Bunking at Camp Alonim
We hope to welcome your child to Alonim so they can experience the magic of camp. A key part of this magic is the bunk experience. Campers develop deep and meaningful bonds with their bunkmates, enjoying the fun of an extended slumber party in the safe, guided environment of a cooperative community.
At Camp Alonim, we celebrate a wide range of gender expression and acknowledge that there are more than two genders. With this, our campers see that there is no single “right” way to be a girl or be a boy and encourage all campers to just be themselves, regardless of what bunk they live in. Year after year, we see the benefits of this inclusive culture, as campers feel the freedom and safety to express themselves.
Camp Alonim welcomes children from across the gender spectrum and assigns campers to bunks based on a variety of factors. Our goal is to ensure that every child who attends camp is welcomed, included, and celebrated. We offer “boys” bunks, “girls” bunks, and all-gender bunks for campers in 10th and 11th grade (based on demand). All-gender bunks are good options for children who prefer to bunk with children of other genders, for children who identify as non-binary, for those who want to bunk with a friend who is non-binary or for campers who feel this is the best fit for any reason.
Campers will be bunked according to their gender identity in a “boys” or “girls” bunk as provided by their parent or adult guardian and/or in conversation with the camper’s parent/guardian. Many children at camp are gender non-conforming, and a member of the year-round staff will speak with parents/guardians of children in this category to find the best fit within our current bunking model. Campers entering 10th and 11th grade can choose with their parent/guardian to live in an all-gender bunk; again, these are only going to be available if there is enough demand.
An example is that a “girls” bunk may include children who identify as girls, including trans girls, non-binary, or somewhere else along the gender spectrum. Similarly, a “boys” bunk may include children who identify as boys, including trans boys, non-binary, or somewhere else along the gender spectrum. A member of the year-round staff is part of the bunking assignment process.
We are pleased to offer all-gender bunks based on interest for rising 10th and 11th graders during 2nd, 3rd, and CIT Sessions. We have found that there is a lot of interest in all-gender bunks for the older campers and currently not enough demand to warrant offering all-gender bunks for rising 2nd through 9th graders. This would only be an opt-in housing option. However, ALL of our counselors are trained on how to create a safe and welcoming space for campers of all genders in EVERY bunk. If you are interested in this housing option for your 10th or 11th grader, or have any questions, please email email@example.com. Read on for more information about our all-gender bunks.
How are bunks assigned?
Camp Alonim offers “boys” cabins, “girls” bunks, and for entering 10th and 11th graders all-gender bunk options.
Camp Alonim assigns bunks by rising grade level and gender identity. While every reasonable effort will be made to honor bunkmate requests that are received in a timely manner, bunkmate requests are not guaranteed. Bunkmate requests are not considered for entering 10th and 11th grade campers. Bunks are assigned at the sole discretion of the camp and are sometimes assigned or modified to accommodate enrollment patterns and group dynamics.
Will there be diversity of gender expression within the boys’ and girls’ bunks?
Yes, possibly. Alonim believes there is not one right way to be a girl or be a boy and encourages all campers to just be themselves regardless of what bunk they live in. Alonim welcomes children all across the gender spectrum and assigns bunks based on a variety of factors. Our goal is to ensure that every child who attends camp is welcomed, included and celebrated. Trans campers are welcome in all bunks.
As a result of our bunking policy and our values as an organization, your child may be bunked with children with different gender identities than your child. For example, a “girls” cabin may include children who identify as girls, including trans girls, non-binary or somewhere else along the gender spectrum.
How will you handle privacy and changing clothes in bunks?
Campers can change clothes in the bathroom stalls, in their sleeping bags, behind a curtain which will be installed in some bunks like a fitting room at a clothing store, or in an open area of the bunk, depending on how much privacy they desire. This is a personal choice everyone gets to make for themselves.
Why are you offering all-gender bunk options for rising 10th and 11th graders?
Providing more choices for housing allows us to accommodate more campers’ gender identities and housing preferences. This is aligned with Alonim’s mission of allowing each camper to be their authentic selves. Our goal is to ensure that every child who attends camp is welcomed, included and celebrated.
If my child is attending a session and is in the eligible grade spread for a predefined all-gender bunk, is there a chance that they could be housed in an all-gender cabin even if they don’t want to be?
No. The all-gender bunks are an opt-in program. Your child will only be assigned to a predefined all-gender bunk if you register for that program specifically. However, as a result of our bunking policy and our values as an organization, your child may be bunked with children with different gender identities than your child. For example, a “girls” cabin may include children who identify as girls, including trans girls, non-binary or somewhere else along the gender spectrum. In a predefined girls bunk, you can expect that the majority of the children will identify as girls, whereas in a predefined all-gender bunk, there will be a more diverse array of gender identities.
Who Can Live in All-Gender Bunks?
Anyone can! All-gender bunks are options for 10th and 11th grade campers who prefer to bunk with children of other genders, for children who identify as non-binary, who want to bunk with a friend who is non-binary or for campers who feel this is the best fit for any reason. Fraternal twins who want to bunk together often enjoy living in an all-gender bunk as well. Trans campers are welcome in all bunks including the all-gender bunks.
The all-gender bunks will have access to all-gender bathrooms and showers, as well as the boys’ and girls’ bathroom and shower facilities.
Who will be the counselors of all-gender bunks in 10th and 11th grade?
Right now, the all-gender bunks will be a part of the Yachad and CIT Teen leadership programs where all the boys, girls, and any other campers all have four counselor advisors together regardless of gender. We will assign loving Alonim counselors to the all-gender bunks and provide additional training and resources to them. Counselors will include staff with a range of gender identities. For example, there could be one counselor who identifies as non-binary and one who identifies as male.
Will the all-gender bunks take away from the boys and girls bunks’ bunk experience?
Not at all! Creating community within each bunks remains the cornerstone of the Alonim experience. We know there is a lot of power in girls creating a diverse sisterhood and boys creating a diverse brotherhood within their bunks, and that isn’t going away. We will continue to train counselors that there are many ways to express gender, and all gender expressions will be accepted and celebrated in all bunks.