Life As It Should Be Amy Podolsky

Feb 9 2022
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In a recent conversation with a fellow camp director friend, we got to talking about how camps have the potential to be “prototypes” for an ideal future. When you think about it, camp is a place where, (in Sewataro’s case), a large group of people come together, and in the absence of cell phones, social media, and even mirrors, get to be the most authentic versions of themselves. Camp is a place where taking risks in a safe, supportive environment is encouraged…and even cheered on. It’s a place where we get to come together at the end of each day, to sing songs, and celebrate successes, together as a community. How cool would it be if everything in life were like that?

This brings me to the topic of Belonging. As a leadership team, our primary goal is for everyone – campers and staff alike – to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. We want Sewataro to be a place where each individual’s uniqueness is honored, and makes the collective whole better for it.

Three years ago, we began to take a good hard look at our culture, and to assess whether or not we felt ours was an inclusive environment, where everyone belongs equally. It was very obvious to us that the Native American “themes” of Sewataro were not all-inclusive. So, a new logo was created, and tree names replaced tribe names in the summer of 2020. We realized that looking inward is not a one time endeavor, but rather an ongoing process of self-reflection. The Sewataro “Promise of Inclusion,” (below) was crafted and honed over the past year, and is a marker by which we are constantly measuring ourselves. We humbly recognize that as humans, we are imperfect. These promises remind us that when (not if) we fall short of these ideals, we can reflect back, and course correct when and where needed. These promises matter to us. And, they represent the camp community – and the world – we want to see. Summer as it should be. Life, as it should be. This is our promise.

PROMISE OF INCLUSION

Camp Sewataro is committed to creating a community of belonging where everyone feels both welcome and invited. We are continuously striving to build a culture that is safe, equitable, and free from discrimination.

  • We commit to recognizing and celebrating our differences and will work to increase the diversity of our camp community.
  • We will create spaces for open dialogue, amplify all voices, and listen with the intent to learn.
  • We promise to engage in regular self reflection, evaluation, and improvement.
  • We will work to ensure that every member of the Sewataro community feels safe, valued, and supported.

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