Making Friends and Making a Difference at Peace Camp!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

By Sarah Klassen, Peace Camp Coordinator

For youth looking to make a difference, make new friends, and have fun at summer camp, Peace Camp is the place to be! Now heading into its third summer, Peace Camp is a unique camp where youth ages 11-14 get to experience the same types of fun games, activities, sports, and crafts as any other summer camp, but with a social justice and peace focus.

Peace Camp uses exciting crafts, educational activities, entertaining guest speakers, and engaging field trips to empower youth to inspire lives, strengthen ties, and work for peace in the Waterloo region and beyond.

This year’s theme is “Local Actions with Global Impact.” We will be discussing and exploring actions that can be made locally that can have a peaceful impact not only in the local community, but also in the global community. We will be looking at environmental actions, getting involved in development work, and how buying local or fair trade can work for peace.

What do youth like about Peace Camp?

Peace Camp is a fun, exciting camp filled with entertaining activities. Peace Camp campers build new, lasting friendships while learning about peacebuilding. Past campers have especially enjoyed building robots out of recyclables and making a slip-and-slide out of trash bags.

Last year, Peace Camp embarked on field trips to the Sunnydale Community Centre in Waterloo and the Working Centre in Kitchener. Campers were given tours of the centres and then were given a chance to get involved! Campers were grateful for the warm welcome they received at these centres, and the chance to learn how simple tasks can mean a whole lot.

What do youth get out of Peace Camp?

Even though campers learn at Peace Camp, it is nothing like summer school! Campers make lasting friendships with like-minded peers and learn how to work for peace. Past campers have gone on to volunteer, get involved in the community, start clubs, and take on leadership roles. One camper in particular has gone on to spend his Christmas and summer breaks volunteering!

What brings youth back to Peace Camp?

What campers are looking forward to at this year’s camp are the friends they have and will make, the stories that they will hear and share, and the experiences Peace Camp provides. Past campers look forward to hearing new stories from guest speakers, meeting new people, exploring new parts of the community through field trips, and, most of all, having fun!

Peace Camp is run by Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario in partnership with Intrerfaith Grand River, House of Friendship, Working Against Youth Violence Everywhere committee (WAVYE) and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), with sponsorship from the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union and Josslin Insurance, and funding from the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation.

For more information, or to register by June 28th, contact Sarah Klassen, Peace Camp Coordinator, by email: or by phone at (519) 885-0220 x24291. You can also visit our website at

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