Camp Blue Diamond through the eyes of the Youth Peace Travel Team

Camp Blue Diamond: Home of giant swings, wooly-mammoth-snail trail fossils, 24/7 Gaga Ball, and the most awesome 3rd through 5th graders ever! Our week at Blue Diamond could have easily been a real struggle; we had never worked with a group this age, and we weren’t sure how we were going to alter our sessions to be meaningful for a group that was so young.

Even with these concerns, I think that Peace Team achieved having a great week. We talked with each family group about small things that they can do in their own lives to make a big, positive impact on other people and even the world. It was so awesome to see these kids coming up with such great examples of selfless acts that they can do, like donating their time and money to a wide range of causes. It was certainly inspiring and incredible to get to spend so much time with this group of kids and to be able to introduce peace to them at such a young age!

Peace, Katie

YPTT at Camp Pine Lake

Many of the discussions at Camp Pine Lake focused on how we can use love as a tool for peacemaking. A popular phrase at camp is “breathe in love, breathe out peace.” We repeated this often during times of mediation and allowed it to inspire our actions throughout each activity.

It even permeated the discussion we had about the film, Gracecard, which we watched as a large group. In the move one of the characters tells another that “Jesus works on the streets.” It became apparent that if we breathe in love and breathe out peace, we too may be opening ourselves to see God’s workings everywhere around us, just as Sam did in the movie.

Any week that inspires both love and peace is a good week in my book. Thanks Pine Lake for such an awesome week!


Annual Conference 2012 – Youth Peace Travel Team style!

Annual Conference is something that I always look forward to. Meeting up with friends from around the country, being in fellowship with thousands of my brothers and sisters, and seeing the Spirit move in new and mysterious ways. This year was different for me, however. I was approached several times by people who knew me for my ministry this summer, rather than from them knowing my parents. It was nice to be in a role of leadership within the youth activities that were so important to me as I grew up. I remember the Peace Team coming in, and it was always one of my favorite parts of the week. Being able to go into the youth time and see faces excited to learn what we had to say lightened my heart and reminded me of the reasons I’m here this summer.
Until next time, Kyle


Arch visits with friends
Luncheons & dinners galore! Yumm!
New friends made throughout the denomination
Business sessions
Annual Conference 2012—Continuing the Work of Jesus: Peacefully, Simply, Together
Learning experience
Congregational vitality was a daily theme
Openness & sharing
Junior high campfire led by Kyle & me
TGIFriday’s with my home congregation
Reconnecting with many old friends
Round tables increased good communication
Insight session with Corey Grey
Checking in with mentors Dan & Becky
Met Kyle’s parents for the first time

The previous words and phrases are the ones that come to my mind as I look back on my experience at Annual Conference Last week. –Molly


Being at Annual Conference was so much fun! It was nice to be in a different setting. I enjoyed it so much! I loved connecting with old friends and making new ones! All the dinners to hear about what is happening in our denomination were awesome! I got the chance to lead a time with the Senior High youth with Katie where we had a guest speaker named Corey Grey. He spoke about his choice to become a conscientious objector while he was in the military. His story was so powerful to me because of the way he was saved. I really like what he had to say.

Blessings till next time, Hunter


Nervous. That’s the emotion I was feeling as I learned that we would be travelling to Annual Conference this summer. Knowing what had happened at last year’s conference, I was nervous for how interactions would take place. I was nervous for what would take place on the business floor. I was nervous about whether or not everyone’s opinions would be heard. I was nervous for the future of our church.

But as I spent time in business and Insight sessions, as I moved about the exhibit hall, and as I just spent free time in the conference center, my spirit was renewed. People from all walks of life and different faith journeys were sitting down together in open discussions. I saw as both young and older adults felt safe enough to take the floor and share their feelings on a wider range of subjects with their receptive sisters & brothers.

I’m not saying we’ve got it all together yet, and I’m sure that the reconciliation will take time, but I think our denomination is getting there. As I left St. Louis, I had a new feeling toward my Annual Conference experience, and the future of the Church of the Brethren: hope.

Peace, Katie