Summer camp season is upon us and for the Congregational Church of Lincoln City that means it’s time for the annual Peace Village day camp.
Started in 1995 in Lincoln City by Reverend Charles Busch, Peace Village is a weeklong summer day camp for children ages 6 to 12. This year Peace Village will run from July 29 to Aug. 2 and offers a multicultural, multiracial and interfaith experience for campers according to Peace Village team member Barbara Crandall.
“(Rev. Busch) started the day camp in response to his questioning of what we are doing to train our children for peaceful living – given the images they see every day at home, school, through media and on the street,” Crandall said. “Our hope is to teach children to respect differences, to learn to resolve conflicts peacefully and find that peace that lies deep within themselves.”
During the camp, attendees will hear storytellers from different traditions, participate in music, interact with presenters from different faiths and cultures and take classes in yoga and inner strength. Each day has sessions in non-violent conflict resolution, media literacy and walk-about (ecology).
Other activities may include hikes, drama, beach trips and art. For campers 12 and 13 years of age, they can participate in a Native American Rites of Passage tradition during an overnight camp out.
“We feel that many of our campers make a strong connection to the program as evidenced by their return in following years and eagerness to continue with the program as helpers, then counselors and teachers,” Crandall said.
Peace Village camps use an award-winning curriculum called Making a Village, which details daily lesson plans individually titled Courting the Peace Within, Nonviolent Conflict Resolution, Media Savvy and Walking Softly on Mother Earth. Campers also learn about role models such as Mahatma Gandhi and St. Francis, and develop critical awareness of the media, the environment and nutrition. The goal is to learn to build a less violent culture for their future.
“Peace Village made me who I am: A kind person,” said Gabe, one of thousands of former Village students.
Crandall said they have many kids come to their camp from Portland and beyond and have many volunteers from the church and community to help in overseeing playground activities, transporting campers, preparing snacks, assisting in classes and giving presentations. Paid staff will be presenting the core classes and serve as counselors or helpers.
“Strong friendship bonds have been made over the years between campers and between campers and staff,” Crandall said.
Peace Village accepts registration anytime at anytime. Registration is $60 for the week and to register or for more information, contact the church at 541-994-2378.