Sunday, September 24, 2017

Camp CommUNITY Reflection - Holly McFarland

Holly McFarland—1986
BA, MSW, JD
Supervisor of the Tarrant County Family Drug Court

Camp CommUNITY was really important to me.  I don’t think I realized its impact until years after I left, nor did I realize at the time what an honor it was to have been asked to attend.

I attended Camp CommUNITY more than 20 years ago, and it was an experience that has made a tremendous impact on my life. Growing up in a relatively homogenous neighborhood, I was not exposed to people from different backgrounds until I went to Camp CommUNITY.  When I say exposed, I do not mean merely learning a little bit about the food, music, and history of other cultures.  The experience of Camp CommUNITY helped me understand in a real way how people from cultures different than mine feel about our shared community.  I learned that prejudice and discrimination are very real, not some abstract concepts.

After I attended Camp CommUNITY, I graduated from high school and went to college at the University of California, Berkeley.  The student body was quite diverse, and I quickly found that I was not in the majority.  Because of my experience at Camp CommUNITY, though, I was not intimidated or reticent.  In fact, I was quite the opposite.  I dove into my college experience with intense curiosity and vigor, challenging myself everyday to learn more about the world around me.

Today, my closest friends do not look anything like me, nor do we necessarily come from similar backgrounds.  They, like my experience at Camp CommUNITY have enriched my life beyond measure.  And I will forever be grateful for that.

 

 

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