Entries for 'Ekta Gupta'

My Chicken Friend.
'Chicken Friend' 'tʃɪk.ɪn - fren(d)' noun: Chicken Friend 1. A Chicken Friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg, even though they know you are slightly cracked. You both help each other to stay sunny side up. Your strength, your determination and your courage together is egg-ceptional. This type of friendship is  pretty much impossible to beat.   The parent trap is probably ONE of my FAVOURITE films. I think that’s how I started liking Oreo's. Heath would understand you see, because, well, we are each other’s twin! We met at camp and we come from different worlds. I happened to be the English twin, and...well she wasn’t American twin but our own South African one! We met at camp and bonded over our love for the Lion King. She also taught me this weird dance move. Think of a zebra crossed with an antelope....anyway that was in 2012, my first year at camp and hers too. We said goodbye like everyone does at the end of the summer; tearful and hopeful at the same time, having shared such an intense and meaningful experience.  I always hoped we would meet again, someday. Each year I became less hopeful. I returned to Hawkeye each of the n... MORE
Follow Up Interview with Chevy
Chevy was part of our staff group in 2017 and is back with us for 2018. Chevy is a transgender male, he has written a blog about his previous experience as a camper growing up on the west coast, and, as a counselor with us (click here to read). We wanted to ask Chevy a few more questions about why Hawkeye is different from other camps and why diversity matters to him as a member of the transgender community.  Here is the interview we had with Chevy in January of 2018:   Why was it important to you to find a camp that had experience with the transgender community? "Finding a camp that already had experience with transgender counselors was something that took one fear off of my plate. In my first year as a counselor I was worried about a lot of things, and I didn't want my identity to be one of those things I worried about."  Why do you think having a diverse community is important especially at a summer camp?  "I think it's important because the world itself is diverse. Summer camp especially is a place that I know to be diverse. No matter which camp I went to, I met and befriended people from all over the country and world, with all types of backgrounds and interests. At summer camp we don't want ... MORE
What a Wonderful World!
  ‘I see trees of green, red roses too I see them bloom for me and you And I think to myself what a wonderful world’ (click here to listen to the song)     Stop that song on the radio.  Don’t turn over that photo.  All of the things I do to avoid reminiscing about camp. I won’t be able to feel then. I won’t feel the sadness of being away from everyone. I won’t miss the love and affection you get from so many people, everyday. I won’t miss the fresh air, that beautiful surrounding. I take a look around where I am at the moment, everything feels so cold. The people standing next to me, look lost. Lost in their uncertainty and their doubt. Politics, religion, ethnicity and gender create more walls between you and I. It's easy to think this is how life must be. Now and again, I stop myself and remember that place that appreciates and accepts us all.   When I feel ready, I open that photo, I listen to our summer song.  I open the letter I wrote to myself.   I let myself think, I let myself feel, I let myself be reminded of the incredible 10 weeks I had.  I feel the wave of different emotions hit me and the... MORE
Where are you really from?
Where are you from? ... No, I mean where are you really from?   On my travels, people look at me and seem to have an idea of who I am. Where I come from, what my name must be and what I must sound like. They seem sort of confused by what I wear nonetheless they seem to have a pretty good idea of what makes me ‘me’. Until I open my mouth. When people hear me speak, I see the flash of confusion spread across their face. I see their eyes wonder, their mind going around in circles. I count down the time until I’m asked my favourite question….‘Where are you from’ - if I could get a penny every time I hear this. Despite me insisting I was born and raised in England, I see the doubt linger on peoples' faces. I know they are unsettled by my response, considering I clearly have brown skin. They ask me again, just checking to be sure I’ve heard them right. My answer is still the same. They ask me again but adding the world ‘really’ as if that changes something. Yet, I understand the ‘subtly’ in their question, their meaning behind my ethnicity and digging at the history of my ancestors. I decide to give them the answer for which they have been waiting. I ... MORE
Cross the Line
If we look inside a classroom (or as you see in the films Mean Girls or High School Musical), you see particular groups sitting on separate tables. We see a 'sporty' group, a 'nerdy' group, an 'international' group, most of these cliques keep to themselves. We are either part of it, or feel very excluded from all of them. Now let's take a look at life outside of school. The funny thing is, nothing has changed. We still have very closed communities. Communities of religion, race, sexual identity, social status etc... Hearing and seeing these communities can make us feel very distant and different from the people that belong to them. But then, how are we meant to know what we could share with them?  “I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.”   Ani DiFranco  At Hawkeye, we celebrate diversity by creating an inclusive environment for different people. How do we stop people judging one another based on what we look like, what we say, what we do? Well that takes work, being open-minded is tough. That is one piece that makes it valuable; the struggle... MORE