Kids at STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Summer Camp in Brooklyn have foregone the usual craft projects and campfire games of the season to spend their vacation learning the ins and outs of gentrification. It shouldn’t be such a surprise, since that seems to be all New Yorkers (and the writer of every obnoxious Williamsburg trend piece) can talk about anymore. The fact that this camp is a necessity convinces me in various ways that society, especially that of New York City, is going down the toilet; but it’s also a really encouraging way to try to make gentrifying neighborhoods accessible to everyone. Maybe these kinds of initiatives can allow for residents whose families have lived in a neighborhood for 30 years stick it out alongside all those thirty-something accountants from Iowa who seem hellbent on moving into every last brownstone on the block.
Camp leaders hope so, anyway, and want kids to understand what the gentrification means on a financial level so they can take control. Campers walk around the rapidly changing Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Clinton Hill taking pictures of symbols of the gentrification process, like construction or for-sale signs. Some of the kids shared their ideas on finance with Sally Herships of Marketplace. Lots of their thoughts are adorably giggle-worthy, like 7-year-old camper Tristan’s:
“Gentrification is a small shift in an urban community to mostly help senior citizens get a home.”
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A family filed a lawsuit yesterday against Camp Emerson, in Hinsdale, Massachusetts, because their 15-year-old daughter was kicked out of summer camp for kissing a boy. The suit, which refers to the Westport, Connecticut, teenager as “Jane Doe,” said she met the boy on something called “court time” when girls and boys play basketball together and that male counselors “kindly and nurturingly encouraged and/or enticed” the boy to kiss Jane Doe. He did and then the pair “went behind the arts and crafts shed and kissed” some more. She was also accused of taking off her bra and “acting inappropriately,” aka being a teenager with hormones making out with a boy. While the boy got a high five afterwards from counselors, Jane Doe was allegedly called a “a slut and/or loose and/or fast and/or a tramp” by the camp director. Camp Emerson kicked both kids out and had her escorted off of camp property by a cop. Keep reading »
Summer camp is the quintessential summer experience for many, but at this Manhattan-based camp, there isn’t a campfire or s’more in sight. This is Feminist Camp.
Created by Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner, the co-authors of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future, Feminist Camp aims to teach girls what being a feminist really means. Young women can expect to “hone their leadership skills, meet inspiring activists, and tackle the real issues that impact their lives.” Sounds rad! Keep reading »
I’m not a big fan of summer camp. Probably because the one time I went to summer camp every other camper in my cabin got violently ill, I had to deflect projectile vomit with my sleeping bag, the counselors vaguely accused me of poisoning everyone, and–unrelated but just as tragic–my favorite soccer shorts got swept down the river, never to be seen again. Whether your camp memories are positive, negative, or nonexistent, it’s easy to appreciate the laid back style of this summer tradition. Get the camp-y look for yourself, after the jump! Keep reading »
Many moons ago, when I went to summer camp, getting ready for the excursion meant a trip to Marshall’s for a new swimsuit. If the New York Times Style section is to be believed (which I am not saying it is: honestly, sometimes this shit is unbelievable) some tweens and teens prep for camp more glamorously: Girls are supposedly waxing their legs, armpits and bikini lines, getting keratin treatments, and even pre-summer camp facials. Keep reading »
Camp Keeyumah, a lush patch of woods in northern Pennsylvania, is where my entire family experienced “the best moments of their lives.” I’ve been hearing about their beloved Shangri-La since I was in diapers. My grandparents were head counselors there for 13 years and my mom “grew up there” as a camper and then a counselor. In fact, that’s where she met my dad, a counselor as well. They fell in love when they were 16 and 17, respectively. Yes, they’re still married. Isn’t it romantic? But the story doesn’t end there. Keep reading »