Youth Peace Travel Team 2015 – Camp Swatara (again!)

campfire rock pileart projectspeace and donuts

Well friends, this is it. Our last post as YPTT 2015. It has been an awesome ride and journey through our summer of teaching and learning about peace together. We couldn’t have done anything without the help of all of you wonderful people! We also would like to issue a HUGE THANK YOU to our sponsors, Church of the Brethren (Youth/Young Adult Ministry and Office of Public Witness), On Earth Peace, Outdoor Ministries Association, and Bethany Seminary! These are the beautiful people that make the experience of YPTT possible. So a big thank you to them, and also to all the people that we have met along the way who gave us advice or even just a friendly smile, you helped us through our summer together! Another thank you to all the camps we attended and their great staff and awesome campers! Without all those people, Youth Peace Travel Team would just be a summer of us traveling around talking to one another and accomplishing nothing! We are so grateful and so blessed to have been a part of YPTT 2015, so thank you to all who helped make it happen. On to our final blog post (sniffle).

We spent our final week together at Camp Swatara, attending and helping with their “Wet and Wacky” Camp. The camp is very aptly named, as it was both wet and wacky the whole week! It was a very fun camp for us to end our summer on, and we had a great time! While at Swatara we also helped lead some sessions for the Big and Small Camp and the Girl Power Camp that were happening this week as well! Here for the last time are some of our thoughts from the week.

I can’t believe we just finished our last camp as the Youth Peace Travel Team! The last 10 weeks have gone by so quickly! Our final week of camp was a fantastic time spent at Swatara again! We helped out in a variety of ways including a little bit of morning praise, Bible and some peace sessions. We led our creation care activity with the intermediate aged, and elementary aged campers. The campers always impress me with their knowledge of environmental issues and solutions. Even the young elementary aged campers had a lot to offer! A big highlight of the week for me was all of the fun and crazy water games we got to play. This week was wet and wacky week at Swatara so we spent a lot of time in a swimming suit doing something exciting. We had pool parties and water games every day. Another pretty wacky aspect of the week was meal times. Each mealtime we had some sort of challenge that made eating slightly more interesting. Some of the challenges were eating in the dark, only talking n questions, no utensils, being tied to your neighbor and opposite day. Swatara was a really swell way to end the summer! – Annika

“Isn’t that wacky? Isn’t that zany?” These phrases seemed to be the battle cry this week, and it was excellent. This past week at Swatara was in many ways the perfect week to end a summer on. The camp itself was crazy and high energy and helped us all to forget how tired we really were, and the campers and staff were awesome! This week we got to hang out and join in on a lot of the wacky and wet activities that happened around camp, such as “Organized Chaos” which is as wacky and wet as it sounds and pool parties and beach parties and all around fun! We also got the chance to lead a couple sessions for the youth, which was awesome! We again led our Creation Care session that focuses on sustainability and caring for the Earth, and got to hear some incredible ideas on how to do that from the campers. We also got to lead some bible times for the different camps that were going on! We led a session about John Kline and Sarah Major that we call our Peace/Faith in Action session! (Shoutout to Nell, who was John Kline’s horse, who we represented with a homemade stick horse. She was beautiful and traveled to 7 different states with us.) A highlight from the week for me was the sacred campfire that we had Thursday night. We created torches out of branches and towels and the counselors carried them down to the lake where we had a floating campfire that we lit and had our service next to. It was a beautiful sight. This week was so awesome and it was the perfect to wrap up our wacky (and wet at times) summer!!

P.S. Thank you to my teammates Annika and Brean. It’s been an incredible ride together, thank you for your ministry and for your part in the awesome experience that YPTT is. Blessings to you both as you continue to spread the peace. – Kerrick

This week at Swatara’s Wet and Wacky camp, I have learned that letting nearly fifty campers loose with mud, shaving cream, ice, Jell-O and feathers is probably both a genius and crazy idea. But that was right along with the theme of the week, and the kids seemed perfectly happy to go along with it-and so did I! I mostly enjoyed the themed dinners, from the resource staff dressing up “fancy”-and coming out looking like we were from different time periods-to only being able to speak in questions. All the themes were equally challenging and wacky. The camp activities were plenty wet too, with both a beach party and a pool party. The water was cold sometimes! A funny moment was when staff started leading dancing and exercising to keep the kids warm, although most of it was just jumping around. Besides the wet and wacky, I also enjoyed hike day, and revisiting the rock pile. The view of everything was just as beautiful as before. All in all, this week was a wonderfully fun week to close the summer on. – Brean

Well there it is. The last blog post from YPTT 2015. Thank you to Camp Swatara for the excellent last week, and for allowing us to have our debriefing there after the week was done. If you haven’t made it out to Camp Swatara, you most definitely should take a visit, it is truly a wonderful place! Another big thank you to YOU for reading and supporting us in our journey this summer, YOU ROCK! Blessings in all that you do, and as always, keep spreading the beautiful message of peace and love. Thank you all again. We love you.

Signing off for the last time, the YPTT 2015.

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