Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm

Peacebuilders 2016 is off to a great start!

During a few quiet hours the evening before Day 1, Meh Sod teaches Quayneshia a song from Burma as Julia looks on.
During a few quiet hours the evening before Day 1, Meh Sod teaches Quayneshia a song from Burma as Julia looks on.

The first day of Peacebuilders Camp 2016 has been packed with activity! There is so much for our twenty 11- and 12-year old campers to take in and to adjust to, from meeting their roommates to finding their way around the farm to figuring out how to interact in a new, diverse peer group. Fortunately, our Session 1 campers are the resilient sort, and Day 1 has gone beautifully. In the words of one camper, in fact, it’s been the Best Day Ever!

For most of our campers, the day started at home very early with a drive of a few hours to arrive at Koinonia Farm. After introductions and a few games to help us remember each other’s names, we launched into a discussion of the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” We considered what dignity means, and how we treat others with respect and dignity. Campers used their own ideas about respect to begin to formulate a covenant that outlines how they will treat each other respectfully this week. We enjoyed lunch together, a tour of the farm, and a visit to Koinonia’s bakery where we were gifted with a big tray of chocolate and spiced pecans which we’ll be enjoying over the next few days.

The tarp comes down. Can you say the name of the person on the other side before they say yours?
The tarp comes down. Can you say the name of the person on the other side before they say yours?

We watched a video about the UDHR, thought about heroes from the past who have worked to make sure that dignity and equal rights are afforded to all, and started to consider our place in continuing that work today. Campers got to know each other better during free time, playing soccer and board games, taking walks around the farm, and just hanging out together. After chores and dinner with the Koinonia community, we embarked on a hayride around the farm (fortunately, the rain stopped in time!) and gathered to watch a fun skit about the Coup Clutz Clowns. (You can see a video of the book the skit was based on here: http://www.davidlamotte.com/2012/white-flour-is-now-a-video/). Then came a campfire with storytelling, our evening circle where we finalized the camp covenant and reflected on the events of the day, and then a bit more free time to enjoy with new friends. Whew! No wonder we’re all ready for bed!

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