By Midwest Regional Organizer Jack Spicer (Yes, that’s me with the antennas)
Monday of STAND Camp marked the last day at Pearlstone Retreat for STAND Campers. To some, this meant it was the last day to spend with the new friends they made before parting ways, and to others it meant a trek to DC for the night to prepare for Lobby Day.
The day began with breakfast and cluttered luggage, instilling a bittersweet feeling that lasted throughout the remainder of the day. STAND Campers checked out of their rooms early and brought everything they had along with them to the day’s sessions. The constant presence of everyone’s luggage was a sure reminder of an end to new friendships as we had known them and the beginning of the curious paths these friendships would take in the near future.
For the first session on Monday, STAND campers were able to bond over skits of bad lobbying and impressions of Harry Potter characters. Small groups had to create and perform a skit that’s only requirements were to include demonstrations of bad lobbying practices and Harry Potter. The group with the best skit was awarded the chance to throw water balloons at the MC member of their choice—they chose Michael (better known as Mickey) Jackson, our Student Director.
After a good laugh, we moved our attention to a run-through of the not-yet-up but coming STAND website given by Matthew Heck, STAND’s Online Strategies Coordinator. After seeing the website in its development stage, small groups were formed to brainstorm ideas of what they would like the website to include and look like.
Soon after, Mickey presented and took feedback on the campaigns that STAND will be initiating Fall Semester. The first was an educational campaign with the objective of educating STAND members on the current situation in Sudan so they can accurately speak about and educate others on the complex situation. The second was a campaign focused around the upcoming presidential elections aimed at protecting the foreign aid budget. The last campaign Mickey presented was an essay contest to encourage thought leadership on human rights and mass atrocities.
After the upcoming campaigns were discussed, Matthew and Daniel presented STAND’s theory of change, while sharing their own stories of how they became involved with the organization. Afterwards, STAND campers made their ways outside to spend the remaining time at Pearlstone Retreat throwing Frisbee and socializing. As the shuttles arrived and pictures were being taken, STAND campers posed for a group picture and suddenly unleashed a sneak water balloon attack on Mickey, bringing STAND Camp 2012 at Pearlstone Retreat to an awesome conclusion.