Wilmington College Blog

Camp Joy

August 14, 2012

Contributed by: Brad Fuller

Yesterday, I was able to participate in an Underground Railroad simulation with all of the Wilmington College resident assistants, peer advisors, and orientation assistants at Camp Joy in Clarksville, OH. Camp Joy is an outdoor education center that hosts many summer camps, as well as other miscellaneous groups year round. Their mission is, “Helping People Grow & Succeed Through Life-long Experience Based Learning.” At the simulation, they referred to it as a unique type of play, where the participants played an active role. At the beginning, we went through a mock slave trade where we were all sold into different groups. Each group then proceeded on a journey where they were “escaping” from slavery. In the end, my group was caught trying to escape from a crowded crawlspace. While parts of the simulation are intense and powerful, it is a completely safe zone. Participants wear a bandana on their head, and if it is pulled down or removed, the actors know that you are no longer a part of the play (temporarily, if desired). The actors also do not touch any participants, they do not curse or use derogatory terms, all weapons are fake and never pointed in the direction of a person, and individual threats are never made. The experience allows everyone to learn about the darkest time in American history and reflect on the current time period. For me personally, it allowed me to think of the current situation of the world. While slavery does not exist in America today, it still exists in many parts of the world. Many Americans are not aware of this fact because we live a comfortable life in this country. While the play allows participants to reflect on the past, I would encourage anyone (whether you have participated or not) to reflect on social injustices throughout the world. I’m not going to rant on how I feel about the clothing, food, or commercial goods industries (I probably will in later blogs ☺), but I challenge you to think about every decision you make and realize everything that had to be done for that decision to be made. For example, lets say you buy an apple. Think of everything that needed to be done for that apple to get into your stomach (growing the plant, shipping, selling, etc…). Once you begin to think of things slightly more complex than an apple, the process begins to become more complex as well, creating a higher potential for injustice somewhere in this chain of events.


Now listening: Burial – untrue
(Hyperdub; 2007)


Tags: camp joy , education , injustice , quakers , teamwork

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