Peacebuilders Camp Family FAQ
Registration and Fees
What is Peacebuilders Camp?
What are the dates for the 2017 camp sessions?
Who is Peacebuilders Camp for?
How do I register my child for camp?
How much does camp cost?
How does the sliding scale work? Is it a free camp?
What is your refund policy on camp tuition in case of cancellation?
Do you have a day camp option?
Can my child who will not be age 11-14 during camp time attend Peacebuilders Camp?
Can my children attend camp together?
My family has a special obligation. Can my child arrive late or leave early from camp?
My child has a major challenge that might prevent them from participating fully in camp. Can you accommodate their needs?
My child has been made fun of/teased/bullied at school. Will that happen at camp?
My child is LGBTQ or comes from an LGBTQ family. Will they be welcomed?
My child is part of ______ religious group. Will they be welcomed?
Preparation for Camp
When is drop-off and pick-up?
Where does camp happen?
How do I get there?
Do you provide transportation to and from camp?
I am coming from out-of-state and will need to stay nearby Sunday night. Do you have recommendations for accommodations in the area?
How does fundraising work?
It’s my child’s first time away from home. How can I help prevent homesickness?
What should my child bring to camp?
What should my child NOT bring to camp?
Can I send snacks and drinks with my child to camp?
How do campers, parents, and staff feel about camp?
How many campers are there?
Who are the counselors at camp?
What activities will my child be doing at camp?
What is the food like at camp?
Can my child choose their roommate?
Where will my child sleep?
What if my child doesn’t feel well or needs medicine?
What are the rules at camp?
Can I talk to my child while they are at camp?
Can I talk to the staff while my child is at camp?
How can I help my child process their camp experience once they return home?
Keeping in touch with Peacebuilders Camp
Registration and Fees
Session 1 (ages 11-12): July 3-8, 2017
Session 2, (ages 12-13): July 10-15, 2017
Session 3, (ages 13-14): July 17-22, 2017
Any young person age 11-14 who is interested in learning more about peace and justice is welcome at Peacebuilders Camp. It doesn’t matter if the camper already has the language to articulate that interest or not. The child’s interest in social justice might express itself when they notice fair or unfair practices, choose peace-oriented school assignments, pay attention to current events, or interact with peers in a way that demonstrates a commitment to equality. This is not a traditional summer camp or a childcare arrangement. This is an educational summer camp with a focus on social justice, and it’s important that your child both understands this focus and is enthusiastic about attending this camp.
Read the instructions carefully, and complete the online registration forms. You will receive an email within a few days with a receipt for your forms and confirmation of your tuition amount. (If you do not receive a confirmation email within a few days, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.) Registration is not complete until we’ve received your full tuition payment.
Each session is capped at twenty campers. Your child’s slot at camp is not reserved until your forms are complete and your tuition is paid. Forms and tuition are due by April 1. Registrations received after a session fills or after the April 1 deadline will be placed on a waiting list pending openings.
It’s a sliding scale. The full cost of one camper is $1,125 and the subsidized recommended full tuition is $750 per camper, but we run on a sliding scale in which every family contributes as much as they’re able.
No, we ask families to contribute as much as they’re able to, even if it’s a small amount. The scale runs from $50-$750. Contributing more than $750 is considered a donation and is always welcome. You’ll choose your tuition amount when you register, and staff will contact you to confirm your amount or, on rare occasions, ask you to adjust your requested amount (if it doesn’t match up with your family’s income level and circumstances). Families are welcome to pay in installments but need to communicate with staff about those needs in advance. It’s our goal to never turn a family away for lack of funds. If finances are a huge challenge for you right now, please call to discuss so we can help work through the process together. The earlier you register, the better.
Fifty dollars of the tuition you paid is nonrefundable.
- Before April 1: The balance of the tuition you paid is fully refundable.
- From April 1 to May 1: Half of the balance is refundable.
- After May 1: Tuition is non-refundable.
No, Peacebuilders Camp’s only program at this time is our overnight summer camp.
Generally speaking, no. We stick with our age range (correlating roughly with rising 6th-9th graders). If they have a summer birthday during camp time, we can discuss with you which session would be the best fit for your child. (If your child is too old for camp, you can encourage them to apply to be a counselor-in-training when they turn 17.)
It’s our policy to separate siblings into different sessions whenever possible due to the tiny size of our camp. We realize this creates a transportation challenge to come and go from camp multiple times. We’ll do our best to connect you with other parents and volunteers to facilitate carpools.
No, full participation in camp is required. Please double check your child’s availability before registering. If they cannot arrive and leave at the appropriate times, please try again next year.
For major challenges (language barriers, emotional/behavioral problems, disabilities, etc.), please call to discuss before you register so we can figure out if we can accommodate your child’s needs or not. For minor challenges (medical conditions, food allergies, etc.), please register and make a note in the registration forms about your concerns.
Campers make a covenant together for how they want to behave toward one another during the week of camp. Counselors provide guidance throughout the week and are able to keep a close eye on social dynamics due to the small size of the camp. Both counselors and campers work hard to create an environment in which every camper feels safe, welcome, and included. It has been our observation that many campers who’ve struggled socially in school find acceptance at camp. However, if there are problems, we will work together to solve them.
The staff works hard to make sure all campers feel safe, included, and welcome. We value the experiences and perspectives of all campers, including those in the LGBTQ community. If you have specific concerns or questions, please contact us in advance to discuss.
Peacebuilders Camp is a secular camp with no religious affiliation, but we work hard to respect, include, and welcome campers and staff from any religion or none at all. Peacebuilders Camp coexists with our host community, Koinonia Farm, which is an intentional Christian community that also works hard to welcome people from all faith backgrounds. We also have the ability to accommodate religious practices, such as setting aside a special space for prayers, if needed. If your child has concerns or is seeking particular accommodations, please contact us in advance to discuss.
Preparation for Camp
Drop-off is on Monday morning of each session, and pick-up is early-afternoon on Saturday of each session. Exact times for the drop-off and pick-up windows will be distributed before camp starts. Families and volunteers dropping off campers are invited to spend a few hours enjoying Koinonia. A walking tour/documentary viewing and lunch are provided free of charge to Monday drivers, and the tour/documentary is available free of charge to Saturday drivers. Families will have a chance to sign up for these opportunities in May. At the very least we hope you will stop in at the Koinonia Welcome Center to learn a little about the community and to buy some delicious, farm-fresh goodies to take home.
Peacebuilders Camp happens on a working farm in south Georgia called Koinonia Farm, an intentional community founded in 1942 that has been involved in critical peace and justice work since its inception. From its role as an interracial community during the civil rights movement to its history as the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity, Koinonia has been front and center in the struggle for human rights. Community members today continue in that work through sustainable farming, radical hospitality, and more. Campers will have the opportunity to get to know Koinonia community members through shared meals and activities. So many seeds of change have started at Koinonia, and we believe our campers are continuing that legacy.
We will send detailed driving directions in May. For now, take note that the farm is located in Americus, Georgia about 2.5-3 hours south of Atlanta. The address is 1324 GA Highway 49 South, Americus, GA 31719. Drivers will need to give themselves plenty of extra time and take into account that GPS and phones don’t always work in south Georgia.
No, our campers come from all over the Southeast, and we do not provide official transportation. However, after April 1 we will begin connecting families who live near each other and are interested in carpooling. In addition, we are sometimes able to connect families with volunteer drivers if there are no other carpool families living nearby. If transportation is a challenge, please don’t let it stop you from registering. We will work with you to find solutions. We have lots of volunteers and supporters who want to help your child get to camp!
Long-distance drivers please contact email@example.com for hospitality recommendations and suggestions for things to do while you’re in the area.
As a sliding scale camp, we work hard at fundraising to make up the difference between family tuition and the actual cost of running a camp. We ask families to join with us in the fundraising effort as they are able. While tuition is due April 1, there is no deadline for fundraising; it is unrelated to the tuition payment. The registration forms include fundraising information, and we’ll follow up with you if you indicate an interest in participating. Many campers have benefited from the learning experience of fundraising, and it often extends the camp experience when they report later on what they learned at camp.
Getting nervous before camp or a little homesick during camp (especially the first few days) is a common experience. However, very few campers are affected by major homesickness during camp because they stay so busy and make new friends quickly in the small camp setting. (In fact, the separation is often harder for parents!) If you’re concerned, there are some steps you can take to help prevent homesickness:
- Prepare for camp: Go through the materials, discuss expectations, and talk about your child’s hopes and fears. You can answer your child’s questions and talk about strategies for coping in different situations.
- Be positive: If you are expressing more nerves and doubts about the separation than your child, it will influence them. Instead let your positivity and excitement rub off.
- Cultivate independence: Your child can work up to a week at overnight camp by going on sleepovers or participating in other activities away from home and family. Becoming more independent at home by doing their own chores and taking care of their own belongings will also help prepare your child for daily life at camp.
- Applaud bravery: Provide positive reinforcement by noticing your child when they branch out to try something new or challenging. A little confidence booster goes a long way.
We will send out a detailed packing list to registered campers in May. Clothing and shoes at camp should be suitable for getting dirty. Some items like a raincoat and flashlight come in handy, but it’s OK if you don’t have them. We don’t want anyone to have to go out shopping for camp, so no specialty items are required. Bed linens and bath towels are provided. We recommend labelling all of your clothes and belongings.
Weapons (including pocket knives), drugs, alcohol, tobacco, valuables of any kind, money, food/drinks from home, and electronics— including cell phones— are NOT allowed at camp. (Digital cameras with no other capabilities are allowed but not necessary and will be the camper’s responsibility to take care of. Counselors will take lots of photos and make those available to families after camp.)
We prefer you not send any food or drink with your child to camp (unless you’ve gotten permission in advance for a medical condition). Meals, snacks, and chocolate will be provided and we want to avoid situations in which some kids have “special” food and others don’t.
Check out our testimonials page.
We have a maximum of twenty campers and two counselors-in-training per session.
Our staff consists of five counselors and two counselors-in-training. Registered campers will receive details about the staff in May. Seasonal staff may change from year to year but always includes some combination of the year-round Leadership Team as head counselors. Every counselor is screened through an interview process, reference checks, and a criminal background check. We strive to assemble a team every summer with a balance of gifts, personalities, and backgrounds to help us meet the needs of our diverse group of campers and their varied learning styles. If you know someone experienced in the struggle for social justice who has worked with kids before, encourage them to apply to be a camp counselor.
An overview of the schedule for your child’s session of camp will be sent out in May. Activities change from year to year and session to session, but a typical day includes group discussion, games, a field trip, meals, and free time (sports, arts and crafts, reading, resting, etc.). Each day at camp is focused on a different human right, and the activities each day will all revolve around the Right of the Day. Campers should also come prepared to do some physical work every day, whether it’s volunteering at a service project or doing daily chores. To get a sense of some past activities at camp, check out our Camp Life page.
We serve healthy meals with plenty of options for different tastes. We eat some of our meals in the bunkhouse, and we join in on some of Koinonia’s communal meals. We try to use as much food produced right on the farm as we can, including organic fruits and veggies, grass-fed beef, pastured pork, free-range eggs, and of course Koinonia’s pecans and chocolate pecan bark. Some common meals in the past have included baked potatoes, chili, tacos, and sandwiches. The registration form includes a section where you can indicate your child’s food allergies and dietary needs. We are able to accommodate most needs and will call to discuss with you in advance if your child’s diet is highly specialized.
No, roommates are assigned. If your child is attending camp with a friend, please know Peacebuilders Camp is so small they’ll be with their friend most of the time anyway. We also challenge campers to branch out from people they already know and to make new friends. Most campers arrive not knowing anyone at all.
The Koinonia Farm Guest House and Fuller House are our homes for the week. Each camper will be assigned at least one roommate in a simple room with twin-sized beds. Both bunkhouses have A/C, bathrooms, and bed linens/towels provided. Here is a video that shows the Guest House accommodations:
A counselor trained in first aid will be designated camp First Aid Provider and will monitor illness and injury to provide necessary first aid, including over-the-counter medications. We will follow the instructions you provide in your child’s medical forms and will call you in the case of any medical crises or persistent illness. The camp First Aid Provider must store and dispense all medications, which should be in their original, labelled containers (prescriptions, Tylenol and other OTC meds, vitamins, etc.). Campers are allowed to carry an EpiPen or asthma inhaler with them if needed. If your child normally takes a prescription, please fill the prescription before camp so it will last the week.
On the first day, campers together will create a covenant of guidelines to follow during the week. The covenant is revised until every camper is ready to sign it. Respect is always at the core of the covenant, and we all remind each other of the expectations throughout the week. However, there are some non-negotiable rules for camper behavior that would result in a camper being sent home, and these include sexual activity, possession or use of drugs or alcohol, and violent behavior. Please don’t bring weapons of any kind to camp.
You may send your child a note of encouragement via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The camp director will print out your note and deliver it during free time. (Please limit yourself to two emails during the week.) Campers will not be able to respond, but they appreciate the encouragement. Phone calls and in-person visits are reserved for emergencies only as they are shown to exacerbate homesickness and distract from the camp experience.
We’ll send a list of contact numbers to registered families in May. The camp director keep his cell phone on him at all times and responds promptly if unable to answer. Please call us if you have any kind of emergency at home or other concerns of which we need to be aware. We discourage calling staff “just to check in” on your child as returning calls from twenty sets of parents would pull staff away from valuable time with campers for too long. We won’t bother you with cuts, bruises, or minor homesickness, but we promise we will call you if there is any major problem or if we have questions for you that will help us better care for your child.
Peacebuilders Camp is a partnership not only to educate the next generation of peacebuilders but also to involve young people in the current landscape of social justice work— in whatever forms large or small that work might take. Parents and home communities are vital to making sure this partnership continues when campers return home. Here are some tips for families to continue the learning at home:
- Help arrange for your child to report back about what they learned at camp in some way in their home community (neighborhood group, social setting, civic function, school, peace and justice organization, faith community, etc.).
- Every camper makes a commitment for something tangible they can do to build justice when they return home. Ask about their goal and provide help and encouragement as needed. Send photos and stories to email@example.com. We love featuring graduates of Peacebuilders Camp in the Alum Spotlight feature of our monthly newsletter.
- Help your child collect their memories, stories, and photos. (We will provide photos after camp that families are welcome to download and print or use as they like.)
- Encourage your child to continue learning and getting involved by reading, researching, following current events, and joining a community group working on whatever issue most interests them.
Keeping in touch with Peacebuilders Camp
Sign up for our newsletter on the sidebar to the right. You can see photo/video highlights by following us on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, or YouTube. You can see our photo collection in its entirety on our Flickr page.
Please contact Mario Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-731-3503.