Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm

Who are the 2014 Peacebuilders?

From Erica Schoon, Program Director…

Day 3 on the farm for me and time for updates as our summer counseling staff has finally arrived!

It’s been a busy few days as we finalize our camp rosters, meet with community partners, run errands, stock a house full of food and supplies for 20 people, decorate, and generally do everything we can to make 13 middle schoolers feel welcome and at home when they arrive Monday morning. For many of them, it will take a lot of courage to watch their parents drive away as they go into their first week away from home and family. So we want to make it feel like home! But before I describe our home for the week and set the stage for this adventure, let me first introduce the characters.

This year for the first time we have a full summer staff in addition to directors– two counselors and two counselors-in-training. And it’s an incredible team with such a diverse range of experiences, passions, and skills. My hope this summer is to solicit guest posts from more people, so you should be hearing directly from some of these great camp counselors.

You can read about our staff here, but let’s get to the question on everyone’s mind….Who are the 2014 campers?

To get to know our campers a little in advance, we always reserve a section of the registration forms for campers to answer a few questions about themselves and their aspirations. Here’s a sampling from our first session of campers age 11-12:

How would you define a human right? Can you name any human rights off the top of your head?

  • “A right is a freedom to do something. Women can vote.”
  • “A human right would be being able to go into a store and not feel like you don’t belong there.”
  • “I would define a Human Right as rights that us humans are granted. They are standards of human behavior and legal rights that all people have. Some human rights are fair trade, freedom of speech, don’t discriminate, the right to life, the right to privacy, the right for food and shelter, also we are all born free and equal and there are plenty more. A lot of human rights are really followed in the world but we try our hardest to make sure they are.”
  • “When you do something good or help our community.”
  • “A human right is a right that all humans deserve. Some human rights are the right to speak, the right to protest, the right to have medical care and education and homes.”
  • “I have a right to be treated fairly.”
  • “A Human Right is something a human is entitled to like freedom of speach. One human right that I can think of is freedom of speach, or freedom of reigion. Well that’s two actually. Do I get points taken off or added on?”
  • “Freedom of speech”
  • “All race can go to the same school”
  • “As a freedom for everyone.The right to vote is the first right I could think of.”
  • “Freedom of speech, right to vote.”
  • “Right to equality/ We have more knowledge as a group of people how we should treat each other from earlier times.”


What is one way you’d like to see the world change?

  • “Have world peace and less pollution.”
  • “If everyone took what they need and nothing more.”
  • “I like to see that there are no nuclear bombs in the world one day. Even though governments around the world say that they want to stop making them most of them are still making them. I’d also like to see that people that aren’t like us or don’t look like us are accepted in society.”
  • “I want the world to be in peace, and help others take care of people.”
  • “I want to see the world change by seeing that everybody everywhere has a house.”
  • “That everyone has a job.”
  • “I would have to say one thing I would want to change in the world would be to bring Afghanistan home. So they could see their families and maybe even tie the knot and start a family of their own.”
  • “School”
  • “Killing each other”
  • “I would like to see the world change into a more peaceful place and no one be bullied anymore.”
  • “Less violence and more cleaning”
  • “Better schools”

Here are a couple more photos of our staff getting ready for campers to arrive (click on each photo to see a larger version):

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