Re-Orientation

My favourite place, stated in my earlier blog post (and of course, still is my favourite place), is the Y Country Camp. The camp sits on an extremely large ground, with 2 hockey courts, 3 lakes, 11 unit living spaces, and much more. Applying Lefebvre’s spatial triad, one can begin to see the camp in many different ways. My previous post I had posted a view of the grounds from above, looking downward. But, thinking in the context of representations of space, the camp can be viewed in the form of a map. MAP

Now, the camp is seen in a completely different way. When I think of YCC, this is not the mode I envision it. This representation of the camp does not provide the same warm, and hospitable feeling I feel when I think of camp or am physically at camp. In fact, this very picture is at the beginning of my supervisor manual, containing all the rules, camp standards, and supervisor responsibilities. This is why when I see this picture I actually envision memories of work and stressful times. These are two very different reactions, to two different representations of the same space. Many parents check the YCC website before deciding if they should send their kids to camp or not, but viewing the camp in this mode (map) does not provide the viewer with the same impression they would get if they were to visit the camp in person.

And of course, not every single camper there sees it in the same way either. Referring to representational space, we can assume that depending on people’s age, background, and imagination, they may all see the camp in a different way. Despite the camp being HUGE, the younger campers probably see it as much bigger than it actually is. The campers who are having a bad summer, may imagine the camp as a prison. Of course, there are certain instances where even I repurpose spaces in camp with my imagination. For example, this summer my unit used the football field as a quidditch field. Following Lefebvre’s idea of representational space, we used our imaginations to view the field differently, repurposing it.

Referring to Judith Butler’s idea of gender performative, its fair to say that YCC to an extent instills their campers with gender performances. The girls do participate in sports, and the boys arts, but when deciding the daily schedules the girls have priority over activities such as: arts & crafts, drama, and dance. This shapes the idea that girls are meant to do art and boys sports. In camp, campers’ participation is a huge factor in regards to their staff viewing them as a “good” or “bad” camper. This means that if a girl is not interested in arts and wants to play sports, just because she is a girl she is forced into having to be at this activity, and if she wishes to be viewed as a “good” camper she must also participate in this activity. This is her performing a gender: doing arts and crafts simply because that’s what girls are “supposed to do” at camp.

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2 comments

    1. sorry! i only saw this today when checking the blog :s… To answer your question though: staff could start reducing the reproduction of gender norms, or completely cut them out of camp, by incorporating sports and arts into both the boys and girls daily schedules. Also, making more co ed activities would allow the two genders to intermingle and allow everyone to hang out with people of the gender they identify with most

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