A couple of months ago, my dear friend invited me to attend a week-long children's camp she helps run on the Oregon coast called Peace Village. As the name implies, the camp focuses around non-violence, being kind to the Earth and to others, and an all-around vibe of peace, both inner and outer. There is yoga, meditation, music, hiking, conflict resolution, and all sorts of good stuff. It seemed to be right up my alley, and the camp was in need of an ecology teacher, and I fit the bill.
The camp was during the day Monday through Friday and the kids and I camped on some property out of town with my friend and a few other Peace Village folks each night. The property was amazing with the most gorgeous view. There were two nights of pretty solid rain (and a tent that wasn't exactly 100% waterproof), which sort of put a damper on the camp experience, but I guess rain is what you get at the Oregon coast. Even in July.
Finn was old enough to be a camper, so I signed him up. As many of you know, Finn has sensory issues and some fairly severe anxiety, and anything new that involves conforming with other children is pretty tough on him. I knew going in that we would have some rough patches, but I figured that now was a good of a time as any to start to work through them.
He did have some tough moments: certain games and activities were not his thing, and there was some sitting out and some tears shed. But, overall, Finn was amazing. He was brave. He made new friends. He tried some things he didn't really want to do. And, I would call it a success. From a teaching point of view, I would call things a success as well, although if I am invited back next year, I will definitely make some tweaks to my lesson plan. It felt good to be included in such important work. Who couldn't use a little more peace in their life?
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