Here we go. Peace Interns always played such an important part through my four years of CYF camp in Indiana at Camp Barbee, and for the past 7 years, I have had no doubt that I wanted to be a Peace Intern. As a 15-year old teen, I had no idea what that meant. The only thing I knew entering my sophomore year was that the Peace Intern was a person at camp who was totally awesome to talk to and always had tons of energy and fun activities; everyone loved the peace intern, and I wanted to be universally loved in the same way. During my high school career, I got a better understanding of the Peace Intern’s role at my camps: The Peace Intern is the individual who sheds some light on how and why the world is broken, and the Intern provides ways that we—through our faith—can put the world and our human family back together. Now my time to spread that message has come.
Now that I am at last old enough to apply, I eagerly wrote essays, wrote resumes, and gathered references for my application. I submitted the application in January and then took off for a semester abroad in Austria. The e mail for which I had waited almost a decade finally arrived saying that I received an interview for the position. “Gosh,” I thought. “How am I going to do this interview when I am halfway across the world?” Well, my interview ended up happening over Skype in an instrumental practice room at what was 7 AM for my interviewers.
I ecstatically learned that DPF was able to offer me a position for the summer and accepted without question. Only later did I realize that this position meant travelling to 8 or 9 different camps to lead workshops and activities that I had to make with youth who I didn’t know. I was both humbled by the responsibility and terrified of it. At the same time, God called me to spread the word about peace and love, and all I could do was answer that call.
Three weeks ago, I met my fellow interns Amy and Cambria in Indianapolis for our training week. For five days, we worked with individuals in the Disciples of Christ and learned about everything from Eco-Justice to Self-Care and Spiritual Practice to Reconciliation Mission to Just War. We did everything from Justice Bible Studies to Conference Calls to cry about the unfairness of trying to limit God’s love and grace in the world.
Training week was one of learning, sharing, and community. Training week was full of laughter, questions, and song. Two weeks ago, filled with activity ideas and aware of the Holy Spirit working in us, the internship team left Indianapolis to go out to camp programs around North America to explore what this “peace thing” means with high school students and how concepts like “together” and “justice” apply—or can—in the world.
Peace for the journey,