Camp Michigania is far from diverse. I am the only black person on program staff. Normally there are at least a few others, but never any black boys. Year after year campers, who are also mostly white, confuse the black staff for each other. Like, campers that I’ve known for years will think I’m another black girl who worked years ago. At this point I am used to it. And it will probably happen in a real work place as well. But I think my ideal work place is diverse in multiple ways. Not just in race, but also in gender. Another area where camp struggles is how it views gender. All of the activities rely on the gender binary. But children campers don’t anymore as we become more and more excepting of difference in the newer generations. For example sometimes kids will come through that don’t identify with the sex they were born with. In order to create a more accepting environment I think it would be better if these groups were mixed. As I navigate through the internship , I haven’t noticed any blatant racism from the campers, besides mistaking me for someone else, even the older ones. But I have noticed that there is some lack of trust for women leaders from the campers. Overcoming this is easy for me by now. When I worked in the craft section of camp, every day my authority would be challenged. Mostly because I was at least 20 years younger than the campers that showed up in the craft section. I’ve learned that confidence is key, and establishing that you know more than the campers on the subject is important. This is a good skill for the future, because going into the workforce you will never be the one in charge, and you will always have to prove yourself to someone.
- Blog 2: Work Culture
- Blog 4: Mid-point Check-In