Tockwogh holds a special place in the hearts of thousands of present and past campers, families, and staff members, whose lives have been positively shaped on the shores of the Chesapeake. We actively promote the YMCA values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility. We believe in diversity, inclusion, and equity for all. The bold vision of the YMCA of Delaware summons us to create a healthy, inclusive community where all people reach their full potential.
In support of our shared values and vision, the board recognizes that Tockwogh can, and must, do more to ensure that all people have equitable access to an amazing, positive Tockwogh experience. The murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the ensuing protest responses during the summer of 2020 brought these concerns into sharper relief and contributed to inspiring the Board of Governors to address racial equity more explicitly in our camp community.
In early Summer 2020, seven members of the Tockwogh Board of Governors assembled a Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (DEI) task force to codify an ongoing commitment to exploring our camp’s programming, particularly in relation to racial inequity and First Nations naming conventions within our camp culture. The DEI task force chose to treat the heartbreaking cancellation of the 2020 summer camp experience as an opportunity to focus on determining how to make our camp more equitable. We have met monthly, shared ideas, read common texts, and provided a forum for honest and open discussion.
Tockwogh is committed to serving campers and families of all backgrounds, faiths, and races, and the current makeup of our programming, as well as our camper and staff populations, bears a closer examination. With some exceptions, the homogeneous makeup of our campers, staff, and community at camp indicates that we can do more to cultivate an inclusive environment. This work will help us to avoid perpetuating exclusivity due in part to the homogenous makeup of our camp community.
With the YMCA values and vision at the center of all we do, Camp Tockwogh has reaffirmed its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity. The Board of Governors recognizes that Tockwogh must do more to ensure that all people have equitable access to an amazing and positive summer camp experience. Born out of the task force, the board has created a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity subcommittee which is addressing racial equity more explicitly across our camp programming and community.
This group meets regularly, and work currently includes:
- Developing a common lexicon and fostering an environment for having honest discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion that will lead to tangible changes.
- Discussing policies and practices that unintentionally contribute to inequitable experiences for children, especially those marginalized due to their race.
- Committing to building an ethos that values and affirms campers’ and staff members’ racial and ethnic diversity.
- Examining policies, practices, protocols, and outcomes to ensure this ethos is reflected in the day-to-day culture and experiences of campers and staff at Camp Tockwogh.
- Examining the number of campers and staff who come to Tockwogh from racially underrepresented communities.
- Staffing and training that represents our diverse camper community.
- Exploring the camp’s naming conventions and their historical underpinnings and meanings. We are critically thinking through the association between Native American names and the camping experience, and whether the use of these names truly honors the communities from which they originated.
The process of building a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable camp experience will take time. In order to live up to the ideals of inclusion represented in the vision statement of the YMCA of Delaware, we must continually examine the intersection of race, socioeconomic status, and inequity. We commit to reporting on our efforts regularly.
We also encourage the feedback of alumni, campers, and families. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your perspectives and viewpoints to further these overall goals and aims.