California's Camp Tawonga outside Yosemite National Park pilots all-gender bunks

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Camp Tawonga, a residential summer camp outside Yosemite National Park, will feature all-gender bunks for children. (KGO-TV)

This summer 10-year-old Jonathan Brunn and his twin sister Sabina will attend Camp Tawonga, a residential summer camp outside Yosemite National Park.

It won't be their first summer at camp but it will be the first summer both have the option of camping in an all-gender bunk as opposed to a girls' bunk or boys' bunk.

"Of course I'm happy," said Jonathan.

Jonathan says he's transgender and non-binary.

"I identify as both," said Jonathan.

VIDEO: Understanding gender language

Jonathan uses the pronouns he, she and they.

"Johnny is not male or female, he's Johnny," said Sabina.

Camp Director Becca Meyer says the idea came from campers.

"We've had a cabin called G-11. Children themselves came up with the idea to change the name to AG-11, All-Gender 11, to make everyone in the cabin feel included and welcomed as a group," said Meyer.

"Yeah that was my bunk," said Jonathan.

The all gender bunk will have a no nudity rule with curtained areas for changing.

"This ensures that everyone feels really safe," said Meyer.

Before attending his current school Jonathan was often bullied.

"It was mainly very annoying and it also hurt physically and non-physically," said Jonathan.

But his mom says he was never bullied at Camp Tawonga.

"Tawonga being such an accepting place was really so powerful and healing," said Nancy Brunn.

The camp plans to have two all gender bunks this summer as part of it's pilot program. Meyer says so far she has received only support.

"It will allow more children to feel like they get to be their best selves at camp and be a part of our community," said Meyer.

The pilot program could expand or go away in the future.
Related Topics:
societycamptransgenderoutdoor adventuresgender identitychildrenYosemite National Park
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