by Jack, American Counselor and Leadership Trainer
Session Two, Day 1: Our American participants arrived at 12:00 noon and enjoyed some introductions and icebreaker activities to start forming strong relationships. Hassan and I worked alongside the youth in prepping the bedrooms and common areas for when our Jerusalem brothers and sisters would arrive the following night. It was a good start for our young leaders to practice respecting and giving back to their environment. That night we had delicious homemade cheese pizzas and watched the film “Budrus.” The movie provoked much rich discussion about the Palestine-Israel conflict and how the international community plays a role in it. Our American participants have been showing great energy and willingness to learn and understand from those on both sides.
Day 2: Today we began with some icebreakers and teambuilders to strengthen the bonds initiated yesterday. We all took part in building a canoe rack for Acer Farm as a way to give back to the camp and engage in a practical teambuilding task. Everyone was eager to help and this energy aided the project’s success. Following lunch, we took a nice walk along one of several trails that run across the farm’s rich woods. Along the trail we encountered a large tree that had fallen down. The group proceeded to remove many of the limbs blocking the trail so that horseback riders could continue along their rides. We returned to the farm for a introductory discussion about dignity and its connection to leadership and the global community. Our Jerusalem friends arrived around 9pm and were greeted with open arms from the rest of us at the farm. After some grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner, we all headed to bed to catch up on sleep and rest for a very exciting tomorrow.