The idea of the organization began out of sadness and love, when the six-year old transgender daughter of Sandra came home from her day camp in tears. Her socially transitioned daughter was going to an all girls camp but hadn’t told anyone that she was born a biological male. Full of anticipation to meet her best friend, that day she left full of joy and excitement. Her best friend, angry at her at the moment for being left out of a game, had told the other girls that her daughter was in fact a biological male. She returned home that day in tears and cried for hours vowing never to return to camp. That evening, Sandra watched in wonder as her daughter worked through that her friend was indeed a good best friend, but she was just angry at her. She had enough inner-resiliency to return to camp the next day and finish out the rest of the week. To this day, her daughter and her daughter’s friend remain friends.
It was then that the genesis of the camp was born. As a bi-racial woman of Japanese and American heritage, Sandra had also experience a lot of teasing and bullying. She was one of the first mixed-race kids growing up in both Japan and the United States and was born a week before the Loving case was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court and ended the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States. The idea of having a camp that would prepare gender creative kids to proactively to deal with bullying and teasing and to feel self-empowered in a safe and comfortable community facilitated by experienced counselors helped guide Sandra to incorporate the Bay Area Rainbow Day Camp (BARDC) in the Summer of 2014.
Sandra is also a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago who has developed curriculum for East Asian history and humanities departments at San Francisco State University and California State University, Chico. She has also served on the Diversity and Inclusion Committees for several non-profit education Board of Trustees on which she has served since 2004. So when tasked with creating a vision for a camp that would incorporate the best practices of self-empowerment training and resilience training against bullying for gender creative children, she went on a self-intensive study course for the Summer of 2014.
The BARDC incorporated in the State of California on 28 July 2014. BARDC received 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit status from the Federal Government / IRS on 5 August 2014.
In the Summer of 2015, the camp was ran as a summer camp program of an independent school in El Cerrito, CA.