Taking S.T.E.P.S. (Supporting the Transformation of Equity and Power in outdoor Spaces)


The goal of Taking S.T.E.P.S. is to thoughtfully and intentionally create more opportunities for families of color to experience the north woods in a family camp setting, while working to disrupt power dynamics centered around whiteness and traditionally present at family camp.

Our Story

The summer 2020 staff team felt that as a new camp, it was imperative to have inclusivity be a part of our narrative and work from the beginning. The goal of this initiative was to see our words and intentions put to action as soon as possible, so we brainstormed, and with the help of many community members and outside resources, came up with the idea of S.T.E.P.S. To us, the purpose of S.T.E.P.S isn’t about performative activism or allyship, but was created with both the deep seeded love of Family Camp and the desire to make it a better place for all. We are focusing on making small, tangible, lasting change that can grow year to year.

Summer 2021

We are so excited to launch this initiative with the first ever week being, August 1-7th, 2021, which is now completely full! We are expanding S.T.E.P.S to a second session of Family Camp, September 3rd-6th (Labor Day Weekend), 2021, for any still interested in attending in this capacity. We want these S.T.E.P.S. sessions to be an experience in which BIPOC families can see more people who look like them in an outdoor setting and specifically at family camp. In order to start dismantling the power dynamics centered around whiteness that are traditionally present at family camp, our goal is to increase our BIPOC campers at camp to at least 50% of our camper community during our S.T.E.P.S. weeks.

Intent to Attend

If you’re interested in S.T.E.P.S, please fill out an Intent to Attend form! Intent forms received will be handled on a first come, first serve basis. Following your form submission, a Camp Northern Lights staff member will contact you to talk through any questions and help complete the registration process.

We ask each family to pay a deposit of $50 to hold their spot for the week, which will be refunded following their stay at camp. Outside of that refundable fee, Camp Northern Lights will cover 100% of the cost of your stay for this week, regardless of your ability to pay.

Intent Form

Ways to Help Us Grow

As a community, we recognize that we have a lot of work to do. We understand that as much as we want to create change, we also need to continue our education on these important issues. We would love your guidance in helping us grow. See below for ways to support us in this work:

1. In Partnership - Are you connected with a school, organization, or people you think may be interested in attending camp? Do you have trainings, education, or resources surrounding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work? What else do you think we could do to enhance and improve this work? Let us know in the link below! All forms of giving and support are greatly appreciated.

Support Us

2. In contribution- In order to make this a continued and growing reality, we rely on the support of donations. If giving financially in any capacity is possible for you, it is another important way of making this initiative come to life. See the link below to donate. 

Just Giving