French artist Paul Gauguin’s painting above is called “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? These are the central questions all children seek answers. The answers to these questions are part of the central task of adolescence, guiding them to develop a strong sense of who they are - their identity - and to find meaning and purpose in their lives.
The concept of gratitude is central to the mission of the Center. Being aware of - Where we came from; Who we are; Where we are going has never been far from our thoughts and actions.
We have tremendous gratitude and honor the legacy from which our work has unfolded. Through the abundant gifts and blessings of many, youth and community development through rites of passage has emerged as an offering to be shared at this time of great need.
No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged
from the kingdom of night.
We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone they belong to all those who need us desperately.
... And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever
human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.1
Wamsutta: An Unwitting Preparation for a Life of Service
By David G. Blumenkrantz
For the story of Camp Wamsutta and the making of a community-organizer - story-maker - troubadour and practitioner in the art of nourishing life and youth development click here.
Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Summer Camp©♥
By David G. Blumenkrantz
Part I – The Initiation of a Camper
A young boy sits excitedly on a hillside as the twilight envelops him. It is the first Sunday evening in July 1962. He expectantly waits, peering into the distance, watching for them. First, he hears the soft rhythm of the bells; smoke from burning torches curl into the twilight. Then, across the field he sees feathers shaking with the cadence of their approach. Click here for more of the story...
Everything is a gift and blessing passing through countless people, giving it form and offering it to those in need with grace and gratitude.
The Center for Youth & Community, Inc. is grateful to those who have contributed to our work and the development of this new web site. We are especially grateful for the generous support of the following:
An early supporter and advocate for the story of community-oriented rites of passage. Dick was killed September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center
1 E. Wiesel's Nobel Prize acceptance speech, reported in the New York Times, December 11, 1986.