Camp Felix Pride 2023
That’s a wrap on our 2nd Annual Camp Felix Pride, and what a magical week it was! We were so excited to have our 30 foster youth and 12 staff members at camp with us for a five-day getaway into nature.
This year’s Pride camp was at a new location, Club Getaway in Connecticut, which was such an amazing upgrade from last year. We can’t thank the Club Getaway staff enough for creating such an incredible camp experience for us! They offered such a wide array of activities every day and our kids got to enjoy a full play course in the lake, ziplining, ropes course, art classes and so much more. The campgrounds are the most beautiful escape to nature and really allowed our campers to fully play, feel at peace, and experience all of the events we had in store for the week.
We want to give special thanks to our Felix friends, committee members, and family who made the journey with us, including our partners, The New York Foundling, Director of the Identity and Acceptance Program, Jayson “JD” Miller, Camp Director, Amanda Honeywell, and the entire Camp Felix Pride staff team.
On the first day, the campers received the coolest backpacks filled with goodies and duffle bags for the whole week that were so generously donated by Comfort Cases upon their arrival and they were all so happy to have this surprise to kick off the week.
A huge shoutout goes to Innovoke and its owner, Matt Morrison, for designing and donating our Camp Felix Pride T-shirts! Matt is an integral part of our community and shared a few words with us about his experience. Matt said “When starting my clothing brand Innovoke, I wanted to make sure I was plugged into the right social investing opportunity. When I came across The Felix Organization, a powerful organization that aims to support and foster the growth and development of kids in foster care, I knew right away it was meant to be.”
We truly couldn’t do this without these incredible donations and feel so blessed to have an amazing community dedicated to making our campers feel so loved and special.
One of the highlights of the week was when nonprofit, Photosafe, sent a professional photographer to camp to take portraits of each of our campers which they all received in a beautiful frame to take home as a memory. Foster youth often do not have photos to commemorate their lives, so this is an extra special opportunity to always remember the time they had at camp.
Big shout out to our advisory board member, Dolly Fox, for bringing a bus full of awesome guests to meet our youth and talk about all the careers and successes you can have as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Our campers were able to participate in a Q&A with these guests, and get an inside look at careers like hairstyling, architecture, yoga, TV producing, acting, fitness, and more!
Also, an additional huge shout-out to the House of LaBeija for joining us to host the second annual House of Felix Ball! This ball was decked out with disco balls and lights as well as our campers in the most fabulous drag outfits. We kicked everything off with a dance routine put on by our campers and the ball was in full swing! Hosted by one of the Queens of LaBeija herself, this night was full of fun, talent, joy, and most of all glitter for all our special guests and campers. The campers participated in dance-offs, model walks, dance routines, and a talent show!
Another amazing event that we hosted was the opportunity for our campers to Zoom with a real-life astronaut and send postcards into space. This event was made possible with a grant that The Felix Organization received from the National Space Society. With help from the amazing Galaxis Gal, Inara Tabir, we were able to put on this incredible event for our campers. Dr. Don Thomas was so inspirational and had such great words of wisdom for our campers!
Art was a big component of Camp Felix Pride this year! We had our incredible Animation Instructor, Kyle Warren, on-site all week to provide workshops in stop-motion animation, claymation, videography, drawing, and more. We also had a fantastic visit from a restorative community-building art program, ARTSq, led by Carly Johnson from The New York Foundling. The kids had dedicated space to create art in a safe and restorative setting. Big thanks to our art instructors for giving our youth a positive outlet to channel their creativity.
Now let’s hear some highlights from our incredible Camp Director, Amanda Honeywell!
“This week was nothing short of thrilling adventures at Pride. From the moment our kiddos embarked on the bus, they began forming connections with each other. What an incredible week of watching them come out of their shells, explore aspects of their identities, and challenge themselves in thought and action. Whether it was the zip line or meaningful conversations about throwing glitter in affirmation of each other (instead of shade!), each day at camp brought new memories that would surely last a lifetime.
To those who participated in our signature Dress Up & Drag Ball, WHAT A NIGHT! This event was truly the icing on the cake because it encapsulated the togetherness that camp is all about—and our kids showed out! Thank you, to all of our visitors for being part of our extravaganza.
I am grateful for the growth of our program in just two summers and remain eager to see what next summer brings!”
Last but not least, we think these special notes from our campers say it all!
“I just genuinely loved the experience, it was so beautiful to me and I will cherish it forever. this experience is one I’ll never forget. I made family, I made friends, I made a community and honestly I cannot wait for next year! I got out of my shell and being surrounded by so many sweet people and just being in a space where people understand me was amazing! I loved the drag show, absolutely absolutely loved it. I finally got to dance again and I drew a lot of people and it was so sweet I don’t even know how to explain it but it was so amazing I love you all!”