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 as the face that the campers saw because at that time there weren’t many other counselors of color.

After hours I didn’t hang out with counselors because I didn’t feel welcomed. Any that I might have connected with were international counselors, no white American counselors reached out. It’s probably the main reason I didn’t go back. It was too traumatizing and isolating. I didn’t even have an appropriate space to wash my hair and not be asked a million questions about it so I would go to a family friend’s house on my day off and when it was time to go back to camp, I would cry.

I would go into a building at night and just read books by black authors, anything to have a representation of my culture. I didn’t even feel like I had choices to speak my truth. I do remember feeling like wow, I feel a little envious of black campers because there were so many more of them and they had each other.”

—Hive, Counselor, 2000

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