Preparing a generation for peace

Katie talks talks to a group of campers.

Arts student educates about peace in the community

Guest blog by Katie Gingerich

I love camp. I love the silliness, excitement and community. Most importantly, I love the learning opportunities and teachable moments camp can offer. I am Katie Gingerich, a fourth-year Peace and Conflict Studies student and this summer’s Peace Camp Coordinator. When this job opportunity arose in January this past year, I jumped at the chance. How often do you get to mix two of your favourite things into a summer job? For me, this means forging camp and teaching with peace-building and social justice, all made possible by Peace Camp.

Peace Camp is a peace education organization that does outreach in Waterloo Region through school workshops, community events and a weeklong day camp. Based out of Conrad Grebel University College, Peace Camp continues to grow in its fourth year of operation.

One of these areas of growth is Peace Camp workshops for elementary students. In Peace Camp workshops, students engage in communication, teambuilding, and problem-solving activities with a social justice twist. These workshops prepared me for camp because I was able to gauge popular thoughts on peace from young people themselves. This launched the Peace Camp team’s vision for the summer – Epic Peace: Turning the World Upside Down. In a world filled with apathetic attitudes about issues such as climate change, poverty, inequality, and racism, we want to empower youth to create positive social change in our society. We want them to know that together, small voices roar.

From July 28 to August 1, Conrad Grebel will be filled with youth working on crafts, and playing sports and silly games. There will be laughter, new friendships, and fun.  First and foremost, there will be young people learning that peace is possible.

Learn more about Katie on the Peace and Conflict Studies website, and stay up-to-date with Peace Camp activities by following their Twitter account, @PeaceCampGrebel.

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