Humans of Aloha

Inspired by Humans of New York, we’ve created a public space for marginalized groups to share their experiences while at our Foundation programs. Through many different platforms and publications, we celebrate the positive impact of camp – it is less often that we pause to listen and reflect on the times when we should have and could have done better. Improving our understanding is a key part of our commitment to make both immediate and lasting change and to ensure we are, each and every day, a community that welcomes and celebrates differences.

These stories will be anonymous and we ask you to help us keep them that way in support of brave individuals who are willing to share personal stories with our entire community. The feature will be every Friday on our Foundation Facebook and Instagram pages. Check them out! Have a story to share? Email us.

Humans of Aloha—Hive Counselor 2000

“I went to a camp growing up and it was great, but I didn’t know the isolation that came on the other end as a counselor. There was a sense of social isolation that I felt as a black counselor at Hive and a sense of responsibility…Read More

“I think when you come to Aloha as a counselor like me—someone who never went to camp there and didn’t know anything about it before I came—my socioeconomic difference really shaped my experience. I remember telling my campers that I had been working two jobs, seven days a week for the past six months so that I could afford to come to camp.  Then a camper asked me why my parents couldn’t just pay…Read More

“During my summer off after Lakeside, I came back to camp for Show Weekend with my parents to get the taste of Lanakila that I had been missing. Something was stolen on camp property that weekend. A senior staff member asked me if I knew….Read More

“I was super excited because I had heard that there were going to be Spanish speaker sat camp. My family is from Central America and growing up I spoke Spanish at home. Being around people who speak Spanish or speak your native tongue makes you feel more comforted, builds connections and, since I was already someone who had been to camp and I heard that this would have been these girls’ first summers, I wanted to make them feel welcomed….Read More

“On the Fourth of July, the oldest camper unit at Aloha called Club picks a theme and they dress up for their march to Lanakila. As my Club group was deciding on one, someone mentioned that we should dress up like Soundcloud rappers…Read More

“There was a lawn dance with Aloha and Lanakila campers on Lanakila’s campus and two counselors were in charge of music and were playing songs that were censored. A song came on and the N-word was bleeped out and there was a second of silence during that part and it sounded like someone in the crowd had actually said the word. I looked at some of the black Aloha girls that were nearby…Read More

“I had a black camper tell me she had always wanted a black counselor and I was her first. This was something I really hadn’t thought of from a camper’s perspective. Most campers would never be waiting for that moment because they were in a community where who they were was reflected back to them. Not being represented, not having someone in leadership or in a counselor position…Read More

“During the Ameden Finals, Lanakila’s annual baseball game, I, a black counselor, was sitting in Lakeside watching the game with some black campers of different ages and one white camper. We were hanging out together, we weren’t distracting from the game, and we were having fun. Later, other counselors made jokes with me like maybe I should ‘spread out more.’ Why is it when black people hang out together…Read More

“As a department when photocopying our faces for an activity, mine didn’t come out, mine didn’t come out like everyone else’s, in fact, only my teeth showed up. That picture became the source of laughter for counselors at the time that I had been desperate to be friends, counselors I looked up to when I was a camper. Not wanting to seem like a party pooper, or like I couldn’t take a joke, I started to join in on the laughter…Read More

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