Black Lives Matter at Summer Camp
Day of Action - November 19, 2020
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Summer Camp Day of Action for Black Lives - Statement
Summer Camps must act.
OUR CAMP NAME affirms that Black Lives Matter. OUR CAMP NAME promises to do our best to, and to continue to learn how to, be a part of the work to eliminate structural racism and white supremacy in all of the spaces of our camp and the rest of our lives.
Summer Camp Day of Action for Black Lives - Personal Statement
Summer Camp Professionals must act.
If your organization is unable or unwilling to make the statement above we hope you'll consider making the following public statement:
As a summer camp professional, I affirm that Black Lives Matter. I am committing to do my best to, and to continue to learn how to, be a part of the work to eliminate structural racism and white supremacy in all of the spaces of summer camp and the rest of my life.
Black Lives Matter at Summer Camp
What can our camp do?
Post the Statement ⬆️ to your Social Media & email your camp families about it:
Summer Camps must act. OUR CAMP NAME affirms that Black Lives Matter. OUR CAMP NAME promises to do our best to, and to continue to learn how to, be a part of the work to eliminate structural racism and white supremacy in all of the spaces of our camp and the rest of our lives.
Include the hashtag #BLMatCamp in your posts and raise awareness/show support.
ReTweet & Repost other camps' posts on the #BLMatCamp hashtag
DO THE WORK.
Posting a statement on your social media or emailing your camp community isn't work.
Change your policies.
Recruit BIPOC Staff.
Examine Your Payscale.
Get to know the people of the communities you intend to serve.
Stop being one of those camps that stays out in the woods and says "We're here for you!". Get to work.
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Why Take a Day of Action for
Black Lives at Camp?
Summer camp is built on the idea of giving young people fuller lives through recreation, enrichment, and community. Our industry centers on the well-being of youth and was created to better their life outcomes, experiences, and personal growth. This is why we are camp professionals and why we believe in the power of camp.
Therefore, it is a fundamental and necessary step for us to affirm that Black Lives Matter. As camps and camp professionals, this statement lies at the core of our identity and values within this industry.
Right here and right now, while we know our work is for all campers, staff, and families, we must focus on the ones calling for help. We must focus on the members of our broader community asking for and demanding change and justice. We must extend our hearts, our values, and the power of the experience we create to those who have been left behind.
That is what we say camp does - so WE must do it now.
Staying silent, or saying "all of our campers matter", skips over the necessary need, and opportunity, to clarify our specific commitment to addressing racism at our camps and in our local communities.
We need to recognize that the camp industry itself is overwhelmingly represented by white experiences, and that bias- whether intentional or not- is weakening our impact and is contrary to our mission.
As a worldwide camp industry, we cannot make as much change acting alone as we can by standing together. We are called to act collectively as a community of camps and camp professionals because together our influence can have a greater impact on others and our local communities.
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color within our industry have waited too long for the camping world to leverage resources for equity and racial justice.
Today we take an active, energetic, and clear-eyed step toward that justice for our campers, staff members, families, and communities.
Our next steps will be varied as is fitting for our unique camp communities. This is a day for us to amplify our voices, and encourage other camps, camp professionals, and the young people that look up to us, to take future steps together with us to end racism.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
Day of Action - November 19, 2020
Don’t All Lives Matter?
When we say proudly and loudly that “Black Lives Matter,” we are not diminishing the value of all lives. Instead, this is a call to specifically bring attention to the ways that Black lives are treated differently in measures that create such drastic life outcomes- otherwise thought of as “systemic racism.” As a community that is so committed to intervening and literally changing the course of a young person’s life- racism is contrary to everything that camps stand for. For all lives to truly matter, we have to address the issues that prevent such a reality from coming to fruition. Long-term, meaningful change requires actions and changes from as many people and institutions as possible.
Is this statement associated with the
Black Lives Matter organization?
Today we are affirming Black lives because they do matter and cooperation together as a camp world can make a difference in the lives of our campers, staff, and families and in our local communities.
We understand that within the broad camp world, our individual connections with the global movement and with Black Lives Matter Global Network chapters are varied, as is our understanding or opinion of this- and any other- social movement. We hope that those so concerned about the Black Lives Matter movement will recall that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. writes about white moderates in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail and the inability to engage in the civil rights movement because of the sentiment “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of actions.” This course of action slows progress to our entire community and denies justice in the process.
We have already encountered many camp professionals who declare that this movement is violent and Marxist and we must push back and remind ourselves that Black liberation has for generations been labelled incorrectly as communist. Black Lives Matter has clear statements about the movement and misinformation on its website. The lived experiences of Black people are not mere matters of opinion.
Why are people getting political at camp?
In many ways, it’s important to note that camp itself is political - our industry is born out of a call for change in how youth are provisioned for, treated, and what they are exposed to during their formative years. We believe that institutions beyond school and general recreation outlets can- and do- improve the lives of our communities and we often engage in advocacy that furthers that call.
For camps to affirm that Black Lives Matter, we are extending clarity about who we are, what we believe, and our commitment to continue to act towards change. However, this does not have to inherently be a partisan message or be in service to a particular political party. Working together towards justice is something that all people- young and old- can and should engage in.
To choose to be "non-political" is a
privilege that many of our families, campers and staff don't share.
Resources for your
Camp Pros of Colour Leading this Work
Briana Mitchell & Makela Elvy - @smoremelanin
Simone Gamble - OAAARS
Leilani Nussman on Anti-Racism at Summer Camp
Thoughts on Being Black at Camp
ACA - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Roundtable Discussion
Intro to Anti-Racism Series - Aldersgate Camp
Anti-Racism Panel Discussion - Camp Aldersgate
Doug Sutherland - Staff Training & Cultural Mindfulness
Nelson Strickland - See the Color
Kyle Chones - Ask the Camp Guy
Niambi Jaha-Echols - Cross Cultural Agility LLC
Other Useful Resources
#racism-privilege-and-summer-camp on the Covid-19 & Camp Slack
Resources For Anti-Racism - from NOLS
The Role of Camp Leaders in Addressing Problematic Hiring Practices
Racism in Recreation - with Dr. Daniel Theriault - The CampHacker Podcast
ANTIRACIST ALLYSHIP STARTER PACK : Google Sheet
How To Respect My Ethnic Name
Clear Language on Slavery
Want more diversity in camping? Start with the gear
What systemic racism in Canada looks like
How To Talk To Toddlers About Race, According To Experts
Ending violence against people of color in food and farming
What Anti-racist Teachers Do Differently
© Concerned Camp organizers. All rights reserved.
We will be sending out more information and the resources to join the Camp Day of Action for Black Lives soon!