Monday, August 26, 2013

Silly Philly is back from Camp!

While on the training hike, the campers bonded by throwing rocks into the Wissahickon river. It's a pass time I picked up when coming up with positive ways to work with anger. You can shout something, feel it leave your body, and see a large impact. It's a game I played with a camper, who was a counselor for the first time this summer.  It's a game I didn't know would personally affect her so much that she would write about it at school that year, and remember it for years to come. 

I knew I was angry with racial intolerance in the world, and that I was doing something about it, but I didn't think I would see any results of my actions. I thought I knew what the effects would be - more campers of color so Quakers of color wouldn't feel alone in a majority-white community, more staff of color so the culture of camp wouldn't be one-dimensional, more young white people with the skills to live in a multi-racial community, and children from low income backgrounds with more resource in their lives. 

Many of those effects are a slow build, and something you would never really know what caused them. However, the ripples are more obvious than that. A parent is writing a book series (Boys Camp) to increase boys' emotional intelligence, and she is making sure to include characters from different racial groups because of this work. Another parent heard about our project, and recruited campers of color from her DC neighborhood. It seems as though our efforts create ripples. 

Then there are all of these ripples:
This camper and counselor loved each other.  
This counselor and camper loved each other.

These two campers and two counselors loved each other. 

This unit of four counselors and seven campers felt like a family.
And now I feel different. I threw a rock at the water and yelled. I see ripples flowing out from my action, and I feel better.

1 comment:

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