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Camp Anytown – the Details and the Results

Inclusivity, Respect, and Understanding

Camp Anytown is a nationally recognized, 50-year-old award-winning training program for youth focusing on leadership skills, human relations, and diversity. The goal of Camp Anytown Las Vegas is to create communities based on inclusivity, respect, and understanding through youth leadership and empowerment. This year our Spring camp is being held April 26-28.

Camp Anytown has historic roots as part of the National Conference for Community and Justice (a national, human relations, non-profit organization in the United States). The camp works on the premisis that we live in a multicultural society and that young people are the nation’s future. Therefore, youth need to be sensitized to the experiences of diverse groups. As decision makers, they will be expected to make fair judgments in improving the quality of life of the nation regardless of ability, ethnicity, faith/religion, and gender.

Camp Anytown is a three-day intensive experience. Youth go to the campsite Friday morning and return home Sunday evening. Each camp serves 60-65 youth from throughout Las Vegas. They are referred by school counselors, teachers, a community agency, or by independently applying. Camp participants reflect the diverse make-up of our city, so they have an opportunity to learn and grow from their experiences with others who may be different from themselves. Volunteer staff serve as a core component of each camp, enabling Camp Anytown to connect local community leaders with youth leaders in their learning and development.

Camp Anytown works to break down barriers and build our community through youth leadership. The United States, and specifically Southern Nevada, is made up of fragmented populations and fragmented individuals. Camp Anytown ultimately seeks to build up Southern Nevada through the training and empowerment of tomorrow’s leaders: today’s youth. We’re working to unify our community, crossing racial/ethnic boundaries, religious conflicts, gender biases, and power/privilege gaps. We’re also working to build up our youth as individuals, helping them recognize that they have power to make great changes and thereby make their communities and the world better places for all.

Camp Anytown initially aims to help students come to a greater understanding of their own personal identity, recognizing cultural memberships they hold as individuals, while recognizing how they relate to members from other cultures. Through educational workshops, we introduce students to concepts regarding power, race/ethnicity, gender, religion, subcultures, and privilege. Through coming to a greater understanding of themselves, students are better able to communicate and build relationships with those different from themselves. They are able to recognize the effect that they currently have and start to consciously formulate the effect that they’d like to have on others. This ultimately empowers young people, as future leaders, to break down existing barriers, and build up communities.

The best way to learn about Camp Anywhere is from those who have participated in recent years. Enjoy the short video below – it is a powerful witness that Camp Anytown is a Las Vegas treasure that will keep paying dividends for years to come.