When Chef Chantel Jackson arrived at Camp Sealth as the Food Service Director last year, she noticed few children of color were attending camp, and one of the main barriers, she discovered, was financial. Jackson was inspired, along with Camp Fire’s staff team, to take action and fundraise to bring more campers of color to Camp Sealth.
This sparked the formation of Camp Fire’s Equity Action Fund, which provides scholarship funds for youth and families in need.
A Southern Gumbo fundraiser, catered by Jackson, on Vashon Island this past December raised an initial $5,000 in donations for the fund. Executive Director, Rick Taylor & his wife Deb, made an additional major gift of their own to show their support of this work.
“I was so moved by the gift that I put the story on TikTok, and it went viral!”
Thanks to all of these incredible donors, the Equity Action Fund is now sending more than 40 kids of color on full scholarships to a week-long session of classic camp this summer at Camp Sealth.
“So now kids that look like me are going to experience camping and canoeing and animals in the wilderness and good food, ’cause I’m here!”
The Equity Action Fund will also raise money to host an inaugural S’more Diversity Family Camp for families of color this fall. This weekend retreat at Camp Sealth will give families a chance to connect with each other and experience all that camp has to offer. A range of outdoor and family-friendly activities will be offered. The event is already at capacity with an extensive waitlist.
“We’ve gotten support from Senator Joe Nguyen and others in the community,” said Jackson. “I’m looking forward to seeing how we can continue to build upon this work and reach more kids and families in need.”
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