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Camp provides safe haven for children who are transgender

Children go swimming at Camp Aranu’tiq in Connecticut. Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe.

National Association of Social Workers member Nick Teich had worked with young people in summer camps for years.

Still, when Teich transitioned from female to male five years ago the charity camp fired him, saying his gender change would not be good for the children.

Teich was angry but decided to channel his emotions into creating a camp specifically for children who are transgender, according to this Boston Globe article.

Studies indicate the majority of these children are harassed and bullied, making it more likely they may attempt suicide.

Teich started Camp Aranu’tiq in 2010 in Connecticut and 41 children mostly from New England enrolled. Aranu’tiq is a native Alaskan word that means a person who has a male and female spirit.

This year he opened a branch in California and 41 children enrolled.

“Before camp, I was really shy and not confident,” said Damien, 15, one of the camp attendees. “Now, I feel less alone and way more confident.”

Cheers to the Boston Globe for sharing Teich’s story.

Social workers are devoted to equal treatment for all, including members of the LGBT community. To learn more visit National Association of Social Workers’ Diversity and Equity Website by clicking here.

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