A Cup Full in Southern Ohio


“Fill up my cup, fill up my cup let it overflow. Fill up my cup, fill up my cup let it overflow. Fill up my cup, fill up my cup let it overflow! Let it overflow with love!”

My cup is full as I enter in to the rest of my summer, starting with the beautiful souls at the Southern Ohio Creative Arts Camp. Over this week, these campers blew me away with their love for one another, their willingness to have conversations about tough subjects, and to open their hearts to many brand-new faces, including my own.

The folks here were open to me bringing new ideas that might have seemed a little out of the box at first, such as clowning and improvisation. But after a little time, I think they started to celebrate their own passions, realizing that they can be mouthpieces for the campers’ causes as my passions have become for me.

My first session was with a group of 12 campers ranging from 6-18 years old. They all had so much to add to our conversation about peace and were so willing to jump into the little bit of clowning we did. Bible Study gave us many openings to enter discussion about what it meant to speak up. We talked about the causes we felt most passionate about and how we could be advocates for the things we feel are important. For one of the girls I talked to, that issue was women’s rights, and I got to have a lovely discussion with this young activist about what that meant to her.

During one of the sessions, I asked the campers to explore different words or phrases they associated with “peace.” I got some great answers! Words such as: reassurance, love, Jesus, singing, the ocean, nature, standing up for what you believe in, and color! These words were the threads that built the tapestry of meaning that our group had for the word “peace.”

On Thursday night, I saw a true show of peace during a foot washing service. Before feet washing, Pastor Carl asked the campers and the counselors that if anything was laying on their hearts to let it be lifted by going to the person and giving them a hug. Adults, take notes! These children, who during camp became practically like a family even to the point of bickering, put away the jokes and the arguments and embraced each other. They asked for forgiveness, and pardoned their brothers and sisters in Christ. It was a truly beautiful thing! As we washed feet, we sang “Will you let me be your servant?” During the last verse, as everyone finished, we joined together in unison to sing the last chorus. The peace of Christ was truly tangible in that room!

It was a joy to be in community with the joyful Christians at Creative Arts Camp in Southern Ohio! I am excited to see what is yet to come this summer! Peace will be Prevail. On to camp Stover! 🙂

Until next time,
Laura, Youth Peace Advocate