This summer, LAJF Director of Programs, Janessa Schilmoeller (‘05, ‘06, ‘10, ‘11, ‘16, ‘17) was published in the American Camping Association (ACA) publication Camping Magazine. The article, Social Justice Series: Recognizing Microaggressions at Camp, is part of Camping Magazine’s social justice series. Janessa writes about ongoing efforts to hire a diverse staff that is reflective of the cultural diversity of our camper body, and the importance of cultural sensitivity training for staff of all different backgrounds.
Today, in the final post of the CRS-Program Area Highlight series, we hear from Eva Stylianou and Sofia Logan, former CRS Art and Music Counselors. Creative expression is an integral part of the CRS experience, and providing a space for campers to engage in the arts and music, provides campers the opportunity to “explore music and dance as tools for social change, telling different cultural stories through artistic expression.”
This week’s CRS Program Highlight comes from Amit Singh, a counselor on the 2017 Wilderness Team. He discusses how the Red Hook camping trip was created, and the lessons the campers learned. He also discusses the ongoing need for purchasing new camping equipment. “The biggest advantage of this trip was that the campers got to experience Red Hook, and it was no longer this mystical place that the counselors talked about.”
This week, we learn more about Instructions time from the 2016 Instructions Counselor, Ritham Mehta (‘11, ‘14-‘16). Instructions are vital to the Rising Sun program. Instructions provide Campers an opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills by teaching an instruction to their peers. It also provides alumni and friends an opportunity to engage with the campers, as they visit Camp for the day and share their professional knowledge.
This week, in our CRS summer staff series, we hear from Sonia Wargacka (‘10, ‘16, ‘17), the 2016-2017 Projects Counselor. Sonia discusses why she values projects, and how projects empower campers. “There is a lot to say about empowerment when we talk about hammers, table saws, construction, and painting. Enabling all of our campers to make projects happen and be the change they want to see first at Camp, and then in the world, is for me one of the most important elements of Camp Rising Sun.”
Throughout December, we will be highlighting the stories of former Camp Rising Sun counselors to hear what they valued most in their program areas. This is to increase awareness and understanding of how donations make these opportunities possible. This week, Antonella Cornejo (CRS ’16-’17) reflects on two summers working in the CRS kitchen and the importance of cultural meals to the camp experience.
The CRS 2016 season has drawn to a close! The boys left last Friday, and the staff left today. Camp is all clean and ready for 2017.
In order to sum up the summer, I asked some campers (new alumni!) and staff to offer some quotes about the season.
Thanks to all the campers and staff for an amazing CRS summer! We hope you've enjoyed staying up to date with what's going on with camp. If you'd like to help make next summer a reality, click the donate link in the menu bar and give generously to CRS 2017!
Week Two of the boys' session has ended! The first hike has returned, and the campers are all enjoying their time back together.
They're working hard on projects - painting almost every square inch of campus and renovating cabins to make them better places to spend time.
Instructions this past week included An Introduction to Human Rights, Chinese Language and Writing, Yoga, and Slam Poetry. The instructions for next week are included below!
The boys have been here for a week! Tomorrow marks the first day of first-year community leaders.
Campers have wasted no time at sinking their teeth into the CRS program. Already, over 30 first-year instruction proposals have been submitted, with more to come. A project to build new soccer/football goals has already been completed, and campers have ambitious plans for the others. Evening programs have been a success - in addition to the traditional Council campfire, the second-years organized a game of camp-based Jeopardy, and counselors conducted a program about Game Theory using Oreos.
Things at camp are settling into a familiar rhythm, punctuated only by loud bouts of hysterical laughter, fervently competitive games of three-on-three basketball, and inclusive musical jam sessions. The boys are beginning to discover that camp can be like a second home to them.
The next few weeks will be full of challenges and new experiences as the first-years adjust to their new roles as community leaders and participate in hiking trips. They are more than up to the challenge, and continue to surprise the staff every day with their ingenuity, enthusiasm, and earnestness.