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Peace Camp Programs

General Information

The various options below all involve adult leaders working with high school or college age youth leaders to conduct programs that vary from one day to two weeks in length, but which can also be expanded over the length of a summer-long program.  The framework for all these peace camps are the seven components of the Kids Pledge or School Pledge of Nonviolence.  The methods used in all peace camps involve music, arts and crafts activities, stories, videos, skits, movement and sign language, personal testimonies of the trainers, and opportunities to put the Pledge into practice during the camp.  The training of the youth leaders varies from one day to one week, depending on the length of the peace camp; and can take place right before the peace camp or several weeks/months prior.

Some Peace Camp Options

1.  Weekend Peace Camp + Friday Youth Training Day

This model can be used in several contexts.  It can be the total program or the youth and children’s component of a parallel program for adults who would gather with their children for breakfast and dinner (and in the case of religious groups, for Sunday worship).  The Peace Camp can also be condensed into a one-day program, with or without a concluding celebration with parents.

Sample Friday Schedule – Youth Training
9:00-12:00    Training of high school youth
12:00-1:00     Lunch
1:00-3:00     Continuation of training
3:00-3:30     Snack break
3:30-5:00     Completion of training
5:00-6:00     Rehearsal of youth skits/presentations

Sample Saturday Schedule – Peace Camp
9:00-12:00     Introductory and "Respect Self & Others" activities
12:00-1:00     Lunch
1:00-2:00     "Communicate Better & Listen Carefully" activities
2:00-2:30     Snack break with music/dance option
2:30-3:30     "Forgive" activities and concluding songs

Sample Sunday Schedule – Peace Camp
9:30-12:00    Worship and  "Respect Nature" activities
12:00-12:30    Lunch
12:30-2:00    "Play Creatively" and "Be Courageous" activities
2:00-2:30     Break and rehearsal for closing celebration
2:30-3:00     Closing celebration for parents & certificates to youth
3:15-4:30      Processing the Peace Camp with youth and adult advisors

2.  One-Week and Two-Week Peace Camps + 2-Day Youth Training

a.  2-Day Youth Training

Sample Day One Schedule
9:00-10:00     Introductions and the Pledge of Nonviolence
10:00-12:00    "Respect Self And Others" activities
12:00-1:00      Lunch
1:00-3:00      "Communicate Better" and "Listen" activities
3:00-3:30      Break
3:30-5:00      "Forgive" activities
5:00-5:30      Processing the day
5:30-7:00      Dinner and rest
7:00-8:30      OPTIONAL: Personal sharing around the Pledge and what it asks of us

Sample Day Two Schedule
9:00-10:30     "Respect Nature" activities
10:45-12:00    "Play Creatively" activities
12:00-1:00      Lunch
1:00-2:30      "Be Courageous" activities
2:30-3:00      Break
3:00-4:30      "Nuts and Bolts" of conducting a Peace Camp
4:30-5:00      "Commissioning" of youth leaders
5:00-5:30       Processing the day
5:30-7:00       Dinner and rest
7:00-8:30       Additional planning, as needed

b. Sample One-Week Peace Camp

Monday        "Respect Self and Others"
Tuesday        "Communicate Better" ("Peaceful Problem-Solving") and "Listen Carefully"
Wednesday      "Anger" (from "Communicate Better") and "Forgive"
Thursday       "Respect Nature" and "Play Creatively"
Friday         "Be Courageous"

c. Sample Two-Week Peace Camp

Monday        "Respect Self and Others Day"
Tuesday        "Diversity Day" – respect for differences
Wednesday      "Feelings Day" – especially anger
Thursday       "Listening and Empathy Day"
Friday         "Play Creatively Day" – including making paper cranes and cooperative games
Monday        "Problem Solving Day"
Tuesday        "Forgiveness Day"
Wednesday      "Earth Day"
Thursday       "Peace Day" or "Wonderful World Day"
Friday         "Courage Day" – doing peace actions

Resources for Conducting Peace Camps

TAP Adult Training Manual
($35) -- 2 Peace Camp models and detailed suggestions for training youth to conduct Peace Camps and school-based programs around the "Pledge of Nonviolence."  TAP is the Teens Acting for Peace Program for training youth to live and teach the Pledge of Nonviolence.

BUILDING A CULTURE OF PEACE BEGINS WITH THE CHILDREN ($5) -- 30-page guidebook for leaders conducting a six-session Peace Camp around the Kids Pledge of Nonviolence; includes a Christian perspective which can be omitted in secular settings.

TEACHING PEACE ($25 for CD + songbook & activities; $15 for CD alone; $10 for cassette alone) - wonderful collection of upbeat children's songs by Red Grammer, promoting respect for self and others, using words when we're angry, caring for the earth, celebrating racial diversity, listening, working together, and more.  Perfect for Peace Camp settings.

Teacher Resource Book for Public Schools, K-5 ($40) -- 450 pages of activities geared to children ages 6 to 11 around the seven components of the Pledge of Nonviolence, with updated activities on peacemaking after 9/11.  Also part of a larger ($90) Alternatives to Violence Kit containing TEACHING PEACE, KIDS CREATING CIRCLES OF PEACE, and much more.

Teacher Resource Book for Christian Schools, K-8 ($40) -- 500 pages of activities geared to children ages 6 to 14 around the seven components of the Pledge of Nonviolence, with updated activities on peacemaking after 9/11.  Also part of a larger ($100) Alternatives to Violence Kit containing TEACHING PEACE, KIDS CREATING CIRCLES OF PEACE, BUILDING A CULTURE OF PEACE, and much more.

For more information, contact:

Jim McGinnis
Institute for Peace and Justice
314-918-2630  jimppjn@aol.com
"In the face of escalating violence, escalate love"