options may be considered. Again, it is important for the Camp to work with the youth to create reasonable accommodations that best suit everyone. If parents of another camper or another camper expresses discomfort with sharing space with transgender youth, staff will discuss with the camper and parents reasonable housing options currently available at our facility.
How does CCSC address privacy when it comes to changing clothes, showering, and swimwear?
For the most part, campers are pretty modest and have been changing in private, in a bathroom stall or shower for many years. We expect campers to be respectful of others and modest in the cabin setting. Counselors shall set examples of appropriate behavior for privacy within the cabin. Showers have curtains or stalls for privacy. Some showers are equipped with changing areas for undressing/dressing. Our swimwear policy allows campers to be comfortable while covering private areas. Campers may also elect to wear clothing over their swimsuit if they choose.
Will CCSC inform parents of campers if their children are assigned to the cabin area with a transgender camper?
Under state law, information about a camper’s medical record (including a camper’s gender identity) is confidential and must be kept private and secure, except in limited circumstances. Further, Massachusetts law protects the right of all people, including transgender people, to access the sex-segregated facilities most consistent with their gender identity, as long as the individual is not engaged in any improper or unlawful conduct. All campers are supervised in each cabin area. There is no reason to think placing a boy camper assigned female at birth who now identifies as male in the same cabin as other boy campers, and vice versa, poses any particular safety concerns or legal issues. Unless permission is received from the camper and parents or guardian, information related to the camper’s gender identity will remain confidential and may only be shared with specific camp personnel as appropriate and necessary.
What CCSC staff will be made aware of a transgender camper?
CCSC staff will not discuss the gender of a camper in any situation where it is not required, pertinent, or appropriate to do so. This information will remain confidential, as would specific medical information for any camper or staff member. Directors, Head Counselors, Nurses will be notified of any camper with specific medical information.
How do these policies relate to summer staff?
We fill staff openings and assign staff lodging/counselling responsibilities based on the gender identity with which summer staff applicants identify.
How will CCSC staff be informed of this policy and be prepared to welcome a transgender camper?
Staff training will include our policies along with discussions regarding our rationale, and training focused on providing every camper with an emotionally and physically safe environment.