Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm is a unique overnight summer camp in rural south Georgia where youth ages 11 to 16 spend a week together learning how to work toward peace and justice. Campers enjoy farm life, play games and sports, go on field trips, learn about human rights, make new friends, and explore the stories of peacemakers past and present.
The mission of Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm is to provide a transformative learning experience that empowers a diverse community of youth to work toward peace, justice and human rights.
The first camp session was in summer 2011. Check our History page for more info.
Campers live in the Jordan House and Fuller House at Koinonia Farm, an intentional Christian community that runs a farm in Americus, GA modeling sustainable agriculture practices. Founded in 1942 as an interracial community, Koinonia has a rich history of defending civil rights and struggling for peace and justice. Habitat for Humanity and many other peacebuilding projects were born right here at Koinonia Farm in rural Georgia.
No, we are a secular camp. Koinonia, a Christian community, welcomes campers of all or no faiths, and campers are respectful of Koinonians’ faith tradition as well. We find a diverse, multifaith group of campers is instructive during our discussions of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. In addition, Peacebuilders Camp has so far had lots of support from the faith community– not because we are a religious camp, but because our mission matches with the values of many faith traditions, especially the historic peace churches.
Families are in partnership with us to achieve our mission. For this reason, we run on a sliding scale tuition system, meaning each family pays a different tuition amount based upon what they’re able to do.
All the instructions for registration are on our registration page. The registration form requires one section to be completed by the parent/guardian and another section to be completed by the camper. Later in the spring, we’ll give you a packing list and everything else you need to know, including possible carpool information.
No, we are not a program to teach conflict resolution skills to youth. Although some of these interpersonal skills come up in conversation, the curriculum is unusual in that it’s focused on human rights as a basis for thinking about the structures of our communities and our world. Most youth are not getting any exposure to human rights concepts during the school year, so we strive to fill that gap using the summer camp experience. Each day we focus on a different right or set of rights (using the UN Declaration of Human Rights) and provide small and large scale examples of the struggle to make that particular right a reality. Inspired by the stories of peacebuilders past and present, near and far, campers are encouraged to identify their own gifts and interests to determine where they fit in the struggle.
Members of the leadership team, all of whom have extensive experience working with youth, run camp each summer. Campers are also directly supervised by skilled counselors, who are hired in the spring after a thorough process including interviews, reference checks, and background checks. There is always a First-Aid and CPR-trained staff member. Campers may receive additional instruction from non-staff, such as members of the Koinonia community and inspiring facilitators who visit camp to provide workshops.
We welcome campers from anywhere, but we do not provide transportation to or from camp. However, we will connect parents with one another to facilitate carpools and do our best to make sure transportation gets set up when there is a need.
Specific activities vary each session and each year. Campers play games, make crafts, learn about human rights, play sports, hang out, go on field trips, do service learning projects, eat good food, help with chores, work in the gardens or blueberry patch, share ideas, set goals, hear stories about peacebuilders, make s’mores at the campfire, make friends, go swimming, chat with Koinonia community members and farmers…the list goes on! (Check our Camp Life pages for photos and video of past years.)
We appreciate your passion and generosity! Our volunteer needs are dependent upon many constantly changing factors. Usually the most useful way to volunteer for Peacebuilders Camp is to lend a particular skill or be available for a specific need. Below are examples of ways volunteers have supported Peacebuilders Camp:
Every spring, we hire counselors for the upcoming summer camp. Check our employment page for more information.
Yes! We offer a teen leadership opportunity through our Counselor-in-Training program for 17-year-olds. This is not paid employment (although we do provide a small stipend, food, and lodging to CITs). CITs go through an application process including interviews and reference checks to make sure they are the right fit for camp. We’re looking for responsible and passionate teenagers for this program!