Who are your people? Is it your family? People who live near you? People who share your culture or who’s ancestors come from the same part of the world? Is it the people who share your beliefs, or your customs or your interests? Are they geeks, jocks, queer, redneck, hippies, overachievers, goth, artists, skiers, popular kids, outcasts, or theater nerds? Or, is it people your age? Let’s face it, we all do it – we are a very tribal species from deep in our ancestry. It makes us feel good to be part of a tribe, and, yet, we also know how bad it feels to be excluded from one. Our tribal nature can be a wonderful part of our human existence and a destructive force at the same time.
Here at STEAM we don’t shy away from building our tribe over the course of the camp. Empathy and support of the people around us is a big part of what we do. Teamwork and finding a way to make the best use of all of the varied interests, skills, experiences, knowledge and passions among us is what gives purpose of each project we start. But, just like a like a sugar maple tree needs a strong root system under the ground to support it spreading out its branches and leaves to gather sunlight from as far and wide as it can, being rooted solidly in the people around us can help us reach out beyond our tribe. And learning to come together, from all of our different places, and finding that each of us has something really important to offer to solving problems and creating together is one of the skills that we hope each camper takes away with them to help them find their way in the world.