Why She’s Interesting: Solomon’s Camp Lilac has all the usual trappings (boating, arts and crafts, bonfires), but it’s also a place where transgender and gender-diverse youth can be themselves in a much-needed respite from outside life.
Family Influence: Solomon is the proud mother of two trans children, one who came out at age 12, and the other at age 19. “I hit the lottery twice. It is a joy to watch the amazing ways they approach life.”
Mice Memories: No stranger to summer camp, Solomon grew up attending various camps in the U.S. and Canada. In one memorable experience, she almost managed to hide a pet mouse in a jar the entire summer. “No one knew about it — until I got caught in the last week of camp.”
Fire Songs: Forget “Cats in the Cradle” and “If I Had a Hammer.” Solomon would rather sit round the campfire and sing the official “Camp Lilac Song.” With lines such as, “Camp Lilac is just a place where I’m safe being me,” the ditty was composed using words provided by campers and staff. “The song makes me feel so happy and so pleased at the effects the camp is having.”
Battle Grounds: Though Camp Lilac doesn’t have a camp-wide Color War yet, Solomon imagines that the two opposing sides would take on very magical hues. “It would probably be Team Red for Gryffindor and Team Green for Slytherin. We are pretty Hogwarts heavy!”
Outdoor Break: A middle school teacher in East Cleveland, Solomon takes every possible opportunity to embrace nature. “Communing with nature allows me to focus on my physical surroundings. Being outside feeds a different need.”
Consent Culture: Were Solomon to impart lessons from Camp Lilac to the rest of the world, she would focus on the importance the camp places on consent. “We have consent culture for everything. Can I give you a hug? Can I sit here? There needs to be far more communication about consent in the world.”
Camp Lilac received 68 applications for the 2019 summer session. That resulted in 44 campers, up from 16 in 2017.