Hello Tumbleweed Friends and Family,
First - I hope you are all well and staying safe during these extremely difficult times. Here at Tumbleweed, we are simultaneously pushing forward towards restarting camp in July and looking back at our history to assess our community. I'm emailing today to provide a message of solidarity with our Black community members and propose an invitation to collaborate and advise, both of which are highlighted by the current social justice movement to lift up black lives and dismantle systemic racism. If a society is to be completely free, all people must be free and have access to all rights, including the rights to the outdoors, education, and the social benefits of summer camp. If we as a nation are to really change and break the never-ending system of racism and discrimination, we have to make changes at every level, and that includes in our families and even our camp.
You, as I have felt on various occasions, might feel like camp is such a small part of society - that we don't matter, that fighting the good fight at home or camp feels silly/useless/indirect/ignored/awkward. In spite of these feelings, or whatever other thoughts you and others in leadership might have, our spaces and places do matter and need significant change. I want to officially open up an invitation to participate in Tumbleweed's new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council. We are looking to bring together action-orientated minds from our Tumbleweed community to support our leadership in our camp family and the camp industry. Our hope is that through the work of this DEI Advisory council we will come to better understand how Tumbleweed can be a place of belonging for Black families and staff as well as people of color. We are looking specifically for three current or former staff members, two current or former camp parents, one current older camper/CIT, and one member of the general community who is not a current or former camper, staff or parent (someone who cares about summer camping and can bring an outside perspective). If you are interested in working to make Tumbleweed a more just, welcoming and open place for years to come, I hope you will join us! Nominations and folks that are interested can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope we will have a lot of interest, so in order to get this group moving quickly, please let me know a little about yourself, what your relationship to Tumbleweed is, any experience in the DEI work or advisory positions, and your expected time commitment to this project. The work is hard, but the reward is great. I can't wait to continue our work forward. Be well, Liz