New Leaders Project

Watch the video!

What is The New Leaders Project?

The New Leaders Project is an exciting part of EqualityMaine’s youth initiative to improve the climate for LGBTQ+ youth by providing leadership skills, community building, and self-empowerment. Our leadership program is for LGBTQ+ young people and allies who want to work alongside other young leaders from across Maine. Participants will learn interpersonal communication, LGBTQ+ history, self-empowerment, leadership, and more. The young people who have completed this program have since applied these skills both in their schools and in our work at EqualityMaine through public speaking, event planning, and presenting at conferences. 

New Leaders Project Summer Camp
Monday, August 19th - Saturday, August 24th

EqualityMaine welcomes you to apply for our 15th New Leaders Project Summer Camp. This five-day camp aims to strengthen leadership skills, build resilience, and provide opportunities for self-affirming discovery and personal growth. At camp, we strive to foster real connections and relationships between LGBTQ+ youth, allies, and a team of dedicated counselors and staff. We aim to inspire and challenge campers with passionate, experienced, and talented speakers. 

All New Leaders Project programs provide youth with the skills and tools to take action in their own schools and communities as leaders, making positive and lasting change. Sticking to EqualityMaine’s pillars of advocacy, we aim to educate young people, build stronger communities, and learn how to advocate for ourselves and others.

Camp this year is available for students who are 13 - 17, or entering 8th - 12th grade**, at the time of camp. Camp will include community building,  leadership skills, advocacy education, LGBTQ history, and outdoor activities in a safe supportive environment!

The initial application must be completed by the camp participant themselves, with support from caregivers as needed. 

We understand that families have different abilities to pay, and that our camp can provide one of the most valuable experiences for a young person in the LGBTQ+ community. We strive to make camp attainable for ALL campers who wish to attend. After the application process is complete and the camper has been accepted, guardians will be given the opportunity to self-select a pricing tier level that best suits their family. We offer four different payment option tiers. Our options range from real camp cost to full subsidized tuition; all campers receive the same camp experience regardless of the level their families choose to pay.

Please review the tier options and select the one that best fits your family to help keep this camp accessible to all families:
Tier 1 - $1,250:
This tier reflects the real cost for participation in this camp, including lodging, board, equipment, staffing, insurance, and overall programming. We ask that families that are able to do so participate at this level.
Tier 2 - $800:
This tier reflects the real cost for programming, lodging, and board for camp. We ask that families that are able to do so participate at this level.
Tier 3 - $500
This tier is more heavily subsidized through community donations and sponsors. Please participate at this level if it keeps camp affordable for your family. 
Tier 4 - No cost or “pay what you can”
This is a fully subsidized option OR “pay what you can” option. We provide more significant financial assistance to families that need help to cover the full cost of camp.  This tier is made possible through annual giving, community support, sponsors, and grants. If you’d like to contribute an amount of your choosing, select this option. We will never turn away a camper for the inability to pay for programming. 

If you have any questions or need any assistance in completing the application material, please email

Ready to apply? Click Here To Start A Camp Application!
Applications are open from Monday, February 4th - Sunday, March 31st 2024.

**Have you graduated? Apply to be a Counselor-In-Training (NEW PROGRAM) for leaders aged 17-20 who have graduated high school. Learn more here:

Counselor-In-Training Program

This year, we are adding a new Counselor-In-Training Program to further extend our reach and support to LGBTQ+ young adults in continuing their journey as leaders in our community. Our Counselor-In-Training program is open to folks who have graduated high school or have a GED and are age 18-20* at the time of camp. *Only 17 year olds who have graduated their senior year are invited to apply.
The Counselor-In-Training Program is limited to 5 participants for the 2024 camp year. This is a volunteer position with a nominal stipend available. 

Counselor-In-Training participants will be required to attend a four day training program prior to camp; two days with just fellow CIT’s and two days with the full counselor staff. The dates of the program are Thursday, August 15th - Saturday, August 24th. 

Click here to learn more and apply! Applications close March 31st. 

In-Person Book Club with EqualityMaine and Lucky Fox Bookshop!

Last Thursday of the month starting in January

A book club by queer folks for queer folks that will foreground queer books, enabling participants not only to see themselves represented in media, but also be exposed to a variety of lived experiences. Purchase your copy online at or stop by the EqualityMaine office in the ECC to pick up a copy of the book!
Monthly Meetings will be held on the 4th Thursday of the month.

More info on the first meeting TBA!

Are you willing to help sponsor a program for queer youth? Click here, and thank you for your generosity.



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