As Sherwood Forest staff and campers have reunited again at this amazing place so many call their “home away from home”, we are grateful to be together honoring this day of profound weight and power – Juneteenth. On June 19, 1865 — nearly nine decades after the founding of this Nation, and more than 2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation — enslaved Americans in Texas finally received word that they were free from bondage. It was only last year that this monumental day was given official observance as a holiday. Though a devastatingly long wait for a day that has long lived in the hearts and minds of so many in the Sherwood Forest family, we are committed to honoring Juneteenth through thoughtful conversations and guided action with the youth we serve.
Sherwood Forest strives to make the camp and continued programming experiences focused on building confidence, resilience, and community connection available to all children. Black youth, who make up two-thirds of our campers, have historically lacked access to immersive outdoor experiences due to systemic racism, oppression, and inequality. Nature, the great equalizer that it is, belongs to everyone and we will continue to use its infinite lessons to show the children of Sherwood Forest that they belong, they are capable of great things, and that we are always there for them and alongside with them for their journey.
We hope this Juneteenth provides hope and inspiration for everyone.