As many of you know I am a avid rock climber, and I am also a member or at least was a member of an adaptive climbing group at Brooklyn Boulders rock wall gym. A year ago the club was organizing a camp to what we call the “Gunks” in upstate New York for a climbing camp when the club was announced I asked the club director what were the dietary and catering arrangements were as I and several other members were vegan or had medical dietary requirements.
I also asked about accommodation arrangeents and was told they were expecting wheelchair users to sleep in pup tents on the ground in the Forrest? I asked how we were meant to get to and from the bathrooms or even behind a tree in the middle of the night as I can climb back into my chair but not all can.
The reply I got was Just because she was taking a group of medically and physically compromised people away to the wilderness doesn’t mean she had any duty of care to provide any special food or accommodation or arrangements of any other kind.
When I questioned this statement an ongoing discourse of loud public beratement proceeded in the gym, I was told loudly if I wasn’t a big enough adult to feed myself for 3 days in the middle of the wilderness(where there isn’t any other alternative available for miles) then perhaps I should stay home, I was also made to feel like I was just whining. This attitude was repeated on open facebook wall and in the middle of the gym to the point where Ella and I stopped our involvement with the group, because we thought the directors actions were improper for someone running such an organization and I have not climbed with them since.
The person I am referring to told me not this camp or any in the future would she do anything different,
well today a questionnaire was on facebook asking how many vegetarians, how many vegans and are there any other dietary needs they should know about?. While I applaud the turn about I find the hypocrisy of it untenable.
When you run any group where the members are as a whole dis and other wise abled ,or medically challenged individuals, whether you’re taking them around the block or across the world you as the director,as the founder, as the organizer have a legal and medical duty of care to know the needs medically physically and dietary needs of every member in your care and if you refuse then step down.
If it’s too much for you then start a knitting circle, I am glad you have changed your ways and I am happy for the current members and wish the group well but to those of us who were members previously it just wasn’t good enough.