Join us June 5th at 2pm
Your donations support the Kids4Peace Vermont Summer Camp for youth from the USA.
Come support Kids4Peace and walk up and down Church Street. Pledge in honor of friends and family if you like. All funds raised will help to put on our summer camps in Burlington!
Details: Sunday, June 5th. Burlington, Vermont. Meet at the intersection of Church Street and Pearl Street on the UU lawn. The Parade will be2pm – 3pm. With a parent/kid informational meeting to follow in the UU.
#ForwardTogether: Walk4Peace! www.k4p.org/vermont
by Nancy Stone
Our Spring over-night retreat took place April 16-17 at sisters Lola and Zelda’s spacious home in New Hampshire with 15 alumni and adults attending. Our first activity was lessons in Arabic. Then, divided into two groups, we were told to create skits using only Arabic, adding new vocabulary as needed. One teen remarked, “That wasn’t super hard!” Someone else commented, “It felt good to be a little part of your culture.” Shukran, Abeer and Lana.
The unusually warm evening found us walking through a covered bridge leading to a pizza place. After supper on the deck beside the Contoocook River, we returned home for popcorn and the animated movie “Inside Out”, which is a fun but richly layered exploration of personality, memory and emotions. Our follow-up discussions asked: Which emotions do you feel most often? What are your core memories? Which emotions do you think our society values over others? The adult staff participated by drawing a map of their own “islands of personality.”
After breakfast the next day, we lined up single-file for a silent meditation walk down the quiet street, with a focus on our breath and steps rather than the environment. This led to sharing time about how to use this skill to calm and focus in daily life.
Art teachers Jill and Nancy then taught everyone how to make their own musical flutes called, ocarina, from kits ordered on-line. The pre-cut wooden sections were like a puzzle needing to be carefully pieced and glued together; cooperation was often sought from a neighboring crafter. Once the four-hole instruments were completed, everyone gathered outside to practice songs. The activity became a metaphor for the peace-making process that leads to making beautiful music together.
Peacebuilding is a marathon. Our brave young peacebuilders in Jerusalem and the United States spend six years in Kids4Peace, building the skills and community they need to help heal our divided societies. This May, two Kids4Peace staff members will be running literal marathons to raise money for this summer’s programs that will bring together our Muslim, Jewish, and Christian youth — Palestinian, Israeli, and North American — as they take step after step after step in their journey toward peace.
Jeff (Northern New England Regional Director) will be running the Middlebury Maple Run (half-marathon) on Sunday, May 1. On the other side of the continent, on the same day, Jordan (Northwest Regional Director) will be running the Vancouver Marathon.
Our goal is to raise $5200, which represents 50 youth getting one day of Kids4Peace programming this summer. Will you help us to meet this goal? Help provide one day of life-changing programming that allows our youth to meet the other, to learn about each other’s religion and culture, and to develop precious skills in peacebuilding dialogue. Help provide one day of programming to heal the rifts in Jerusalem and to combat the rising tide of religious intolerance in the United States. Help us move #ForwardTogether.
by Nancy, K4P NH/VT Art Teacher
Many Vermont and New Hampshire campers, counselors and staff members of the three faiths met for an over-night retreat the last weekend of January. It was great to meet everybody, whether we shared common memories or made new ones with alumni from different first and second-year camps. “It made us feel part of something bigger!”
The weekend included hearty meals, Acro Yoga, noisy card games, and a movie that led to a good discussion as to its pertinence to our lives. After our new friend Hadil taught us to do a traditional Dabkhea dance, we sang some K4P songs to her as thanks.
Following breakfast the next day, Jill led us in mindful meditation. Then camp director Jeff led a hike across the rolling hills and through the silent woods. Of course, the natural quiet had to be disturbed by a vigorous snowball fight! One camper especially appreciated the Trust Walk game when partners took turns leading the other person whose eyes were closed… ” I felt completely safe, knowing I wouldn’t get hurt”.
We attempted, fairly successfully, to hold a Social Media Flashmob by contacting K4P friends in Jerusalem and the U.S. via Facebook, Skype and Google hang-outs. Such fun!! Then, we worked on an art project for posters to be used in the Walk4Peace, held in Burlington, VT each Spring as a fund-raiser. The new posters more clearly state the mission of Kids4Peace and list our website on the backside.
Here’s a favorite interaction from the weekend:
Jeff: “I asked the group to form a circle but this looks more like an egg. Do you believe you can form a circle?
The kids responded: “No!”
Jeff: “Oh. Well, do you believe Peace is possible?”
By Nancy Stone, chapter art teacher
We were so fortunate to have campers from all three levels of K4P VT/NH: Will was from this summer, Shoshana and Aaron were from the continuation 2nd year camp and Lana was from Leadership camp. The campers read teachings from their faiths while Nancy and Areej led other parts of the service. Then, Jeff and each of the kids spoke about the rich experiences they had through Kids4Peace. A member of the congregation played the concertina to teach “Peace Salaam Shalom” that we’d learned from Chelsea at camp. The benediction was composed from phrases taken from the Prayer Flags made at camp, now divided between Jerusalem, New Hampshire and Vermont. The congregation was most appreciative and we adults were so very proud of our young ambassadors!
To transform divided societies into communities of lasting peace.
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