Conrad Grebel University College’s sixth annual Peace Camp was an opportunity to inspire young lives, strengthen community ties and make peace happen in Waterloo Region.
The Peace Camp 2016 theme was “Peace in action,” with the goal of showing campers that whatever their interests may be—whether art, music, math, engineering, business or even fashion—they can use them to pursue peace. Last summer’s highlights included hearing from Ten Thousand Villages’ then CEO Ryan Jacobs, volunteering at Thrift on Kent in Kitchener, Ont., visiting an organic farm in Guelph, and a lot of crafts and games.
When asked about their favourite parts of Peace Camp, campers consistently mentioned that they enjoyed meeting new people, interacting with camp leaders, playing fun games, listening to interesting guest speakers, eating delicious food and going on fun field trips.
Campers had the opportunity to work on a peace-related project each day of the week, which they then presented to parents, Grebel staff and faculty, and members of the community at the annual Peace Camp showcase.
Local MP Bardish Chagger, the minister of small business and tourism, attended the showcase and made sure to comment on the “wonderful presentations from campers demonstrating what they have learned about social justice and creating peace in our community and globally.” Her words of encouragement and praise moti-vated peace campers to continue learning and creating peace in their communities beyond their week of camp.
Campers found the Peace Camp week to be meaningful and impactful.
“I learned that there are a lot of people tying to create peace,” said a 12-year-old camper, “like people at [Mennonite Central Committee] who inspired me to volunteer somewhere next year.”
Campers left inspired to create a difference in the world. “You can do small things to create peace, even though we usually think about the big things,” said an 11-year-old camper.
Rebekah DeJong was the 2016 Peace Camp director.
Other Focus on Camping stories:
Camp farm program invites delight in God’s creation
The beauty in difference
I can’t wait for summer’
A front-row seat
A special faith-based community
Silver Lake takes steps to deepen faith formation