Disclaimer: This is another post about the nonprofit I work with called CISV. You can learn more about it at http://www.cisv.org. I felt it necessary to write a follow-up to my first post about the Summer Camp Committee’s idea of changing the name to Step Up. I got a lot of responses (thank you!) but I don’t think I was clear enough. Here in this post I will try again.
The aspect that is easiest to chat about and dissect is the name change. As part of Motion 5 for AIM 2012 (Mtn05-AIM12-ISU New Summer Camp Name), the International Summer Camp Committee proposes that the name of the Summer Camp program be changed to Step Up.
The name Step Up does not sound like what it is: a leadership and personal development
camp experience for youth from around the world.
The committee says that it means “a step up from Village” or when talking to a student “step it up” i.e. improve, try harder.
If you’re telling kids to step up, you are telling them they aren’t doing a good job in the first place. I’ve seen plenty of kids who come prepared when they arrive at Summer Camp (notably the Scandinavians). Young people learn a lot from the experience when they have been trained in what to expect when they arrive. These prepared kids are doing a great job, they don’t need to ‘step it up.’
I would’ve hated to be told to “step it up” when I was 15. There isn’t a motivational phrase that will speak to all young people.
It doesn’t need to be super difficult to explain CISV. I cannot and will not resign to the idea that it is “too hard.” Why not make it easier? Let’s pick a name that clearly indicates what happens during the Summer Camp program.
The committee doesn’t want to call it a camp because they would prefer people to think of it as “an experience, a Programme, a path, an action. A change in the life” (Max, ISU Chair). This makes perfect sense. I guess to me, in my life experience, camp is all of these things but maybe that word doesn’t translate into other languages with all of that meaning behind it.
After reading your comments and hearing from members of the ISU Committee, I still don’t love the name but now I understand more of the reasoning behind it. I still propose we work to find another name. Is there something in another language that would work better?