Over 200 teens attend LGBTQ camp in Prescott - New York News

Over 200 teens attend LGBTQ camp in Prescott

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PHOENIX -

A group of teens in the gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual community headed up north for the weekend.

A bus of over 200 teens were taken from Phoenix to Prescott for a weekend that most of them spend all year looking forward to.

"Camp is basically, probably the greatest thing that ever happened to me," said Bradley Hafalia."

Hafalia is making his second trip to outdoors camp. He says last year he felt empowered.

"For me, I loved it. Last year it was phenomenal. I was so comfortable," said Hafalia.

"I'm just really looking forward to being myself, being around people I don't have to hide anything from, ya know, it's kind of just, like, a nice get away from anything," said Nirvana Dasilva.

Dasilva can't wait to take part in the weekend, which is sponsored by the group One N Ten. Like most LGBTQ teens, she often feels like she's misunderstood.

"A lot of people can be really mean. Not just being different, this let's you be unique and be yourself," said Dasilva.

"Sometimes parents don't, sometimes friends don't, that's why we need to reach out to them, to let them know they're welcome to our community," said Tann Scheevasit.

"It's nice to get outdoors, just in general, but it's also nice to talk about the experience and all the things we have in common that sometimes it's difficult to straight people or even our parents," said Ryan Featherston.

Featherston says he benefited from the wide array of activities the camp offers.

"The workshops, there's everything from rock climbing to talking about what it means to be homosexual, gay, transgender. Those are the ones I usually find the most interesting," said Featherston.

Many teens today connect with people online, but One N Ten uses the camp to focus on face to face interaction.

"All of your friends became family at camp," said Hafalia.

Organizers say it wouldn't have been possible without a $50,000 donation they got from PetSmart.

OUTdoors! Camp for LGBTQ teens - www.outdoorsgaycamp.com

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