Publication Date

1997

First Advisor

Claire Halverson

Abstract

Camp Anytown is a week-long summer retreat for teenagers from high schools throughout the Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ), a human relations organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry, and racism in the United States has conducted these retreats since 1991. I have been involved with the Camp Anytown program as an adult advisor since 1993. Each summer I have witnessed the process through which a group of approximately 50 teenagers with diverse ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds progresses during the week that it is together, "a week of mutual exploration and enrichment to stretch the mind through dialogue, debate and discovery" (Kaplan 1995). During this process I have seen teenagers open up and talk about their lives, their problems, and the challenges we all face living in a diverse society. We spend time together recognizing the pain and sorrow that results from prejudice, discrimination and the breakdown of community and family support systems as well as sharing the joy and celebration in realizing our uniqueness.

Disciplines

International and Intercultural Communication

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