Archives For Camp

Filling up in NH/VT

merk4p —  August 14, 2015 — Leave a comment

by Selina, Counselor/Social Media Coordinator

8-14-15 (B)The second full day of camp started off learning how to ask for a translation. Sarah, the dialogue facilitator, and Chelsea, the interfaith advisor, demonstrated with a little bit of frantic Spanish. In the next activity, kids stepped into the circle, telling the group something about themselves, sometimes in Arabic, sometimes Hebrew, oftentimes English. The room was always full of voices sharing and translating.

Next, the kids split into peace groups to draw maps of what is most important to them. For many that included their family, their friends, their faith, their pets, and a few of their favorite things to do. After completing their maps, the groups shared among themselves, looking at the similarities and differences in each one.

When the dialogue session came to an end, there was a scurry of activity as the girls helped each other put on headscarves, and everybody climbed onto the bus and headed out to visit a mosque. Upon arrival, a delicious homemade feast was waiting. Walking around the space, one American camper Will, who is Christian said, “This place is really cool! It’s so different from my church but its got the same nice feeling. If I were Muslim, I think I’d really like coming here every week.”

For the service, the girls went upstairs where they could see what was happening on a screen. The Christian and Jewish campers sat in an arc around the space, observing the prayers. Afterwards, the group met with the imam, and learned about the special carpet design for praying, and much more about the mosque as well as the traditions and beliefs of Islam.

The afternoon was spent shopping on Church Street, Burlington’s famous pedestrian walkway. The Ben and Jerry’s scoop shop, unsurprisingly, turned out to be the most popular places to visit.

A little tired out, groups then walked to the Ohavi Zedek Synagogue to meet with the Rabbi. Her chat went right into the Friday evening Shabbat service welcoming in the Jewish day of rest. After blessing and sharing grape juice and challah, the entire group walked back to Rock Point, singing the Kids4Peace chant and chatting among themselves. It was a full day in every way possible.

8-14-15 (H) 8-14-15 (G)

Houston camp visits NASA

merk4p —  August 13, 2015 — Leave a comment

by Dala, Muslim Counselor, K4P Jerusalem

unnamedIt was our last day at Camp Allen, so we ate breakfast and headed to NASA and now we’re spending this one night at the Clear Lake Islamic Center. Our big adventure of the day began in NASA. We ate lunch there and we had a slideshow about the background and current events of NASA.

Brian Duffy is a famous astronaut that we met today at NASA, who told us multiple stories of his experiences; some were happy and some were about difficulties he’s had during missions.

Each group went with one NASA staff member to have a guided tour all around the NASA museum, and the kids were amazed by each different step they were guided. We even saw what astronauts eat during their journey to the moon and what their restrooms look like.

We arrived at the Islamic center in time for dinner; then we will be leaving in the morning for the Cathedral church tomorrow.

The next mission for the astronauts is to land on Mars, so we’re hoping in the near future that Mars will have human footprints on it, just like the moon.

Everything is possible, if you BELEIVE.

“I am very happy I had the chance to visit NASA today. I got to see things I have never seen before in my life.” -Shahd, 13, Muslim

“We spend our time today with the astronauts it was an amazing time. We also watched a movie on a huge screen. It was a great time to be spent at.” -Cleo, 13, Christian

by Leah, K4P Summer Intern

  11864890_704135219692543_7241628479877859214_o 11872022_704135076359224_8688489099147585843_oThe theme of the day was learning about how to “go green”. We spent the morning at Kibbutz Lotan, a small Kibbutz that is just down the road from Ketura. There, we went on a tour of their eco campus where we learned all about composting and reusing our resources. A highlight of our visit was making bricks out of mud and hay.

The kids learned about how we can use the earth and the resources around us in order to build homes and other buildings. At Kibbutz Lotan (almost, if not all of,) their homes are made out of the same material (clay and hay) that we created. In making these clay bricks, the campers got their hands dirty and mixed sand, clay, and water together. Then they shaped the mixture into bricks and put them out in the sun to dry. After, they took already dry bricks and built bridges out of them.

The bridges they built were strong enough to bear their weight so they had a lot of fun walking around on the bridges and testing their new creations’ limits. It was amazing to see how well the kids work together in a team when they are working toward a common goal. After mud building, the kids completed their tour by getting to see the homes made of clay and seeing what an ecological bathroom and kitchen looks like. We finished off our time at Lotan with lunch there, and the campers got to experience composting their own food scraps for themselves.

11882313_704135596359172_1550955720072931400_oOn the way back to Ketura, we took a detour and went to Yotvata, Israel’s dairy capital. The kids loved buying their favorite dairy products there and trying the delicious ice cream. Once we got back, the kids listened to a presentation about the Arava Institute that is hosted here, at Ketura. Learning about the institute really helped them round out their eco experience. Later, they had their movement session with Shuli.11856301_704135749692490_8064042934508902601_o

For the last night here, we had a barbecue and pool party. The kids loved swimming, dancing, and bonding. We are sad to leave but excited to see what Kids4Peace brings us in the future. The campers can’t wait for Leadership!

A very special thank you to the US Consulate General in Jerusalem for making Roots Camp at Ketura possible! The campers are so thankful for their experience this summer.

Eat. Play. Laugh.

merk4p —  August 13, 2015 — Leave a comment

by Selina Petschek, Counselor/Social Media Coordinator

8-12-15 (F) 8-12-15 (E)Early risers flooded the hallways of Rock Point School well before breakfast. Jerusalem campers, adjusting to the time change were eager to get going, tired of the monotony of travel and waiting for camp to finally start.

When breakfast was at last called, all the campers, with some reluctance, found their way to their peace groups, meeting kids from different faiths and parts of the world. They shared breakfast, exchanging a few words and starting to learn each other’s names.

By lunchtime, they had danced around together, devised special handshakes, played soccer, established a camp covenant, and played numerous name games. Needless to say, the midday meal was much more lively than the previous one as kids started to find things in common, comparing what they like to do, talking about their families, and enjoying the same delicious food.

During art class, they were once again in their peace groups, sharing supplies and ideas of how to decorate their appreciation bags, journaling kits and treasure boxes.

Dinner, the final meal of the day, was by that point routine. They knew where to sit, how to be quiet enough to be called up for food, and where to go to find what they needed. Instead of strangers, they sat with friends. People they had a shared a whole day of experiences with and could count on to be there alongside of them. In just one day, thirty new faces had become familiar.

by Leah, K4P Summer Intern

11882806_703657183073680_598313525766737926_o 11879117_703658353073563_9118155578323815440_oAnother exciting, hot, and action-packed day! The highlight of the campers’ day was definitely their movement session with Shuli. Shuli organized a session where they really got to explore their creative side. The unique part is that for the first time, they were told to make a mess.

Shuli gave the kids a ton of newspapers and asked them to rip them up into tiny pieces until the ground was completely covered in newspaper shreds. They got really into it and even started making snow angels in the newspaper! Though I suppose they’d be called newspaper angels…

Throughout the session she had them do different activities and competitions with the newspaper mess. First, she split them up into four different teams and asked them to choose a corner. Then they tried to get as many newspaper shreds to their corner as possible. The next exercise was a bit more challenging. They were asked to make a fort or home out of the furniture and other supplies in the room we were in and then create a presentation to show to the group.

BUT, they were supposed to do all of this without speaking. It was really incredible to watch them use their imaginations and work so well in teams, all without talking to each other. They cooperated so well with each other, and you could really tell how much they trust each other and each other’s ideas.

This is what Lour has to say about the movement session today:

“This is the fourth movement session that we have had during this camp, and every day it becomes more and more exciting. Shuli is very focused on helping us explore other cultures and letting our creative side run wild. I was a little bit surprised when she told us that we had to rip up newspapers and throw them on the ground. I remember looking around at her and the advisors with a very puzzled look on my face. I thought the idea was a little bizarre, but the moment I began ripping the newspapers apart and tossing the tiny shreds into the air, It felt very good. I felt like art and creativity can be expressed so differently and that it isn’t only limited to quiet and clean activities. It was also an amazing experience to try and build homes out of materials. My group was very successful at it and I must say, our presentation was hilarious. Overall, it was great to see everyone participate in making a mess and surprisingly, in cleaning it up. I felt like we were all very connected and could work together as a team.”11882398_703646379741427_4416038817952705029_o

After the session we planned our hike and poike dinner for tonight, painted the concrete shapes we made on Monday, and went swimming. We told the campers that we have a surprise for them tonight. We’re going to watch the meteor shower! Stay tuned to hear about our experience!

by Dala, K4P Muslim Counselor, Jerusalem
11846748_491779597655920_2136038619410923129_n 11836784_491780017655878_116455258060498258_nAnd we’re on the 6th day now, 5 more days to go. Today is our last night at Camp Allen so tomorrow we will be heading to the Islamic center to stay for one night.

We had another morning with a birthday and it was Lutfi’s birthday, one of the Jerusalem campers.

After breakfast we continued with our regular schedule with art, music, and Olympic Games.
Today was the last day to swim in the lake, so everyone had fun doing the blob, giant swing, iceberg, and the canoeing. After 2 hours of swimming and laughing it started to rain, so everyone started to run so we can get to the cabins as quickly as possible. This is Houston, it is very hot that it even starts to rain from that high temperature “Crazy Houston”.

We ended our night with a great movie “Apollo 13” which was considered a failure, but then ultimately a successful mission to the moon. Everyone sat with their pillows and blanket all in one room to watch that movie and we were getting the kids ready to our adventure tomorrow in NASA.

By Talia, Roots camper

10344283_703390589767006_3898699421493161243_o Today we got to go to the beach in Eilat, experience some cool water sports, and spend some time in the Ice Mall food court. The water sports were really awesome, and were super fun. We had a few different kinds, such as tubing, boating, and riding on the banana boat. When we weren’t playing water sports, we got to enjoy the beach.  After the amazing experience in Eilat, we continued onto a movement session, and even got a movie night! It’s so cool to be able to participate in such a variety of activities at camp.

Quotes from all the girls

Anaghim: Each day gets better and better.

Devorah: It was fun to see the Jordan crossing and learn all about the politics between Israel and Jordan.

Mais: Water sports was the best part of the day.

Tia: The people with us are really cool, especially the advisors and counselors.

Adan: My favorite part of the day was water sports, but I like how camp keeps getting better and better.

Loure: My favorite part of the day was when I fell on Zeena during tubing and then we both fell in the water!

Yasmin: Banana boat was my favorite part.

Lour: This camp is very well planned, and no day is like the other. Today was very different from yesterday, and tomorrow is going to be even more different.

Nina: It was fun to push Samer in the water!

Zeena: Tubing was my favorite part.

Arrivals in NH/VT Camp

merk4p —  August 12, 2015 — Leave a comment

by Selina, Counselor/Social Media Coordinator

8-12-15 (A)The day we’ve all been waiting for! The official start of camp!! Staff preparations finally came to a close around 4:30pm as we all waited eagerly for the American campers to arrive.

They trickled in over the next hour, receiving Kids4Peace T-shirts, water bottles and bags, some eagerly dismissing their parents, others holding on just a little bit. Name games were started and the process of getting to know each other began.

After dinner and a few more games, kids headed up to their floors to prepare the rooms for their Jerusalem roommates. When bedtime rolled around, everything felt a little empty with only half the beds occupied.

A little after midnight, a big yellow school bus, loaded with Jerusalem kids and their Faith Advisors rolled in. Jet lagged and in a new place, the campers headed off to their respective floors, reluctant to fall asleep after so much traveling.

Finding their way around their around the American campers, the Jerusalem kids finally settled down, waiting to see what their first day at camp would bring.

by Selina, K4P NH/VT Media Coordinator

8-11-15 (B)It was another full day of working to prepare for the campers who arrive tomorrow!

The Jerusalem kids have already begun their long trip to Vermont. After spending the morning discussing details and learning Kids4Peace songs, the afternoon was happily spent getting ready for the official arrival of the campers.

Jeff, our camp director, reminded us to enjoy the work, not pushing through it in order to start life after our work is finished, but rather to recognize work as life, and savor the experiences of working as much as the resting.

In the evening, over ice cream and peach cobbler, we discussed this value as well as what it means to really, truly put yourself in another’s shoes, and have empathy for another person. Coupled with this was how to find time, in our own lives, to slow down, think, and make careful choices about what we do and how we interact with the people around us. One quote, from Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, rang true for many of us: “Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.”

Omar, one of the camp counselors talked about these principles in terms of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. He said that: “Back home, people don’t necessarily think in terms of empathy. Years and generations have passed but it is very rare to, as a Palestinian to put yourself in the shoes of an Israeli, or as an Israeli, put yourself in the shoes of a Palestinian and really understand that world and that perspective.”

by Dala, Muslim Counselor, Houston Camp

11781603_491338397700040_5975133429892608350_n Time passes so quickly.  Here we are on the 5th day. We started our day with birthday’s songs because we had two birthdays for Stuart who is the director of camp, and for May who is another Jerusalem counselor, so lots of delicious cakes were eaten by everyone.

The next part of the day was the activity part and we went to the high rope courses.  It was so nice seeing the kids supporting each other when they are all on very high heights. We went swimming after the high-ropes because we needed a cold place to be in because Houston is so hot.

We ended our night with a campfire and we did s’mores. A camp with Kids4peace can’t be finished without a campfire which everyone sits together and just chat over the campfire with music and everything.

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“Today we went to the high ropes, I was scared at the beginning, but then I got a lot of support from friends and I had so much fun I even did the zip-line.” -Marianne, 13, Christian

“Today I had so much fun I was partying so much and I had a blast at the lake because the activities were new to me and I experienced it for the first time.”  -Mira, 13, Muslim