trust \ ˈtrəst
1: an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
Trust. It may be the most important social instinct we possess as humans. Though it may be hard to build and easy to break, trusting in one another leads to alliances. Alliances, eventually, become movements— and movements change the world.
This was the theme for our first full day at camp together. To open our day (after a lively wake-up to music), we quietly walked through the dew-covered forest to the open-air chapel— a meeting space for quiet reflection and prayer. Megan, our camp director, introduced K4PB campers to the idea of trusting one another and its significance to our Kids4Peace community and to the world around them. The campers were also introduced to the idea of metaphorically ‘stepping-out’ of our ‘comfort-zones’ into what is called the ‘growth-zone:’ a mental state in which we are challenged to try something new provided that we have the emotional and physical safety to do so. These themes, trust and growth, were ubiquitous throughout our day two activities.
Following breakfast, at which the campers were introduced to the E-Lo’s signature oatmeal, members of each of our three religions briefly gathered to get to know each other, to share the different ways we practice our faith and to plan how we would share our respective religious practices with the community. This ‘faith time’ took place right before Kids4Peace campers were given the opportunity to join the larger community at our host camp for Interest Groups. Based on their choices, campers had the opportunity to participate in activities such as archery, diving for treasure and arguing for fun among others. Through Interest Groups, many of us stepped into our ‘growth-zones,’ and we continued to strengthen our bond with our host-camp community.
Days are busy at camp, so campers were given some much needed ‘easy-time,’ in which campers were able to return to their rooms and recharge their batteries as they prepared for a real ‘high’ point of camp— the High Challenge. Taking place in the activity center, the High Challenge is a full-fledged indoor rock-climbing wall and high-ropes course that required our campers to trust one another and challenge themselves. Even though some campers were experienced climbers and others had not even worn a harness before, all of our Peace Leaders were encouraged to step into their growth-zones throughout the thrilling activity.
Our day ended with a game of Brönboll (a very creative version of baseball) and the creation of identity flags, modeled on Tibetan prayer-flags which are symbols of identity and peace in Tibetan culture. Campers used their flags to share something vital about their lives with those sitting around them, deepening their connection with their fellow Peace Leaders. This demonstrated, perhaps, the most meaningful form of trust we can show one another: Emotional trust. With emotional trust, we are able to foster a sense of safety and belonging vital to sharing our unique stories with one another and with the rest of the world.
Check out our photos from day two here!