Sharon Van Epps

My Favorite Family Weekend of the Year

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Recently I enjoyed one of my favorite weekends of the year with my family: African Cradle Ethiopian Heritage Camp  at Redwood Glen in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

People always ask, “What do you do at Ethiopian Camp?” I don’t have a quick one-line answer. We learn a little about Ethiopian culture, we eat a little Ethiopian food. We dance. The parents talk about how to be better parents. The kids talk about what kids talk about, in a setting where almost every other kid looks like them, a simple delight they experience nowhere else. Nobody asks the kids why they don’t match their parents. Nobody asks the parents why they don’t match their kids. Everyone belongs.

This year I also gave a talk to other parents called “Standing Up or Stepping Back? Helping Kids Navigate Race Even if You’ve Never Experienced It Yourself.” (Spoiler alert: you pretty much always have to step up.) The group had a vibrant discussion that could have continued all day. Already looking forward to next year!