I never liked the idea of camp. To me, it featured all the things I despised: sunshine, people, nature, sing-alongs about Jesus, activities, mosquitos, the burgeoning threat of friendship...not my bag. Plus, I came from a Vacationer family, so instead of having my parents ship me off to Shady Lake, they insisted on spending 2 to 4 weeks in the summer sweating together in Florida or pre-Snooki Seaside. Regardless, at no point in my adolescence did I feel the need to beg my parents to send me off to camp.
But then again, this was before Feminist Camp was a thing.
Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner, co-founders of Soapbox Inc, have started a week-long program that teaches Feminist 101 to high schoolers.
The last session had field trips including a viewing of "Ann," a new play about former Texas Governor Ann Richards, and a visit to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Special guest speakers included members of SPARK (a group that fights against female sexual objectification in pop culture) and a meeting with Choices in Childbirth.
To cut to the core of it, Soapbox Feminist Camp is hands-on education that facilitates open discussion about living in/dealing with a patriarchal world. And there should be more of it.
A week ago we had a bunch of high schoolers visit the BUST office as part of a program that introduces teens to feminism. We did our very best to illustrate what it means to be a feminist and work for a feminist publication, and that in itself was a rewarding experience. I myself gave a very passionate/neurotic/embarassing speech about exploring the world of alternate media and culture. Then I excused myself to my desk, and let us never talk about it again.
But I think there should be more of this, seriously. Couldn't BUST have a feminist camp?We could have craft class (where we learn how to make your own floral crown) and play roller derby, we can teach girls the three essential punk rock cords on their guitar so they can play Bratmobile songs by the campfire. Then we can talk about the importance of intersectionality and show them how they can make their own zines to take home to their parents (and dismantle the injustice that women face every day).
It totally needs to happen, but only if I can be the flippant junior counselor who everyone thinks is a witch.
Something to consider.
Have you been to a Feminist Camp? Was it amazing? Keep tabs on Soapbox Inc's site to register for their next Feminist Camp, Feminist Day Camp, and Feminist Intensive programs so we can keep this heavenly feminist camp dream alive together.
Thanks to nytimes.com.
Image via HorrorDVDs.com, nytimes.com, and hotflick.net