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Campers in the Wild – Ashley, Stephanie, Jana

by Chelsea Leader Gold
 ∙ Nov 2 ∙ 4 Min Read

When the world feels dark, community lights the way. Today, we’re sharing three stories that deliver sunshine, from women who remind us that, with imagination and focused action, we all can reach new heights.

Ashley Becomes A World Deaf Football Champion

Screaming from the sidelines over here for Sept 2018 camper Ashley Derrington, who plays soccer for the US Deaf Women’s National Team, which just competed at the Deaf World Football Championships…and won! And not just that: the team also won the gold at the Deaflympics last year, which means a back-to-back wins!

“The women’s program has never lost an international match and has won every tournament we’ve ever competed in,” Ashley shares. “Prior to this year, we were a fully self-funded organization, meaning we had to pay our own way to camps and tournaments, [but in other awesome news] we were recently brought under the US Soccer Extended National Teams umbrella. This creates more room for awareness and resources. We’re incredibly honored and excited to be a part of this group!”

On Campowerment, Ashley wants you to know that, “Having a strong supportive group of women at Campowerment that encouraged me to embrace my Deaf Identity has allowed me to pursue things with this team on and off the field.” So so proud. ⚽

The Washington Post features Stephanie for Her Dedication to the History of Her Enslaved Family

Stephanie Gilbert, camper and a member of Campowerment’s Board, is remarkable in many ways. This story highlights quite a few of them in detailing how Steph, “cherished the home where her family fled slavery. Then a stranger bought it.”

From the article:
“In a handful of paragraphs, [Stephanie] Gilbert had laid out the three centuries of remarkable history it had taken her a decade to unravel: the five generations of her enslaved ancestors who had labored at Richland Farm and a neighboring plantation in Clarksville…

In her letter [to the Farm’s new owner], Gilbert explained that she’d established a relationship with the White descendant who had inherited Richland — the woman who had just sold the estate…for $3 million. During a decade of visits to Richland, she said, ‘we’ve celebrated Juneteenth, commemorated the ancestors, wept for their trials, and celebrated their triumphs.’

Then, with an audacity her great-great-grandfather might have appreciated, Gilbert made a request: Would Kim allow Gilbert, a complete stranger, to continue to visit the 133-acre estate where her enslaved ancestors are buried? Would Kim agree to take part, she wrote, ‘in the long and complicated process of healing as African American families search for a … sense of peace with the past?'”

Read the Story in the Post, Here 

Jana Prepares for the NYC Marathon

Jana Schey, many-time camper, member of, and Sussy’s original “Bliss Buddy,” is participating in the 2023 New York City Marathon this coming Monday!!!!

This is Jana’s first-ever marathon and girl friend’s walking it. She’s been training like mad in her hometown of Houston, TX, where she braved the soupy heat all summer, and flexing her mantra, “Just keep walking!” as needed.

She told us about coming to Classic Camp this fall, “This was a different camp for me. When I arrived, I thought to myself, ‘Why am I here this time?’ And then it became obvious: Because I am doing this thing [the Marathon] that scares the hell out of me, — and now Tammi is announcing it to the entire camp! This must be why I am here: to have all this encouragement from this amazing community.”

Let’s keep it coming, y’all! Track Jana Schey — Pin #51521 — HERE. Hit the “Tracker” on the upper left once the marathon begins, and search for Jana’s name or her pin. (Mobile app directions HERE).


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Next up: November’s Milestone Circle on 11.8!! ⬇️

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From the campfire & beyond…

P.S. What are you creating?! What are you proud of? Share with us, so we can spread the word.
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