It would be arrogant to pretend that we have the right words to describe what is happening in Israel and Palestine. Our hearts are heavy for all who are affected. Our words feel small in the brutal face of war, immense fear, deep loss, and blind hatred.
Camp Fire is a safe space for young people from all families, all backgrounds, and all religions to have fun and be themselves (see our organizational statement of inclusion). And we will remain committed to protecting those safe spaces. The levels of Antisemitism and Islamaphobia we have seen not only in Israel and Gaza, but online, in the United States, and around the world are deeply disturbing. It is hard to know how to best show up for our communities when the world is in such a time of uncertainty.
But something we have learned from being around for over 113 years—existing, surviving, and thriving through many horrific moments in history—is that people need each other. Right now, young people need us. We know that being a young person is so hard. So in this moment what we can offer is what we know how to do best – creating connection.
Connection is at the root of our mission, and this is how we are focused on supporting young people in our programs, schools, and communities: fostering connection and providing a space where all young people belong. We believe in the dignity and the intrinsic worth of every human being. Humans are designed for connection. It is how we make sense of the world. How we grieve. How we heal. How we create. How we grow. How we find comfort. Connection is how we survive. And it is our most powerful tool for healing and creating change.
Below, we have gathered resources for you to help start the conversation at home, in your classroom, and in your programs. To create space to connect. You don’t have to know the perfect thing to say, but our kids need us to reach out to them. They are processing so much violence, misinformation, Antisemitism, and Islamophobia. They need safe spaces to ask questions, to feel their emotions and to know they are not alone.