by Molly Herrmann, Camp Registrar
As part of the mission at Eagle’s Nest Foundation, creating a safe space for the wellbeing and growth of every individual is paramount, and should be at the forefront of all our conversations. Traditionally, this safety and wellbeing component has been approached with a lens of the majority needs—the good of the many translating to the good of all—consequently, although unintentionally, this was often executed in a manner whereby the good of all did not account for the variety of experiences and perspectives of marginalized groups. As an organization with a mission to be inclusive, supportive, and welcoming to all, we must examine our programming and community with a concentrated eye to the lens of marginalized groups
Understanding the perspectives and needs of people who are marginalized offers a more effective starting point for supporting the wellbeing of all members of our community; the good of all is served best by approaching wellbeing and safety from the perspective of individuals who have been traditionally marginalized.
To deepen this work, the Eagle’s Nest Camp and Hante Adventures team is participating in a series of meetings to recognize and devise concrete action steps in order to establish and maintain a space that is inclusive, safe, and attends to the wellbeing of every individual at our Camp and on our Hante Adventures. We will set short and long-term goals, invite dialogue with families and constituents, and communicate our progress.
We are starting these meetings by embracing a standpoint that investigates which practices and cultural aspects at our Camp and on our Hante Adventures are perceived as not inclusive or welcoming to marginalized individuals and families. We’re asking the question “What systemic barriers make our programs inaccessible or uncomfortable to some of our potential participants?” We are driven to become allies of marginalized groups by committing to educate ourselves and move toward removing minority stress in our programs and policies through actions that support our foundation’s mission for every single camper, participant, and staff member.
We are eager to hear your ideas, recommendations, and resources, especially if you feel that you are part of a group that has not been heard or seen. We also welcome your questions. We have a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) wishlist on Amazon to help us build a resource library on our Pisgah Forest campus. Please consider donating to our DEI library (new or used copies are welcome), or suggesting other books that you think would help us in our efforts.
Additionally, we are continuing to build up our Gear Lending Library. Please consider sending us your gently used outdoor gear. The Gear Lending Library at Eagle’s Nest provides access to quality outdoor gear and clothing for campers and students to enhance their outdoor experiences and also helps to relieve the financial burden of Camp, Hante, and OA for our families. We are grateful for donations of gently used and/or new items for the Gear Lending Library. If you have questions or want more information about our Gear Lending Library, please contact Camille Wick (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here are some resources we are reading now:
- The Troubled History of Inclusion in American Outdoor Spaces
- Summer Camp Blog: Thoughts on Being Black At Camp
- Using Mindfulness to Dismantle Bias Webinar from Teaching Matters
- Social Justice Commitment