I was a Participant

Excerpt from 1957 Bellingham, Washington Work Camp Evaluation:

In spite of all the dissatisfaction which was expressed during the course of the camp, the personality clashes, and the difficult period during which we changed leaders, the camp experience was a very successful one. It may be considered either a strength or a weakness of the camp that the particular activities which assume the greatest importance in my mind and provide some of the happiest memories were relatively unrelated to the camp program as such. These things would have been impossible, however, without the camp framework as an introductory setting.

The question was raised early in the summer as to how we could establish fruitful contacts with the Indian community. Several formalized proposals were made and to some extent carried out but it was inevitable that the most sincere friendships were formed outside this formalized structure….

It would be interesting at this point to know what degree of involvement the various members of the group still feel with the Indian community. It is all too easy, after the passage of several months, to feel that the summer is a finished chapter. For a few of us I know this is not true since we have continuing contacts with some of the people we met on the reservation. For those who felt that the formalized work program was the main purpose of the camp, however, it would seem that there would be no extended involvement. Perhaps it would be well to emphasize in the literature sent to future work campers that the work project itself should provide only the introductory setting for their own contact and personal growth in their relationship with a community entirely different from their own.

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