OUT's drop-in program is a safe space for the youth to explore and express their identities at any point in their journey, a place where they can find supportive peers and adult allies, confidential discussion groups, community-oriented projects and activities, and space to be free of judgment. It plays a critical role and has made a profound difference in the lives of many rural LGBTQ youth.
Each drop-in session includes snacks or a meal, support, discussion on important issues and opportunities for social time. Trained adult advisors are always present and new adult volunteers are always welcome.
The Youth Retreat programs are to enhance leadership development and reach more rural youth. In May 2017, OUT held its third annual youth retreat at Camp Kieve-Wavus, where 39 youth from Machias to South Portland gathered to learn and network. The weekend proved to be life-changing for many, building a new LGBTQ Youth Leadership Team. These youth need connections and visible adult LGBT mentors to help them see possibility in their futures and reasons to remain in school.