The 2013 Youth Peace Travel Team visits Camp Bethel!

June 30 – July 5, 2013

“The Church isn’t the building, it’s the people.” Each camp we’ve visited has its own landmarks and specific charm, for sure, but the previous statement can certainly be applied to church camps. Our experience at Camp Bethel was augmented by the presence of an enthusiastic staff who put one hundred and ten percent into everything they did. If campers lacked energy or enthusiasm for an activity, their counselors were there to pick up the slack and refresh the campers’ spark. Even kitchen staff got in on the fun, creatively passing out ice cream bars via “Sheriff Twin Pop” and having everyone eat one of the dinners with unusual utensils (ladles, ice cream scoops, tongs…). A meal time which ended without a time for singing, jumping, and clapping did not exist at any point this week.
This group of campers participated and stayed attentive throughout our Peace Sessions every morning. They added a part of a massive “peace quilt” at the end of every session throughout the week to reflect that session’s theme (Conflict Transformation, Creation Peace, Biblical Peacemaking, Bullying, and Just Peace). Morning watches, vespers, and skit night all utilized the staff, counselors, and campers abilities to speak, act, sing, and reflect. Did we mention it poured rain every single day of camp this week? It took a lot of energy sometimes to make up for the weather and we’d like shout out to Katie and Maureen who did phenomenally as they organized and led the camp!

On another note, the 2013 YPTT crew has essentially transformed part of its downtime into a theological book club and here are some of the things we’ve been reading:

A Quaker Book of Wisdom – Robert Lawrence Smith
Biblical Peacemaking – Dale Brown
Velvet Elvis – Rob Bell
Jesus for President – Shane Claibourne
How Coffee Saved My Life: And Other Stories of Stumbling to Grace – Ellie Roscher
The Book of Psalms – Robert Alter
Love Wins – Rob Bell
The Middle Man – Dorothy Brandt Davis and Sara Elizabeth Davis
Enemy Pie – Derek Munson
Alexander Mack: A Man Who Rippled the Waters – Myrna Grove

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