“In a summer training session for returning counselors, someone brought up that all the Black girls are sitting together in the Art Barn and we need to split them up. Another person chimed in ‘Yeah, when they hang out together as a group its intimidating.’

How are 15-year-olds intimidating? The audacity for them to ask me to split them up. I was so angry and felt like everything they were saying was stupid.

What’s intimidating is being at a camp with all white people when you are not. They were hanging out together because they were comfortable with each other, many of them knowing each other from home and having similar interests.

The Art Barn is one place where campers go to feel comfortable, no matter who they are. Why would we ruin that space?

I felt sad for them. If those counselors had taken the time to get to know those girls, they would have seen how amazing they were, instead they called them unapproachable, aggressive, and stand-offish…a clique.

That was the year we had better diversity within the camper pool than normal and after this meeting I didn’t want the girls to come back to camp anymore. Maybe they were thinking the same thing because they never came back.”

—Aloha, Counselor, 2013

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