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Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers respond to a lesson from Harvard, a primer on millennials, and an essay on sending a daughter off to summer camp.

What’s in a Name?

Regarding “A Lesson From Harvard: Learn to Pick Your Battles” (Perspective, May 21), we should be careful distinguishing between memorials to someone (an R.E. Lee statue) and of someone (Holocaust victims). Some should be removed and/or stored in museums; the others should remain in prominent public view, lest we ever forget.

Edward McGowan / Roslindale

Summer Camp

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I read with pleasure Jennifer Peter’s “Summer Dreaming” essay (Connections, May 21). I had reached the third column when I said to myself that reminds me of Alford Lake Camp. And then I read on — and it was indeed. I spent only one summer there, as a counselor in 1969, when I was in college. That was the summer of the first moon walk. As was pointed out, we didn’t watch TV at the camp, but the staff made an exception that night. I remember walking up the hill after the broadcast and looking up at the moon and thinking there’s a man standing on it now. Thanks for a lovely piece.

Sheila Connolly / Middleborough

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I am the daughter of camp directors, but even if I weren’t, I would urge the writer to joyfully send Clara to camp. The benefits, as she experienced, are lifelong. I feel a little sorry for her not-a-camp-guy husband. She will shed a tear when she drops Clara off, but she’ll give her daughter the opportunity to let a camp experience do for her what it has done for so many others.

Cindy Garni / Wellesley

I just wanted to weigh in on the side of Team Send the Girl. I, too, went to camp for many years and was then a counselor (at a different camp). I can still recall the flush in our daughter’s face after just a week at camp as she ran down to meet us. Our girls’ camp experiences set them up to embrace travel and adventure in a way I completely understand but that sometimes makes me a little wistful as a parent. Our daughters, now both in their 20s, have collectively spent time in Costa Rica, Colombia, South Africa, New Zealand, Chile, and Scotland. The world is both smaller and more expanded for them, and the concept of what is possible reflects the breadth of where they have been.

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Meg Stafford / Littleton

Understanding Millennials

It is the privilege of youth to find fault and complain. It is the responsibility of their elders to guide them into more productive mind-sets. After reading many of your “millenni-analytical” articles, from the older complaint-centric essay by Alexa D’Agostino (Perspective, April 2) to the more recent multi-contributor The Millennials Issue (May 28) and its crowdfunding examination by Neil Swidey (“All You Have to Do Is Ask”), I’ve realized that it may be time to switch from evaluation to mentoring and educational mode.

Sometime soon, this generation will be making decisions that have a significant impact on our lives. It’s time we help them make the exceptional ones, of which everyone is capable when encouraged to spend less time “reacting’’ to issues on social media and more time engaging in the conversations shaping our world.

One example: I encourage Millennial Issue contributor Matthew King (“We Feel Conflicted About Free Speech”) to realize that every generation has faced the double-edged sword of our First Amendment rights. However, without that privilege, the next voice silenced could be anyone’s, not simply those considered inappropriate, hurtful, or extreme.

Lauren Bradford / Allston

I just read “Don’t Misunderstand Us” (May 28) and I find Myth #6 about millennials, “We Are Slackers,” disturbing. Bragging that 1 in 4 workers aged 18 to 25 didn’t use a single paid vacation day last year is sad. Work is important but should not be your whole life. Spending time with people you love produces happy, productive, balanced human beings. The only person who benefits from no vacation days is the owner of the company!

Robin O’Donnell / Fitchburg

I think most of my friends on the older end of the millennial spectrum (born 1981-1989) would like to be subdivided. Those who really remember a pre-9/11 world and the transition to the computer/Internet age have a different mind-set than the late-’90s millennials.

Chris Theile / Melrose

Swidey’s GoFundMe article was quite interesting, but the very last sentence made me bristle — describing his children as “Generation Z.” As a Gen Xer, I see the name as a reflection of how the world continues to revolve around the baby boomers. See, Generation X was so named because it is relatively small, invisible, and lost under the weight of the baby boomers. Boomers absorbed all of the resources — the infrastructure and institutions that their predecessors had spent centuries constructing, the free or inexpensive public education — and were so entitled they used it all up and refused to pay it forward. To call our children Generation Z is to enforce the notion that the sun will set with the baby boomers. A force large enough to balance the weight of the boomers, the millennials carry my hopes. They envision a future for themselves and their own children and grandchildren — once they get out from under the debt the boomers strapped them with.

Roberta Cameron

Medford

Bec Gronski wants others to fund her trip to Australia so she can continue her spiritual journey. All the great spiritual teachers in history have lived, and worked, in the world. Perhaps Gronski will discover the fellow employee at the “spirit-crushing” job in New Hampshire may be her most important teacher. As a side note: The 8 percent in fees GoFundMe charges for charity fund-raising is usurious.

Linda Varone / Arlington

CONTACT US Write to magazine@globe.com or The Boston Globe Magazine/Comments, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Comments are subject to editing.
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