I spent the past week at the beautiful, all be it soggy, Camp Christian in Marysville, Ohio. My fellow counselors, the camp staff, and the campers welcomed me with open arms. The highlight of my week was having the opportunity to lead a daily workshop – Peace & Justice. For an hour each day I met with six campers to discuss how faith and social justice can be tied together in their daily lives. Our workshop took advantage of working with the same group everyday by building on concepts from the day before and tailoring discussion to individuals’ interests.
The focus of our first two workshops was getting to know everyone in the group and learning what peace and social justice issues everyone was most passionate about. On Monday we made a labyrinth for our workshop and for other classes to use as they reflected on the topics for the week – The Book of Job and The Will of God. Tuesday we did one of my personal favorite activities, which I like to call Coloring & Questions. Everyone writes down questions and conversation starters about issues they are curious about and then we proceed to draw them out of a bowl and discuss while we color. It was an excellent forum to learn where everyone stands on different topics and helps guide conversation for the rest of the week.
Each of our workshops for the remainder of the week focused on a specific topic that was brought up during Coloring & Questions. Topics included racism and reconciliation, environmental justice, and faith and sexuality. Each of these topics spurred good discussion, however the most impactful part of each discussion for me was the group’s desire to take action towards progress and justice on each of these issues. We ended each workshop brainstorming how these topics could be addressed in their home congregations, youth groups, and even their schools. The motivation to use their faith to help better their world was truly inspiring.