embarked on a journey to a leadership camp, the first Boys and Men of Color (BMoC) Leadership camp sponsored by The California Endowment. The camp was not
just for Santa Ana though, but for the 13 other communities who are part of the ten year initiative of build healthy communities, such as Oakland,Richmond and Fresno. The camp’s purpose was to connect male youth with other youth in the
state and have support in other cities.
One of our first activities was to name our groups. The first phase was ice breakers, such as charades, to get to know each other’s name and to have fun. The second phase involved head gear because the group had harder trust exercises, such as a trust falls from a 4-foot ramp. Phase three involved gear that was hooked onto the rope for support from leaning towers.
The purpose of the camp was for each of the youth to recognize that their problems were very similar, to build a bond, to have fun, and to be around youth who are just like them who want a better world. Life is hard growing up in any of these
fourteen communities, but The California Endowment has decided to help us. Each city has youth who are involved, who do want a change, who are taking the initiative to get educated and bring change to their community. These youth saw that they are not alone; they have support even if it is a hundred miles away. No matter how far they are, no youth who went to the camp is alone.
BMoC provided an opportunity to a few youth in Santa Ana and the youth, including myself, were very grateful for the chance. Now, for next year we would like the camp to expand to more than six youth too Maybe 20 youth?!