• This program is for:

    2SLGBTQINA+ youth aged 14-20

  • Costs & Fees

    $490 per participant. Subsidies are available on a sliding scale with a minimum cost of $25

  • Location

    Camp Chief Hector, Kananaskis. Transportation available from Calgary.

  • Dates

    August 27 – 31, 2023

  • How to Register

    Registration for summer 2023 is now closed.

  • Contact Us

    Contact Us

About Camp fYrefly

Camp fYrefly is a fun, educational, social and personal leadership retreat for 2SLGBTQ+ youth ages 14-20 that takes place at YMCA Camp Chief Hector in Kananaskis, Alberta.

Campers explore their identity, build resilience, enhance self-esteem and develop leadership skills that positively impact their lives, homes, schools and communities. Workshops, outdoor activities, mental health support, art programming and community building are just some examples of what to expect!

Camp fYrefly Southern Alberta began in 2013 thanks to a partnership between the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (ISMSS) and is now operated independently by Centre for Sexuality.

“My favourite part of camp was all the people, the safety, the community, the friendship. Being able to be me!”
-Camp fYrefly Participant

2023 Camp Applications

Campers

We invite all camper applicants to reflect on their readiness to be part of a five-day overnight camp.

Camp fYrefly is a space of fun, excitement, curiosity and thoughtfulness. It is also a space for reflection and exploration of identity. Sometimes we will find ourselves in a quiet sharing circle, and other times in a noisy lodge full of people. There are opportunities to have deep chats about identity in workshops and to sing songs around a campfire. You might discover new things about yourself and the people around you, and many campers leave camp with new friendships!

This is an outdoorsy camp with bunk beds and shared rooms. A team of staff and volunteers will be there to support you over the five days if you have questions or need help.

If this sounds like fun to you, we can’t wait to receive your application!

Limited Space

Each year we receive many more applications than spaces available for campers. As a result, each application is read by at least three separate reviewers who independently consider each application. Applications are reviewed for completeness, goals and needs, depth of response to the application questions and previous personal experiences.

After the applications are reviewed, the Camp Coordinators will meet with the reviewers and make final participant selection decisions. Camp fYrefly is committed to diversity and representation within our camper and volunteer groups. We especially welcome applications from queer individuals of colour, Two-Spirit and/or Indigenous people, people with disabilities and gender-diverse individuals.

Camp Cost

The cost to attend camp this year is $490 per camper.

We encourage those youth and families who can afford the $490 cost to consider paying the full amount. However, no youth will ever be turned away based on financial need. We have subsidized rates available to enable all interested youth to attend, starting with a minimum payment of $25 and rates available all the way up to the full cost. If you are in a financial position to sponsor an additional camper, please email us at campfyrefly@centreforsexuality.ca.

If you are unable to pay the registration fee, please contact the Camp fYrefly team at campfyrefly@centreforsexuality.ca.

Folks traveling to camp from within Alberta who are in need of financial assistance for their travel can contact campfyrefly@centreforsexuality.ca.

Registration Process

The first step for interested campers is to fill out the application form below. All applicants will be informed of the result of their application. If your application is successful, we’ll provide you with more information about registration and payment at that time.

The registration package and fee will be managed through the YMCA camper registration system. There will be an option for monthly payments instead of paying the full amount right away.

In addition to registration and payment, if you are under 18, you will need your parents/guardians to complete a waiver and provide transportation information for you to attend camp.

Applications for summer 2023 are now closed.

Youth Action Committee

We are looking for a diverse group of youth ages 14-24 to join the Camp fYrefly Youth Committee to help us prepare for camp.

The Youth Action Committee is an important part of Camp fYrelfy. The committee will help us plan workshops; brainstorm ideas, activities and themes for camp; and provide feedback throughout the planning process. The committee will begin meeting in May, and successful applicants will be expected to meet approximately every two weeks from June to August. Participation in the committee guarantees participation as a camper or youth leader at Camp fYrefly 2023.

We value multiple perspectives and want to hear many different voices at this table. Everyone is welcome to apply!

Members of the Youth Action Committee will receive an honorarium of up to $50 per meeting to compensate them for their time and commitment.

Applications for the 2023 Youth Committee are now closed.

Youth Leader Volunteer

To be a Youth Leader at Camp fYrefly, you must be between the ages of 18 and 24 by the start of camp.

Youth Leaders are the group leaders at Camp fYrefly and the primary point of contact for campers. There will be one Youth Leader and one Adult Leader for each pod. As a Youth Leader, you will guide the pod through pod time activities, workshops, free time, and transition times. You’ll also help make decisions for their pod. Youth Leaders build skills in mentorship, communications, and working with youth.

We invite our Youth Leader applicants to reflect on their readiness to be part of the camp environment and the experience of mentoring 2SLGBTQINA+ youth.

Camp is a space of fun, excitement, curiosity, and introspection. It is also a space for emotional reflection, processing, and exploration of identity. Sometimes Youth Leaders will find themselves in a quiet sharing circle, and other times in a loud and boisterous lodge. It is a rustic natural site with dorm-style accommodations and bunk beds. Youth Leader roles may involve guiding conversations in workshops or singing around a campfire. You may find yourself supporting a camper through a challenging conversation about family rejection or a celebration of the new pronoun they chose.

The role of a volunteer is to allow campers to grow and learn in this space, build community, and have their physical, social, and emotional needs met. Past volunteers have shared with us that they experience both joy and exhaustion during the five days of camp.

As a Youth Leader, you will be paired with an Adult Volunteer, and together you will work in a team to supervise a pod of campers.

Due to the diverse responsibilities of this role, an ideal candidate will be able to multi-task, prioritize their own needs and the needs of others and have supports and skills available to process their own feelings as they arise at camp. Camp fYrefly youth leaders create space for youth voices and opportunities for youth to excel.

Training

To help you become successful in this youth leadership role, we will provide you with comprehensive pre-camp training to help build your leadership, facilitation experience, and mentoring skills. This pre-camp training is mandatory and will take place in July.

There will be two evening training sessions and one full day session, taking place on a weekend date. Applicants selected to be Youth Leaders at Camp fYrefly will receive a detailed registration package containing a pre-camp checklist and information on travel, meals, accommodation, and required health, dietary, legal, media consent, and Criminal Record/Child Welfare Intervention Record Check forms. If selected as a Youth Leader, we’ll send you instructions on how to complete this process.

Honorarium

Youth Leaders will receive an honorarium of up to $500.00 to compensate them for their volunteer time and any time they take off work.

There are three levels that Youth Leaders may choose from to better reflect their budget:

  • Level One: $150.00
  • Level Two: $300.00
  • Level Three: $500.00

Youth Leaders who request the honorarium will receive it after camp is over.

Volunteer Youth Leader applications for 2023 are now closed.

Adult Volunteer

Information about being an Adult Leader

Mentors and pod leaders – Adult Volunteers play a key role at Camp fYrefly. Acting as a resource for both Youth Leaders and campers, they help enhance the Camp fYrefly experience and serve to open up spaces for informal education and intergenerational role modelling.

Volunteers are there to support and provide guidance at pod meetings, meals, special events, workshops, and free time to build relationships and mentor Youth Leaders and campers. Many Adult Volunteers also choose to run their own programming and workshops or lead activities during free time blocks.

To be an adult volunteer at Camp fYrefly, you must be 25 years or older before the start of camp. It is also preferred that you have had previous experience working with youth. Adult Volunteers serve a special role at Camp fYrefly as intergenerational role models and positive resources for Youth Leaders and campers.

We invite our volunteer applicants to reflect on their readiness to be part of the camp environment and the experience of mentoring 2SLGBTQINA+ youth.

Camp is a space of fun, excitement, curiosity, and introspection. It is also a space for emotional reflection, processing, and exploration of identity. Sometimes Adult Volunteers will find themselves in a quiet sharing circle, and other times in a loud and boisterous lodge. It is a rustic natural site with dorm-style accommodations and bunk beds. Volunteer roles may involve guiding conversations in workshops or singing around a campfire. You may find yourself supporting a camper through a challenging conversation about family rejection or a celebration of the new pronoun they chose.

The role of a volunteer is to allow campers to grow and learn in this space, build community, and have their physical, social, and emotional needs met. Past volunteers have shared with us that they experience both joy and exhaustion during the five days of camp.

As a Youth Leader, you will be paired with an Adult Volunteer, and together you will work in a team to supervise a pod of campers.

Due to the diverse responsibilities of this role, an ideal candidate will be able to multi-task, prioritize their own needs and the needs of others, and have supports and skills available to process their own feelings as they arise at camp. Camp fYrefly volunteers create space for youth voices and opportunities for youth to excel.

Training

Your role will involve many important informal mentoring opportunities with the youth at camp. To support you in this important role, we will provide you with comprehensive pre-camp training to help develop your leadership, facilitation, supervision, and mentoring skills. This pre-camp training is mandatory and will take place in July. There will be two evening training sessions and one full day session, taking place on a weekend date. Also mandatory is the completion of the Volunteer Waiver/Criminal Record/Child Welfare Intervention Record Check forms. If chosen as an Adult Volunteer, we’ll send you instructions on how to complete this process.

As recognition of your commitment, Adult Volunteers will receive a sliding scale honorarium up to $250, depending on need.

Adult Volunteer applications for 2023 are now closed.

Counselling/Mental Health Team Volunteer

The Mental Health Team at Camp fYrefly supports the mental health and wellbeing of participants at Camp fYrefly.

Mental health volunteers are available to help campers navigate the challenges they are going through and direct them to relevant resources in their local community. Mental Health team members can come from various backgrounds, including social workers, psychologists, counsellors, youth support workers and other mental health professionals.

Mental Health Team Volunteers will be onsite for all 5 days of camp, with a rotating shift schedule in place.

Training

We will provide you with comprehensive pre-camp training to support you in this important role. This pre-camp training is mandatory and will take place in July. There will be two evening training sessions and one full day session, taking place on a weekend date.

As recognition of your commitment, Counselling/Mental Health Team Volunteers will receive a sliding scale honorarium of up to $250, depending on need.

Counselling/Mental Health Team applications for 2023 are now closed.

Questions? Email us at campfyrefly@centreforsexuality.ca.