Like you, we’ve watched the attacks on the Capitol unfold in shock. We watched as our Senators and Representatives hid in terror as armed rioters breached the House and Senate floors. We saw confederate flags, anti-Semitic language, and other deeply harmful and racist images on full display. We witnessed American citizens attack our nation’s Capitol in order to thwart democracy. It was a day filled with incredible amounts of trauma for young minds to process.

Our network, stakeholders, staff, and families have reached out to ask for help processing everything. We know that our kids are watching and it’s important to talk about what’s happening. Our youth will not watch us be silent when things are hard. Our words matter. 

There is power in naming something for what it is. And while we are still processing the events of yesterday, we as Camp Fire are choosing to take a deep breath, inhaling the images of yesterday – the emotions, the chaos, the fear – and exhaling into our purpose and into our next moments as a nation.

And with that exhale comes the need to name a few things:

What happened at the Capitol yesterday was not a protest – it was an insurrection fueled by hatred and violence. The United States is a democracy that allows for peaceful protest. That does not, however, give people the right to claim that democracy as theirs alone.

There is power in words. 

The police response to the insurrectionist mob yesterday left many people angry and confused. We watched extremists destroy a national building that belongs to all Americans on the basis that it is “their birthright” to control this nation’s democratic process while the police seemingly stood by and delayed their reaction. Many have asked “Where was the tear gas? The rubber bullets? The deadly force that we have seen throughout US history?” There are many words that could be used to describe this assumption of entitlement and impunity. One term: white supremacy. 

There is power in words. 

Georgia elected its first Black and first Jewish (and youngest) Senators to office yesterday. The. First. Regardless of political affiliation – that is something to be celebrated and that we don’t want to be lost amongst the chaos. As an organization that values diversity and knows the importance of young people seeing themselves in their leaders, we are thrilled to welcome Jon Ossof and Raphael Warnock to the United States Senate. 

There is power in words. 

Camp Fire believes in the dignity and the intrinsic worth of every human being. We welcome, affirm, and support young people and adults of all abilities and disabilities, experiences, races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, religion and non-religion, citizenship and immigration status, and any other category people use to define themselves or others. No matter what is happening in the world, that will not change. 

There is power in words. 

Camp Fire is committed to creating programs and safe spaces for youth to learn about themselves, and others. Spaces for youth to learn how to engage in hard but necessary conversations. How to listen with empathy, question the world around them, find common ground with those with whom they disagree, and use their voice with integrity and compassion.

We are with you and are marching into the work by your side. Remember to treat yourself with kindness. We as a nation experienced yet another collective trauma yesterday. 

When you are ready, we have included some resources below to help you and your family process these events together. 

Yours in solidarity, love, empathy, and action,

Camp Fire National Headquarters

 

 

 

 

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Resources for you and your family:

 

How to Talk to your Kids When the News is Scary 

Resources for teachers on days after the attack on the Capitol 

Talking to Kids About the Attack on the Capitol