June 11, 2021, Bellemont, AZ- Today is the last full day of the camp which I have been supervising. A few people left for home, due to work and family obligations. The teens who are left have busied themselves with clean-up projects, both on campus and across the road, where an illegal dumping site has collected detritus, probably for several decades.
These efforts have brought to mind the fact that grassroots actions can begin to correct even the most longstanding of offenses or errors in judgment. It will take a great deal of such work, to counteract the mistakes made as result of top-down decision-making. The latter is closely tied with “efficiency”, but that is so only in the sense that things can be done more quickly, when the elite is making snap decisions. True efficiency involves BOTH grassroots AND the decision-makers at the top. So, there needs to be a clear-cut system of transparency-which only the slow-moving engine of trust can provide.
As always, my charges have taught me as much, if not more, than was imparted to them. It is this that has kept me in the youth work game, a lot longer than I might have stayed. There is no end to what we can achieve, if we draw lessons from everyone we meet-of all ages and backgrounds.