Amber Camp, Class of ’06 (Babies!)

My name is Amber Camp and I am member of the inaugural class of Periclean Scholars.  When Dr. Tom asked me to contribute an update for the blog, I was ecstatic!  My peers, who traveled with me to Namibia during Winter Term 2006, will see my posts on Facebook every now and then when I’m pulling photos of our trip and tagging them with messages of memories that seem like forever ago.  There is no doubt that being a Periclean Scholar impacted my life in college by opening my eyes, my mind and my heart to causes around the world.  I participated in projects of agreat magnitude; I became a fully engaged global citizen thinking outside of the box; I even traveled “half way around the world” to walk a mile in the shoes of people in a culture completely different than my own.  Not only this but through my photography, I was able to bring these images and stories home and share with not just my family and friends, but had many published in newspapers, magazines, the yearbook, etc. My photos told the stories of not just our own journey, but the journey of the lives we encountered during our tour of Namibia.  Amber C and Ben CBut what am I doing now?  Well…I am just a mom.

When I began to write this article, I was hesitant at first.  Sure, I did a lot of powerful things through Pericles.  But how would I give an update on myself, seven years later that would be as influential as my days at Elon?  After graduation, I moved away, took a corporate position with American Express, got married to my college sweetheart, Matt, and gave birth to my son, Benjamin.  I have settled down and become a wife, a mother, and a career woman.  This was far from the outlook I had in Namibia.  Opportunities like Peace Corps, Teach for America or working for a local non-profit agency would have been more my goal at that time.  Now, my college resume has been replaced with a list of recognitions and awards from my corporate job, I entertain and train a toddler, and maybe if I’m lucky have an opportunity to attend a painting class.  I am a mom.

Looking back now, I would not be the person that I am today without Pericles.   I’ll tell you this much, I am not currently traveling to third world countries or participating in Leadership Summits or having photos published or interviews of my life changing journey.  But, I will say, that now, when I take on a project, I take in on whole-heartedly and most importantly with an open mind and an appreciation for the people who are directly impacted.   I have a global view of the world.  As Rachel R, Laura I, Amber Cmuch as I am an American, I am also looking at the global picture that crosses race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, etc. And I do not judge until I’ve walked at least a mile along another’s path.  My cause may not be HIV/AIDS in Namibia at this point in my life.  But I am active with my church, donating clothing and baby items to families in need.  I participate in a women’s group which raises money for local charities. I educate myself on topics, and I research by getting involved.   I support breastfeeding, promote suicide prevention, stand up against bullying and vote for change. I am a very passionate mom.

So, how am I still remaining connected to Project Pericles as I vowed I would in my interview into the program?  Here is how.

I keep connected by staying in touch.  My best friends now are the ones I made in Namibia.  We have attended weddings, baby showers, and kids’ birthday parties.  We talk every now and then and meet up as often as life will allow.   Even our Periclean-in-Residence, Matjiua and I communicate often.  She traveled to West Virginia when I got married, we arrange to Skype even though our time zones are worlds apart.  We send each other’s children care packages.  In fact, I have a toy ball with the continents on it for her son, Rino, headed to the post office tomorrow.

I keep connected through donation.  Every paycheck that I work hard to earn has an automatic deduction that I have arranged through my Namibia group at Dune 7company to be send electronically to Elon.  In the memo line, I added “Project Pericles” and the money then transfers to the program.  I even worked to get American Express to match each and every donation.  Even though it’s not as much as I would someday like to give, I know that every bit helps.  And one day, when I’m done paying off all of the student loans, I wi

Matjuia K and Amber C

ll hope to dedicate that monthly payment to the project too.  I know my peers know just what I mean, and I encourage each of you to give back.

And finally, I keep connected by staying involved.  Sure, I may not be able to make it to every Homecoming, but I read the Periclean newsletter, I check out the website, I read the blog.  I want to know what the future of Pericles is bringing to the table.  What the new members have learned through our initial project.  These smiling faces I see in the pictures look just like the ones in my group.  How will they be motivated nearly ten years after starting their project?  Will some become “just a mom” like me?  I blessed, privileged and honored to have had this life changing experience in my memories.


Oh, and one more thing.  There is another baby on the way!


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