Diversity at Summer CampPosted by Beigette Gill on May 29, 2018
Each summer Jim, Caroline, Alicia and I choose a Fernwood Cove Camp Value to focus on for the summer. This summer we have chosen DIVERSITY. Our green and white wooden Diversity sign will be placed on the Fernwood Cove fire place located in the Chickawah Theater highlighting this value.
Fernwood Cove is a hugely diverse community. There are campers and staff from twenty countries this summer. And the flag from each foreign country that has ever been represented at camp is hanging in the Feeder.
Diversity at Summer Camp
During the off-season we have explored what Diversity means to us and Fernwood Cove. At the beginning of this year we attended a workshop dedicated to this topic called “cross-cultural agility” and met Niambi Jaha-Echols. Mrs. Jaha-Echols works to help individuals and businesses further develop their cultural awareness and increase their inclusion. While the camp community is from many parts of the world Fernwood Cove has created a place of cross-cultural agility and acceptance of each person as an individual.
Here is how the Fernwood Cove community has created and continues to promote Cross-Cultural Agility:
Welcoming to others– One of the great things about Fernwood Cove is the welcoming atmosphere. This is created by our returning campers and staff who are wonderful at welcoming first-timers into bunks and activities. Keep this up!
Culture of Inclusion
The first step is developing the welcoming community and completing first introductions. Next is creating a culture of inclusion. At Fernwood Cove we talk about the importance of inclusion, where campers feel comfortable to join in freely and be a part of conversations. Remember, Fernwood Cove is known for its inclusive culture. Remember this continues with you. Be that camper who is aware of others and intentionally includes other Fernwood Cove girls.
Get to know people on the inside– It is so easy to make judgements of people based on their appearance and initial behavior. Camp is the best place to get to know someone for who they truly are as a person. This is only one of the great reasons we have uniform and play many bunk games and get-to-know-you games during Bunk Circles.
Random Act of Kindness
Random Act of Kindness (RAK)— Each summer at assembly we talk about RAKs. This is the act of randomly or spontaneously helping other people. Campers are recognized by staff when they do something kind for someone else. This is a big part of creating our culture of kindness, inclusion and acceptance.
Having a Positive and Open mind— Coming to camp with a positive outlook, open mind and understanding that we are all individuals is so important. When you arrive to camp remember to have a positive outlook and open mind. Be excited to learn about each other’s strengths and differences. It is up to you to have a positive outlook and attitude.
Acceptance and respect of people ‘s individuality– We all bring something unique and different based on our personality, background and experiences. While not everyone will be your best friend it is important to be respectful, kind and accepting of each other.
New campers, I welcome you to our community and am excited to meet you. Returning campers, I can’t wait to welcome you home! I am excited to see what you will bring as an individual to add to our diverse community this summer. – Beigette Gill