Last summer the board sent out a communication to all of you with a commitment to focus on strategies to promote racial equity at camp. As a board we are committed to undertaking efforts that allow for meaningful growth for Fleur de Lis Camp. This work is not about social media posts or slogans, but about expanding our camp community as we realize new ways to live up to our mission of promoting the well-being of girls and young women. We are also committed to examining our practices and policies to build a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable camp community. Examining our own practices and systems for explicit and implicit bias is an important part of this process. This is ongoing work that will take time and focus.
Here are steps we have taken:
Our FdL Board has done internal work to both educate and raise our own racial equity awareness as well as plan for specific goals and action steps for camp.
Our Executive Director and Assistant Director have also continued their own professional development work in anti-bias and anti-racist practices.
We have begun work with Polly Williams and Jen “Dusty” Clitheroe of Strength Perspective Consultancy. Polly and Dusty will be working with the board to develop a plan of action that will include work with our board and corporation, our full-year and summer staff, and with our examination of camp systems and structures, among other endeavors. We are fortunate that Polly and Dusty bring to this work years of equity and social justice work as well as extensive backgrounds in the summer camp world. Their expertise includes anti-racist focus as well as other areas of equity and anti-bias work such as gender identity and sexuality, and how these intersect with the summer camp experience. While our work with Polly and Dusty is in the beginning phases, we are excited about where this is leading us.
We have begun a very focused work group that is developing an equity checklist to be used by our full-time and summer staff when making decisions about our camp program. This group is composed of current and recent staff members and is being led by board member, Allie McCartney. They will put forth a recommended checklist to be approved by the FdL board and executive director. We anticipate other areas where this type of focused short term work group will be beneficial.
Our Recruitment and Retention Committee has begun work towards setting goals toward increasing the racial diversity of our campers and staff. Our Tuition Assistance Committee will also be involved in this work.
We are working to broaden the diversity of not only our camper and family constituents but also our staff and governing bodies as well. To this end, we have begun reviewing and revamping our outreach and application procedures.
As a board we are committed to this work and grounded in finding ways to bring about meaningful growth at Fleur de Lis Camp. We are excited for our current opportunities and for those that lie ahead.