Hudson, who lives in Astoria, volunteered at summer camps for the last 20 years, since he was a teenager. He graduated with a Master's Degree in social work from New York University in 2000, and continues to work in that field today. When he met co-founder Jackie McGowan, his dream to open a summer camp for kids became a reality.
The camp is located just outside of Reading, Pennsylvania. It serves children aged eight to 15 in New York City, plus surrounding areas such as Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and New Jersey.
“It's important because these are kids who may not necessarily identify as gay,” Hudson said of the camp, but “they have been thrust into the gay movement.”
The number one goal of the camp, he said, is for kids to learn that there are others out there with the same background. The second goal is for the parents to form a community with each other.
The camp is one week long, and along with arts, sports, nature education and other traditional summer camp activities, each day focuses on a different value, such as trust, acceptance or respect.
He said while there are numerous services for LGBT youth, the gay family is a fairly new concept in New York, and children who come out of them face a unique set of challenges.
For example, kids who come from an LGBT family are even more likely to face bullying than other kids, Hudson said.
“We want to make a fun space where these kids can relax,” Hudson said.
“And they can talk about their parents and complain about their parents, like we all do, without having a press conference,” he added, regarding how kids from LGBT families often have to explain why they have two moms or dads.
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