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Message of Support

June 8th, 2020

Dear Camp WA WA Segowea Family,

This past week, I explained to my son why it was important to attend an event in support of Black lives, despite it being over an hour drive away.  As a camp mom, a Camp WA WA alum, and an American, I have been moved to action because ending racism can’t wait. Racism puts Black lives in peril and effecting change will take all of us. I am reaching out today, to show solidarity with everyone in our community taking a stand for Black lives right now and to let you know how the Smith Park board of directors is engaging.

It is imperative that we not only stand up against racism, but also look within ourselves and at our organization. As an organization devoted to caring for youth and with a commitment to serving diverse and underserved communities, we must do more.

The Smith Park board should reflect the diversity of our broad camp community.  We have never had a person of color on the Smith Park Board, and that is something we are committed to changing. Over the next couple of months, you will hear from us about how we intend to diversify the board and our progress towards this goal.

This week, we also solicited input from our staff. We are listening to their camp experiences and their desires about how Smith Park can respond. As a result, here are some steps we are taking:

  1. Informing our community of anti-racist and social justice organizations to support in this moment

  2. Increasing our partnerships in Black and minority communities so that more campers of color can access Camp WA WA Segowea.

  3. Enhancing education about social justice issues and actions into both staff training and camper experience.

We recognize this is a challenging moment to navigate and find connection when we can not physically be together at camp this summer.  We welcome communication and are available at officers@smithpark.org for any questions or suggestions, or reach out to me directly at sarah@smithpark.org.

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.

With love,

Sarah Perks President, Smith Park on behalf of the Board of Directors

“Smith Park of New York is devoted to the preservation and operation of Camp WA WA Segowea, the protection of its natural surroundings and historical integrity, and the continuation of traditional resident camping that improves the spiritual, mental, social and physical attributes of young people in a caring community."

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