Be a camerado
Wear the badge and look out for people
What’s a camerado, then?
About two years ago someone described a camerado as someone between a stranger and a friend. We still think that’s a spot on definition (thanks Wayne).
Another camerado we know said that to them, to be a camerado is to be the better side of yourself; that we all have a camerado side (and we all have a crap side too and that’s OK). We love this definition, too.
When we started out there was no neatly filed mission, vision and values document but we did set down some basic principles for the Camerados movement. They’ve influenced the decisions we’ve made along the way and we’ve come to regard them as a reflection of what it means to be a Camerado. Have a read and see if you connect with them.
We have the 19th century American poet Walt Whitman to thank for the name, and I guess the concept too. In his poem, Song of the Open Road, Walt described the most important thing a person needs in life is someone by his side, alongside for the good days and the bad.
A great thing we’ve found about referring to someone as a camerado is that it carries no linguistic baggage; it’s not a label like client, customer, service user, volunteer. It implies we’re on a level with each other; no one above us and no one below us.