We Celebrate the Individual
That’s why we enable campers to take charge and express themselves freely, while staff cheer them on.
Sadly, we recognize that, in today’s society, children face a wide variety of barriers to feeling included and are not always celebrated for what makes them unique. It’s our responsibility as a community-based organization to create an environment in which people of all races, nationalities, ethnicities, sexes, ages, abilities, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identities can come together to play and learn collaboratively and respectfully.
While there is far more work to do, here are some of the steps we at Steve & Kate’s Camp take to ensure a diverse camp that promotes equity and inclusion:
- Scholarships: To encourage diversity, we make camp accessible to kids who otherwise would not be able to attend. In 2019, nearly 10% of camp attendances attended at no charge or at a reduced cost as part of our financial aid program. In 2020, we plan to expand that to 12% of camp attendances.
- Training: All of our year-round staff engage in professional development regarding implicit bias, harassment and how to combat them.
- Team: To promote diversity among staff, our jobs are made public on wide networks that are easily accessible. Our payroll, and related admin processes have been reviewed and updated to remove any barriers to entry for prospective staff members. We also developed an interview process that strives to remove implicit bias in evaluating applicants by using standardization and transparency.
- Gender identity: We stand behind and support the ability of campers to use bathroom facilities and pronouns that align with their gender identity.
- Content: Our website and camp content were reviewed by an external diversity and inclusion consultant to help us identify any blindspots and to help us affirmatively signal our intention to be a place where all campers feel safe and included.
- Behavior: At camp, we will not tolerate any bullying or any other behavior that could cause children, staff or parents to feel physically or emotionally unsafe. In addition to staff training and monitoring camper and staff behavior, we also moderate digital projects created at camp by children and staff for potential unsafe or offensive content.
- Investing in the local community: Our local Directors are encouraged to bring camp activities and/or invest their time in supporting children in their local communities who are not able to attend camp for socio-economic reasons. We also strive to donate leftover materials and supplies at the end of the summer to community organizations or schools.
For 40 years, we have been champions of children discovering and expressing their true selves by creating a liberating environment that puts them in charge. We remove adult judgment from the equation and strive to create an environment where children feel included and safe. We know that this work is not done, and we commit to expanding our efforts year over year on the endless quest to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive camp.