Reflection by Abby Hoover on the Tri-State Camp Conference
Recently I was on spring break from school and during that time I attended the Tristate Camp Conference in Atlantic City with Anna, Danny, and Malcolm. For the three days I was at the conference I attended sessions on diversity, gender inclusion, different camp activities, went to a meet and greet for other LGBTQ+ camp professionals, heard a talk from Sir Ken Robinson about finding your passion, and made meaningful connections with other camp staff! One thing that stuck out to me during the sessions I attended was everyone’s desire to examine their camps’ practices and make intentional changes when it comes to gender, racial, and neurodiversity inclusion. I was able to speak to other camps’ staff about Friends Camp’s experience with gender expansive practices and also get new insight into how to be more inclusive and welcoming. Through talking to other camp professions, from other camp counselors to executives in the camp world, I found a community of people who have similar passions for camp as myself and that long for a more empathetic, inclusive, and accepting camp experience and world. Through meeting these other camp professionals I got more tips on creating more intentional diversity and how to recognize behaviors that keep diversity from flourishing. Not only do I plan on putting the skills I learned at Tristate into the summers I spend at Friends Camp but I will implement the things I learned into my everyday life and try to bring inclusivity and acceptance into every different community I find myself a part of.