Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Camp CommUNITY Reflection - Christopher Coffman

Christopher Coffman—1997
Budget Analyst for Tarrant County
Fundraiser for Tarrant Area Food Bank

As I stepped onto the bus in the summer of 1997, I wasn't quite sure what to expect out of this camp called Camp CommUNITY, other than a week of activities that would focus on leadership and multiculturalism.  I certainly didn't expect it to be a somewhat transformative experience.  I had grown up painfully aware of how I was different from those around me, allowing other people to dictate what things I should like or how I should talk or act.  Being different was wrong, and there was nothing I could do about it.  That changed at Camp CommUNITY.

Over the course of that week, I became more confident in the belief that differences are to be celebrated, and that standing up to those who would disagree is a true sign of leadership.  Since my experience at Camp CommUNITY, I am still fully aware of the ways in which people are different, but I unabashedly recognize that there is nothing wrong in their being so, and it is up to me to defend the uniqueness and worth of every individual I encounter.  Too much hate and discord is caused by ignorance, plain and simple.  As an alumnus of Camp CommUNITY, I know it is up to me to combat that ignorance by living my life as a beacon of tolerance and awareness, even when it is difficult or unpopular.



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