The Naming Project lets summer campers explore sexual orientation, gender and faith

Last week, 20 LGBTQ and allied campers, along with seven counselors, traveled to Bay Lake Camp in Deerwood, MN for The Naming Project's Summer Camp. Ross Murray, GLAAD's Director of Programs, Global and U.S. South, serves as Director for The Naming Project, "a Christian ministry serving youth of all sexual and gender identities." The annual Summer Camp is for young people of any sexual orientation and gender identity who are interested in exploring sexual orientation and gender through their own spiritual journeys – all while spending time and having fun with other teen campers.


This has to be one of the best pictures all week Ross looks like the ultimate camp counselor #thenamingproject #lgbtq #lovewins

A photo posted by The Naming Project (@thenamingproject) on

The Naming Project's 2016 Summer Camp revolved around the theme "Jesus Loves Me! So Now What?" This theme encouraged campers to think and work past self-affirmation toward their place and role in establishing justice in the rest of the world. This year's campers came from across the country, covering New York, California, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois and Minnesota.

"For the last 13 years, The Naming Project has been bringing together young people to explore the relationship between sexual orientation, gender identity, and faith," Murray said. "This year, we wanted to both affirm that campers were created and loved by God, but also were called to make the world a better place for others. It’s so heartwarming to see young people empowered to talk about their faith and identity, and extend empathy to others. These young people give me hope for the future of Christianity."

Throughout the week, some of this year's most memorable events included a memorial service to the victims in Orlando and a reading of Sleeping with Bread around an open campfire ­– in addition, of course, to the camp games, swimming and arts & crafts that kept campers busy and having fun the entire time.

For more information about The Naming Project, you can visit their website and follow @thenamingproject on Instagram for more pictures from Summer Camp.


He shows up in beautiful ways

A photo posted by The Naming Project (@thenamingproject) on