Izzy Pitman just graduated from Paideia School in Atlanta where she was a varsity ultimate player. As she drove up, campers Kalindi and Prince recognized her and cheered. Izzy had been teaching ultimate at their after school program for the last year and now here she was at Peacebuilders Camp! The boys were excited to help Izzy teach the game of ultimate to their new friends at camp. Both are already amazing players!
Izzy uses her sport as a vehicle for peacemaking. She has always been interested in multicultural learning and, having grown up in Namibia, has been surrounded by an international community her entire life.
She gathered campers together to tell us about Ultimate Peace‘s work to build bridges between Israeli and Palestinian youth through the game of ultimate. Ultimate is unique among competitive sports in that no outside referees are involved, and players must referee themselves and work out conflicts and differences of opinion on the field. This teaches conflict resolution skills that can transfer to other situations. Ultimate Peace (and Izzy) believe that the game of ultimate played in multicultural settings can lead to changes in behavior and deep and enduring shifts in awareness, which can in turn lead to peace on a small and large scale.
After explaining how this approach to peacemaking relates to the Israel-Palestine conflict, Izzy led a group of 4 campers in making hummus and baba ganoush for our international dinner. Yum!
Then after dinner, Izzy, Prince, and Kalindi got all campers and staff out on the field to throw frisbees and play warm-up games. Many of the campers and counselors played ultimate until it got too dark to see, even through a downpour!
Today, Izzy leaves for Israel/Palestine to be a mentor and coach at an Ultimate Peace camp there. We are privileged to have her at Peacebuilders Camp, giving our campers a model for how sport and peacemaking can be intertwined!