Reflections from Camp Peaceful Pines

We just finished a great week in Northern California at Camp Peaceful Pines! The camp is located 6,200 feet up in the Sierra Nevadas, where it gets very cold at night and hot during the day.  We spent the week with 17 senior high youth as the main program leaders.  This role gave us the freedom to utilize the theme, “Be a Hero: Live like Jesus,” and spend an ample amount of time talking about peace. 

Every day we led a morning watch, Bible study, peace workshop, and evening campfire.  Each morning we introduced the daily theme during morning watch, which usually included songs, scripture, reflection, and prayer.  We then went more in-depth with the theme during Bible study, highlighting context, background, and theological issues.  Campers learned from each other by teaching the scriptures through skits. 

Following Bible study, campers engaged in a peace workshop.  We followed our three-question framework that we have been using so far this summer: “What is peace,” “Why do we seek peace,” and “How do we seek peace?”  We split this framework into four different workshops.  The first day was dedicated to the questions “What” and “Why?”  The following three workshops addressed practical peacemaking.  We explored ways to make peace with God and ourself, our neighbors, and our world.  A highlight of the workshops was a “Save the World” movie that the campers directed, scripted, and acted in themselves.  The movie centered on realistic ways of how to make our world a better place.  Overall, campers left us with a sense of hope for the future. 

Each day was wrapped up with an evening campfire.  Campers, adults, and Peace Team members shared their favorite songs around the fire.  We provided devotional time for campers to reflect on and process the day’s theme.  A fun time was had by all!

A Camp Peaceful Pines tradition is a game called “Gotcha.”  This game is played from 10pm to 7am, in the dark, utilizing a colorful and ornately decorated toilet seat. Whoever’s doorstep it rests on when the morning bell rings must sing a song for the whole camp at breakfast.  The Peace Team had to sing four out of the five mornings.  Another tradition that the camp has is to hike to and sleep out on Sunrise Rock.  Sunrise Rock is a huge, open rock, surrounded by beautiful mountains.  We were able to bond with campers and were awoken by a full moon, which seemed as bright as the sun. 

This week we went on an intense eight-mile hike from a lake up to the top of a mountain, where we ate lunch next to a beautiful waterfall.  The hike required us to get on all fours and vertically scale enormous boulders.  We were proud to have completed such a hike, and we thoroughly enjoyed it!  We also brought back the dance this week. The campers responded with excitement, and they got their groove on!

Thank you Camp Peaceful Pines for a fun week!

 -Tim, Hannah, Marcus, Cambria

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