Now picture 25 campers singing that proudly. It was quite the scene. Not only was it a fun and exciting moment, but it was also a moment full of pride. As the kids sang you could tell that they were so proud to be a Peacemaker. As there set of camp looked on you could see that they were proud to have Peacemakers in their community. It was a great moment.
We broke up into two groups and commenced our great adventure up the mountain. Along the way, everyone was partnered off and given a few topics to discuss and learn about their partner. This doubled as both a great opportunity to build relationships and as a great distraction for our less enthusiastic hikers! It was a warm but beautiful day for hiking and when we neared the summit we were definitely ready to be there.
For the final few minutes of the hike we asked everyone to walk in silence. It was a nice scene; a steady line of hikers walking in silence. As soon as the trail started to turn into rock and we could tell we made it, you could see a wave of excitement spread over the group. We stepped out onto the big rock (The Ledge) and looked out into the never ending view. From the top of the mountain we could see mountains, lakes, clouds and more. We were so lucky to have such a clear day.
Once everyone summited, we gave our tired feet some rest and ate our lunches. It is amazing how hungry hiking up a mountain will make you! We then offered everyone some solo time. Some people reflected, some rested, some prayed, and some just took in the beauty. If you looked around there is no question you would be inspired by what you saw. Not only a beyond beautiful view, but also young people taking time to appreciate the beauty of the view and the beauty of their new friendships.
If only we could have taken picture of it. Oh wait, we totally did take a picture. LOTS OF THEM!!! You can see them on our Facebook page here. As beautiful as some of the pictures are, they don’t capture it all.
I know you’re probably thinking who cares what happened the rest of the day because the hike already sounds so incredible! Well, after a little post hike rest, we swam, played, joked, talked, wondered, laughed, ate, and “talent showed!” Yes, you did in fact hear talent show!!! Last night a bunch of kids signed up to perform. We had singers, dancers, stand up comics, some kind of juggling we don’t know the name of, and much much more! Many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many laughs later, we went to bed.
We went to bed tired, proud, and full of life.
Check out all the fun we’ve had during our first three days in this slideshow! #friendshipsthatchangetheworld #togetherpeaceispossible
Dinner tonight was a 50’s themed dinner where everyone dressed and acted like we were in the 1950’s. There were lots of blue jeans, tucked in white t-shirst, and bandana’s in hair. We also got to eat with some great 50’s music in the background. It’s good we had a big dinner, because we needed to build up the energy for what was coming next… a huge game of capture the flag. We split up into two teams (the panthers vs. the unicorns) and had a FANTASTIC game. After the game we took a few moments to cool down and then in silence, headed into the woods for our first campfire. At campfire we sang songs, told a few stories, and reflected on our first few days together. It was a powerful way to end the day, sitting all together watching and listening to the crackling fire.
Can you believe all of this happened just today!?! Can you believe that we have already competed three full days of camp!?! Can you believe that in those three days a group of 25 kids from so many different background and traditions have come together to form a strong, loving community? Believe it. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventures!
The day has finally come… Kids4Peace Boston Summer Camp at Merrowvista 2014, is underway!!! Our home base for the day was The Society of Saint John the Evangelist Monastery in Cambridge, MA. From there we went for a beautiful walk along the Charles River, had a Duck Tour around Boston (thank you Sergeant Meatball: our Duck Boat driver/tour guide), ate some delicious home cooked meals, and started forging our amazing camp community. It was inspiring to see this group come together. From our first circle-up in the morning, which consisted of awesome ice breakers, to saying sweet dreams to each other at night, our 25 campers and all of our staff really got to know/respect/and have fun with one another.
What do balloons, Torah scrolls, and Jewish, Christian and Muslim youth of Kids4Peace Boston have in common? All made an appearance at the second meeting of our Summer 2014 kids and parents on Sunday, May 5, 2014! These important programs offer an opportunity to introduce kids and parents before they meet their Peace Pals in our two-week summer program.
A special highlight of this program was a tour of the sanctuary at Temple Beth Zion synagogue in Brookline, Massachusetts. In a small group of students from their faith tradition, they wrote their questions about Judaism and the sanctuary space of Temple Beth Zion. Rabbi Judy Kummer introduced the participants to their sanctuary’s Torah scroll, and offered an opportunity for the participants to ask questions. Those who had never seen a Torah scroll were able to learn how the scrolls were physically created, and think about the similarities between their religious traditions’ scriptures and Rabbi Kumer’s Torah reading.
We look forward to our next event at the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland, MA, where we will continue to build our relationships and learn a bit about the Islamic tradition!