Archives For Houston

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 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 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

by Bar, Jewish Faith Advisor, Houston Camp

11850747_922733204449971_7011123391240170244_o Today is a beautiful, cool morning with the birds singing, the sun coming out of the trees and the lake begins to shine bright. We have some nice ladies in the kitchen, who welcome us each day with their smiles. Some of the campers dressed nice for Sunday worship.

We went to the outdoor chapel to hear Rev. Dub Brooks preach about the importance of our mission and purpose. He showed us with exercise weights that you need to share your burden because we all have a bunch of weight that we carry. Peace can be a heavy weight, but if we all carry it together it can be a wonderful gift.

Later, each group had their own different activity. With my group, we went to do art with Natalia. We are doing a mural project, and our group got the letter D to design of Kids4Peace. Everyone was making their own design, and at the end we tried to find a way to bring them all together. The combination of all the camper’s designs looks beautiful. We also began to paint it, but we still have a lot to do.

11794296_922733174449974_6042341932211129231_oAfter lunch, we went to the basketball court and everyone got ice cream, candy and a basketball to play with. All the campers were smiling and happy. Afterwards, we all went to archery and then to swim. The campers were really excited, and waited patiently to get into the water. Everyone was surprised to feel how warm the water was. Most of the youth tried all the lake water park options: giant slide, blob, iceberg and canoes and paddleboards. After a nice dinner with lots of fried chicken, we closed out the weekend with a fun country dance.

A new Kids4Peace cheer

merk4p —  August 7, 2015 — Leave a comment

by Jack, Christian Advisor, Jerusalem Peace Builders

11865045_921381674585124_5174237745787187931_o   Before heading to bed after a long day of traveling by car, plane and bus, we all got reacquainted and familiar with each other’s names through some icebreaker activities and designing our name tags to represent a part of our identity.

Once everyone finished creating their unique name tags, each participant explained the meaning and story behind their names. It was interesting to hear everyone share their different stories around such personal and deep parts of who we are.

On Day 1 of the camp, we had a nice yummy breakfast of pancakes, hash browns, fruit and cereal before hiking along one of Camp Allen’s wooded trails towards the new Discovery Center. Here, the group was introduced to Stuart and all of the camp staff and then launched into a discussion and sharing activity around four main questions:

What I expect from the camp?
What I expect from my friends?
What I expect from myself?
What I expect from the staff?

11141748_921380491251909_6215707509080103438_oThe activity allowed each of us to think deeply and reflect upon our expectations for the 12 days ahead. Once finished, the group headed back for lunch and a music-making workshop with Billy Jonas. Billy beautifully led the group through some basic rhythms and peace songs to get everyone engaged and feeling their creative spirit coming out. We each received a pair of drumstick-pencils and were instructed to find some object or thing in the room to make sound with. The campers got very creative in their choices: coolers, cafeteria cups, chair legs, knees, decorative plants, door frames… you name it! It was a lot of fun watching the group work collectively and as a team to make the drumbeat.

Working up such a sweat from all the drumming required a refreshing dip in the pool. After swimming, we had a great scavenger hunt where the youth were running around the main campus looking for different clues and asking Camp Allen staff for help. The dramatic conclusion of the hunt led us to a nice spaghetti and meatball dinner. After a little free time, we met up with Billy for some more songs and song writing. We all laughed as we did different hand and body motions to the words of the songs. Part of our experience at camp this summer is to write and perform a song for friends and supporters of JPB-K4P. Tonight we came up with a few lyrics to get us started:

11794080_921380384585253_5963426609229845729_o“Inside were all the same, from our hearts to our brains, let’s all break the chains, of hating, open up the gates, find your friends and mates, drop the hot plates, start creating…

by Dala, Muslim, Counselor from Jerusalem

IMG_9990Finally after the long journey of everyone from Jerusalem, Boston, and Seattle everyone made it to camp Allen in Houston. It was so nice seeing the kids reuniting together. We started our day with a small hike around the camp and the kids got amazed by the views they saw and different animals they met on our way. The next part was a short dialogue about the kid’s expectation from themselves, camp, other kids, and staff.

Later, we had a musician playing instrument with the kids. Music can be done with everything. The kids also swam today since it is very hot in Houston. We had a special game called scavenger-hunt the kids worked in groups and it went all well and they got to know more about the camp.

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Rebecca | Jerusalem

Rebecca has been with Kids4Peace for seven years,  and has spent one and a half of those years as co-director of K4P Jerusalem. She holds an MA Degree in Conflict Transformation from the School of International Training in Vermont. She lives in Jaffa with her husband and her son Yair.

“Most people think that I work with youth because they are the future, but honestly I am invested in this work to see a change now”


Noa | Jerusalem

This is Noa’s second year in Kids4Peace.  When not working with K4P she studies as a Rabbinical student. She feels supported in her work as most people in her close circle are also working towards co-existence.

“I believe in informal education that works with rather than against religion, this is why I am involved with K4P and why I continue to be involved as the community grows.”


Mohammad | Jerusalem

Mohammad is co-director of Kids4Peace Jerusalem. He spent some years of his life away from Jerusalem which enabled him to meet people from different cultures and as a result he became more knowledgeable of the importance of coexistence. Mohammad is married and has a 9-month-old baby, named Ibrahim.

Mohammad believes that “working with youth from all sides of conflict will help in creating a better future for Israeli and Palestinian youth”. 


Meredith | Jerusalem

Meredith has been with Kids4Peace formally since 2012, after attending a K4P summer camp in 2009. She holds a Masters Degree in Community Development from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband Zack and baby Shalva Henn.

“I work with K4P because I feel that it is my responsibility to remind people that we must love our neighbour and treat them as we would want to be treated. I need to know the other to help me love the other, and the K4P community is the perfect place for that.”


Adnan | Jerusalem

Adnan is an English teacher at a local high school in Jerusalem. Adnan has been teaching English as a foreign language for over twenty years now. Adnan is married and has six children, the eldest is a sophomore at university while the youngest is a year and a half old.

Adnan joined Kids4Peace and stays involved because he believes: “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”


Niveen | Jerusalem

Niveen has been with Kids4Peace since 2009. When not at K4P, Niveen works as a travel agent at Guiding Star in Jerusalem. She lives in Abu Tor with her husband, Ihab, and their four daughters. Niveen became involved with Kids4Peace because she truly believes peace is possible.

“This country, my country will see peace. It is through our children that this will be made possible. The staff at Kids4Peace are truly beautiful people and it is a joy to be a part of such a community”


Maggie | Jerusalem

MaggieJLMMaggie has been with Kids4Peace for two months and will intern full time with K4P JLM for the year. She is Irish and the youngest of three, in Ireland she works in the informal education sector as a youth worker.

“I believe that it is through community action and education that people alter the present and the future for their families. Political promises and negotiations mean nothing without understanding and hope from those who live in the reality of the conflict. I believe that K4P is engaging in this work on a daily basis. I want to be part of that change, of that tangible hope.”


Saed | Jerusalem

Saed has been with Kids4Peace since 2006. He teaches Arabic and is father to three children, two girls and a boy.

“As a refugee, I feel that I have to do something. I have to be involved in changing things for the better. Being an active part in K4P offers me that opportunity. I have a young family and I hope all will participate in the program and be part of this community.”


Tamika | Houston

Tamika is a Camp Director and Muslim Advisor for Kids4Peace Houston.  She values equity, creativity, community, and celebration.  Tamika was raised in a Christian home and embraced Islam in 2003.  Tamika is left handed, married, and has two sons and a daughter.

“Peace is possible when reality and true feelings are welcome and acknowledged along with an honest commitment to respect, empathy, disagreement, safety, and beautifully calm environments for all life on earth.”


Jordan | Seattle

Jordan serves as the Kids4Peace Northwest Regional Director.  With the support of volunteers around the Northwest, Jordan will lead K4P’s first Seattle camp this summer.  Jordan is passionate about education, and has a diverse background which includes everything from coaching collegiate ski racing, to researching the South African education system, to classroom teaching, and now working with K4P.

“I believe that Kids4Peace can continue to be a source of hope for people, ultimately making the world a better place.”


Matt | Boston

MattUSAMatt is the Director of the Kids4Peace Boston Chapter.   Prior to serving as Boston’s Chapter Director, he worked at Camp Merrowvista, where K4P Boston hosts its summer program. Working with others in a non-profit organization, and learning new skills from them, has also allowed Matt to gain a deeper understanding and become more open to the realities between Christians, Jews, and Muslims, not only in Jerusalem but also in Boston.  

“I work with people who are working so hard to make peace. It is amazing to see what impact it has on their lives and what sacrifices my friends make daily in order to stay committed to their dream of a more peaceful world.”


Jeff | NH/VT

Jeff is the Camp Director for Vermont and New Hampshire.  Jeff has traveled quite a bit, including studying in India and Spain during college.  After college, Jeff lived in Asia for two years.  He eventually made his way to graduate school to study meditation and applied conflict studies, which lead him to run a camp for Turkish, Armenian, and American teenagers.  He then heard about Kids4Peace.  Jeff is devoted to bringing peace and joy to the world by teaching conflict resolution skills, laughter yoga, and acroyoga.

“I got involved with K4P because it combines my experience with facilitating summer camps with my skills for working with people in conflict.” 


Nicholas | Leadership Camp

Nicholas is the executive director and founder of the Jerusalem Peacebuilders-K4P Leadership Camp in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Educated at Yale University, King’s College London and the American University in Cairo, he has lived, worked and traveled throughout Jerusalem and the Middle East. An Episcopal priest and educator, Nicholas lives in Brattleboro, Vermont with his wife Dorothy and their family.

“The future of Jerusalem is the future of the world, and working with young Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders to build peace shapes that future.”

Additional Profiles of Staff, Volunteers, Board Members and Alumni coming each month!