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Small Voices Roar

Friday, February 13, 2015
By Katie Gingerich
 

Kids at Peace Camp.I love camp. I love the silliness, the excitement, and the community. Most importantly, I love the learning opportunities and teachable moments that camp can offer. Camp provides an atmosphere for growth - budding friendships, self-discovery and confidence-building experiences that young people carry with them throughout their lives. At Peace Camp, we infuse a week of fun with a social justice twist, to inspire a group of confident and equipped young people to facilitate change in their communities.

At Peace Camp, we share stories and learn from people in our community, meet people from various cultural backgrounds, faiths and orientations, and ultimately, learn that peace is possible! In addition to the week long day camp, the peace camp staff reach out to community groups and to classrooms in the Waterloo area. Based out of Conrad Grebel University College and the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement, Peace Camp continues to grow in its fifth year of operation.

Throughout my time with Peace Camp, I have witnessed young people learning about the importance of social justice and conflict transformation. Last summer, I prepared to teach campers how to handle disputes with parents, siblings and friends, but quickly found that the youth wanted to respond to bigger and more complex issues. I was astounded by the depth of their queries and passions. Their personal experiences brought a richness and wisdom into the group that allowed them to learn and share with each other. I want them to know that their experiences, wisdom, and ideas are valuable and can fuel change.

I have learned how to make peace education real for young people by encouraging them to engage in communication, team-building, and problem-solving activities with a peace and justice focus. I want to give them the opportunity to meet new friends of different faiths, backgrounds, and traditions, fully recognizing that, if we want future generations to learn from our mistakes, if we want them to learn to coexist and to live peacefully, then we need to give them the tools to do so. In a world filled with apathetic attitudes about issues such as climate change, poverty, inequality, and racism, I want to empower youth to create positive social change in our society. I want them to know that together, small voices roar.

Register at grebel.ca/peacecamp

Katie Gingerich is a fourth-year Peace and Conflict Studies student at the University of Waterloo, who carries her passions of social justice and peace education into her second year as Peace Camp’s coordinator.

Katie Gingerich, Peace Camp Coordinator

peacecamp@uwaterloo.ca | 519-885-0220 x24291

Conrad Grebel University College                                                 
140 Westmount Road North                                                      
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G6

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