Once upon a time in America, kids went to summer camp to be kids. They swam, canoed and built campfires. Kids went to camp to play and enjoy the outdoors. The same was not true for other summer camps around the world.
American summer camps were free of political ideologies.
Not anymore. Consider Camp Kook, or as it is known officially, Camp Warren.
Camp Warren is in northern Minnesota and is affiliated with the YMCA in Minneapolis. Affluent whites from the Minnesota suburbs send their kids there, and it is saturated with leftist ideology in addition to sailing and smores.
The American flag at Camp Warren has been replaced by a Black Lives Matter flag. Apparently the Stars and Stripes is oppressive, and it is better to fly a flag of a group that supports murderous Cuban communism.
It is also a warning to parents everywhere that the Left will not leave any aspect of American life untouched, not even summertime fun.
In the old days, camps might collect old equipment for campers, just because it would be helpful and nice. These days, nothing is accomplished without the affiliated virtue-signaling. A Facebook posting:
“Hello Warren Community! We’re working to create a standing stockpile of gear to ensure campers can enjoy all Warren has to offer regardless of socioeconomic status!”
In the old days, quiet charitable giving was the norm. At Camp Warren, it’s all about the class struggle.
Camp Warren says they are “committed to being anti-racist, anti-oppressive and multicultural.” It is unclear what about summer camps before Camp Warren were oppressive.
Perhaps it was the land they are on. Camp Warren, like pretty much everything everwhere, is located on land where people lived centuries ago before Europeans arrived. That’s important at Camp Warren:
YMCA of the North Camps respectfully acknowledge that we are on the appropriated homelands of Indigenous peoples. We recognize the perseverance and survival of Indigenous communities, who continue to live throughout this region. Each camp is working to build sustainable relationships with our Indigenous communities and endeavor to be responsible stewards of the sacred nature of their homelands. This land acknowledgement is one of the ways in which we work to educate our camp communities about this land and our relationships with it and each other.
Let’s examine this. First off, all the history of respectful acknowledgement is wrong. The French didn’t “appropriate” land. They entered into treaties with the Chippewa that allowed them to trade and trap in the area. The British, French, and Spanish made no effort to establish settlements in the area, much less “appropriate” the land. Tribes had no concept of land title anyhow; there was nothing to appropriate. But appropriation sounds more woke to the guilted white parents from Minneapolis.
Second error, it is a stereotype of the worst sort to say that the tribes considered all land “sacred.” That’s bunk out of some 1950s Hollywood western. Some places were sacred, but certainly the vast majority of land had no sacredness attached, unless you are a wealthy white liberal from Minneapolis looking to perpetuate the myth of the noble savage.
In addition to taking down the oppressive American flag and replacing it with a BLM flag, one can’t help but notice that their campers are pretty much all white.
Don’t be surprised. Hypocrisy often accompanies the most furious virtue-signaling these days.
Hate has no home here, until it does.
Camp Warren’s parent organization, the YMCA of the North, has even held seminars on how “outdoor adventures” are “not experienced equitably.” Hashtag YouthEquity.
If guilt is your thing, the YMCA of the North has ongoing programs in place to keep you feeling guilty.
The YMCA commits to continually conduct institutional racism and oppression review of our policies, procedures and practices and the ongoing development of a multicultural, anti-racist and anti-oppressive work environment, and culture that promotes equity and respect for the human dignity of all.
All of this is enough to make you shout “enough already, let the kids be kids.” But that’s not adequate in the tony Minneapolis suburbs where the white liberals live.
Just plain camp isn’t enough anymore.
Multiple officials from the YMCA of the North responsible for the operation of Camp Warren did not return messages I left.
In the march to politicize and ideologically saturate every aspect of American life, the YMCA of the North has made sure that summer camp resembles the summer camps of yesteryear in other countries, and not in America. In those places, camps were about indoctrinating youth into the prevailing political orthodoxy. Even now, summer camps across Europe are feeders into political parties.
It’s a shame that in northern Minnesota even a kid’s summer has felt the boot of the long march.