Written by Bryson and Garrett, a rising 7th grader and rising 9th grader, respectively, Burke Presbyterian Church in Burke, VA.
Garett: “I noticed the physical boundaries between neighborhoods you can see. They look different and have a different feel. Some of the houses are nicer in some places, and not as well kept in others. Same with the streets: some are covered in trash while others are fairly clean.”
Bryson: “I noticed the houses and neighborhoods, too. In some neighborhoods, the houses were boarded up.”
Garrett: “I didn’t always notice when we were crossing boundaries. But when we walked from the really nice neighborhood- it was quiet, it smelled nicer. But when we walked past the wall [from the nice neighborhood to the more distressed neighborhood] it was really noticeable. I felt like I had to be more alert outside of the nice neighborhood on the street.
At camp I interacted with more mentees today, because of what we talked about last night, and how we can cross the boundaries, especially racially. Even if just playing, and being on the same “team” when playing soccer.
I didn’t personally cross this boundary, but seeing the kids trusting the police [who came and spoke to the kids], and there’s lots of stuff with the the police officers in their neighborhoods. I thought they answered the kids questions to get the kids to trust the cops and feel safe.”
Bryson: “I didn’t always notice the boundaries when we were driving because I don’t live in neighborhoods like those.
At camp I noticed the kids really wanted to play hide and seek, but they had to do their work first. And I wanted them to do their work so they could learn to be leaders, but we had to help them focus.”