“My close friend at camp was petrified of attending the 4th of July parade that went through town. She was really nervous about being in a rural Vermont town that wasn’t diverse. She would talk about her experience with racism in other areas of the country and felt very uncomfortable and on edge. So every year she would always go back to this conversation and I would try my best to console her, “We’re going to be together, don’t worry about it. We’re part of this camp, it’ll be fine.” And each time I know she felt like she was being stared down. It was almost a relief for her when the parade was done. At the time, we didn’t have any counselors of color we could talk to about this issue so we just had to talk to each other about it and support each other. We didn’t feel comfortable sharing with counselors because we thought they might brush it under the rug or think that it was silly. It’s going to be important for counselors to be ready to have conversations about being out in the community and if we experience racism how we should react.”
—Aloha Foundation, Camper, 2003
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