Brave Trails is a national non-profit organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth leadership. Brave Trails offers accredited summer camps, family camps, meet-up groups, a mental health program, and year-round leadership programming. Our ultimate goal is to empower the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders to continue the quest for social justice and civil rights for all, and all of our programs and activities lead to achieving that goal while helping LGBTQ+ youth find their people, place, and passion.
Click here to learn more about Brave Trails.
The Dr. Virginia "Pony" Barnes Learning & Leadership Award
With support from PBF, Brave Trails will provide year-round leadership development programming for LGBTQ+ youth. All teens benefit from a nurturing environment that supports their development of a stronger self-identity, but many queer youth lack this type of supportive environment.
Our youth are given the tools to build that strong identity. Brave Trails campers return home better prepared to cope with adversity they may face in school, at home, and/or within their community. Brave Trails instills in campers the importance of respect for others and the environment, personal responsibility, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Giving those in the LGBTQ+ community the tools to find their voice is instrumental in helping them become confident adults and leaders who can, in turn, be a positive force for change and positive role models for others.
How does Brave Trails' program support belonging and connections for LGBTQ+ youth and their families?
Through summer camp and year-round meet-ups, Brave Trails helps campers build community, friendship, and support systems while developing their talents and digging into their passions and potential. Many campers describe Brave Trails as a home, a safe haven, a place to belong. These are life-changing, potentially life-saving experiences for so many LGBTQ+ youth, at a critical moment in their development. In the words of one camper:
“Life is worth it. Being happy is worth it. I didn’t always think it was. Brave Trails let me see that it was. Brave Trails is important. Brave Trails matters. And there are so many people who would not be here today without Brave Trails."