While 2020 has brought its share of challenges, it has also brought opportunity. For Camp Pemigewassett, one of these opportunities has been to hold a mirror up to ourselves to reflect on our work in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
This is an essential task for every institution, especially mission-driven communities like Pemi, and especially in light of the clear need for reckoning after the murders of George Floyd and countless Black, Indigenous, and People of Color before—and now after—him.
To go about this work, a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee—with representatives of Pemi parents, alumni, managing directors, and the Board of Directors—has been meeting regularly to formalize plans for improvements and initiatives as we embrace the opportunity to grow as a camp community.
In late September 2020, the DEI Committee sent surveys designed specifically for each constituency within our camp family—campers, parents, staff, and alumni—asking hard questions and looking for honest answers. We received hundreds of responses. Now, we are compiling, analyzing, and learning from the input that was so thoughtfully provided.
Among the things we are focusing on are diversity among our campers, staff, and Board of Directors population; our Mission Statement, and by extension our concrete actions that make up the various facets of our mission; the history and significance of our land; the songs that we sing; the language that we use; the plays we perform; and, perhaps most importantly, how we treat each other. Our community can expect updates in the coming months as we go about this important work, and we welcome continued input from all our constituents.
It is clear that the joint work of the DEI Committee, the Board of Directors, and the leadership team at Pemi is and will continue to be integral to our community’s efforts towards fulfilling our mission, both on Lower Baker Pond and in the larger world. We embrace opportunities to ask ourselves and the larger Pemi family if we really are the camp we want and need to be, and to plan and implement improvements as we endeavor to be a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive place for all.
We look forward to this journey, to the feedback and suggestions our constituency offers, and to the opportunity to continue to grow, thrive, and improve as an educational organization and as a camp family.