John Paul said, “To reach peace, teach peace,” and Gandhi pointed out that “If we are to achieve real peace in this world, it will have to begin with the children.”
This summer, the Rotary is sponsoring a Peace Village summer day camp June 22-26 at Lakeridge Junior High for 60 students between the ages of 8 and 13, to make the world, and Lake Oswego, a better place, one child at a time.
Peace Village is an organization based in Portland with the tools and resources to help people learn and practice peaceful ways of interacting and being. They have designed curriculum for day camps, after school programs, teen programs, peaceful leadership training, and family and adult workshops.
The curriculum the Lake Oswego program will be using focuses on five areas: conflict prevention and resolution, respecting differences, being smart with social media, connecting with nature, and cultivating inner peace.
In addition to specially trained teachers and volunteers, two nationally known experts will be on hand to engage and inspire students.
Aaron Nigel Smith, a Lake Oswego Rotarian, travels the world though his One World Chorus music outreach program. He also created FUNdamentals of Music and Movement, an arts program used in many early child education centers. His love of music is infectious and he sees it as a way to build bridges between people.
Actor Oscar DeGruy will also be on hand to utilize the performing arts to help students work through and convey some of the week’s nonviolent themes. He comes off of working with the Newberg Peace Village program where he was highly recommended for his charismatic personality and ability to engage and motivate students.
In light of recent concerns about bullying in our schools and on social media, this camp seems like an idea whose time is now. I commend the Rotary’s Peace Builder Committee for taking this project on and encourage any of your school-aged children to attend. Can’t think of many things more important for our kids to learn than how to be at peace with themselves and each other.
Cost is $175 and scholarships are available. Registration information is available online.