After months of built-up excitement and dedicated preparation, the first day of Kids4Peace Boston Peace Leader Camp 2018 has finally arrived! We met up as a full group of campers and staff for the first time this morning at the bus stop. As the campers trickled in, we exchanged names and conversations and even played games between health and form checks.
After two hours of chatting, Mad Libs, and camp songs on the bus, we arrived at camp, our home for the next week. Everyone sat outside on the rock amphitheatre, munching on lunch and playing around. We arrived at our dorm and briefly moved our stuff into our home-base before getting ready to swim. Campers and staff were split into three smaller groups to hear from the waterfront staff about boating and swimming safety, learning more camp games as we waited. Many wished we could have had more time in the lake on this 80 degree day, but after our swim assessments we headed back to our rooms to try on our new K4P t-shirts! We then met up with a group of seasoned campers from our host camp who gave us a friendly and descriptive home and garden tour of our new surroundings.
After some more time playing games to get to know each other we walked to the eating lodge to learn about “cruising” (a camp lingo word meaning setting the table and bringing food from the kitchen). The larger camp welcomed Kids4Peace to their community with waves, smiles, and even a camp-traditional welcome song during dinner. The group spent some leisure time following dinner playing four-square, tetherball, and knock-out, and more on the basketball court.
Tired but energized from our games, we headed to the non-denominational, open-air chapel for an evening activity. Everyone created their own “tree of life”: a piece of artwork displaying our character traits, hobbies, goals, and identities on a tree, with roots showing areas of life that fuel us. We sat in a circle and shared with a partner and then the whole group. We listened and learned about each other as the sun began to set, unnoticed, outside the chapel. Campers calmed down from the days festivities by meeting in groups and discussing their goals for the next week.
After an exciting but tiring day, everyone went to bed with budding friendships, new goals and plenty of camp activities to look forward to. After just one day, the campers have already exhibited their care for each other through their active efforts to include each other, and their passionate spirits in their lighthearted play and group discussions. We are all looking forward to how they will develop as peace-leaders over the following week!
Check out photos from our fantastic first day here!