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, 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.
Leymah Gbowee, a 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, visited Camp Rising Sun this summer to speak with campers about her career as a peacebuilder and the importance of perseverance and working as a team to accomplish common goals. “she taught us the value of perseverance, ‘that even when life is too difficult you should stay put and keep focusing on your goals.’” Read about this enriching experience here.
This has been one of the most intense weeks at Camp, but one of the most transforming. The campers started functioning better as a community and spoke to each other more freely. The second hiking trip, self-care day, movie night, and the weekly variety program happened this week as well. Read more about the week here.