Kids4Peace is constantly growing and developing, striving to expand its influence and steer the world towards peace. Kids4Peace is gearing up for another expansion in programming this summer with a new Kids4Peace summer camp in Hendersonville, North Carolina. I got the chance to sit down with the newly hired camp director for North Carolina, David Rowan who told me about his preparations for the summer and his thoughts toward the future.
David described the connections he formed over the years with Kids4Peace. He began as an intern, writing up stories on different members of the organization just as I am. Additionally, he studied at the Arava Institute in Israel. This collegiate program consisted of an American, Israeli, and Palestinian student body working with the idea that nature knows no borders. They worked to resolve environmental issues that affect us all regardless of background. David also worked as a professional poker player, which despite first impressions, may have a lot more to do with Kids4Peace than you would think.
“As a poker player I had to make decisions rapidly, being at peace with the way things unfold and practicing acceptance. In this job, you can only plan so much. Things happen and you can only act accordingly.”
David and I also discussed what his role will be this summer as camp director. The director is the point person from which all other leaders coalesce. He emphasized that he will not be “in charge but will field questions and empower everybody to do their best work.”
This summer will be David’s first camp so I asked what he most looks forward to.
“I look forward to being with the kids. I am excited about planning, and I love being in go mode. I want to help answer questions and think out of the box; challenge them and be challenged.”
“Children are powerful teachers. We can learn so much from their sense of wonder and dexterous, beginners’ minds.”
Being an active member of the community is also high on the list of priorities for David. He told me that he was eager to use his connections in the Jewish Community to “throw Kids4Peace in the mix, especially local.”
I also asked what David imagines for challenges in his first camp.
“Having no experience in this first year is a big responsibility. The first step is always the hardest and it takes time to get adjusted.”
“This is a serious endeavor and I will treat it as such. It is an opportunity to plant seeds that will, in our lifetimes, lead to sustainable peace. Education is the pathway to let people open up and see each other.”
The new North Carolina camp is sure to be a successful addition to the Kids4Peace family, working to grow and develop young people in interfaith dialogue. Good luck to David and all those involved in all camps this summer! Your work is appreciated and your impact is tremendous.