Today marks the first day of my seventh year of camp, but my very first day as a teacher at Peace Village. In previous years I have been a counselor for all variety of age groups, so many of the campers' faces are familiar as they arrive for their core activity in Non-Violent Conflict Resolution (Theatre!). Along with my fabulous co-teacher, Nicole, we begin by gauging and sharing our "energy thermometers" -- being honest with ourselves and with others about how we are feeling. We move into an activity based on our thermometer readings: does the group need more energy? to build teamwork? to focus together? to be silly?
After focusing on finding our peace within and among, we talk about empathy, and how we can use our bodies to communicate emotions. Nicole uses words like "powerful," "community," and "peaceful" as well as words like "lonely" so we can practice registering body language cues of all kinds and feel those emotions in ourselves.
This form of "image theatre" leads us into a brief discussion of how we can communicate stories physically. Our next lesson will focus on social justice theatre -- using theatre to make a world a better place. We brainstorm a list of things that are important to us: "caring for pets/animals," "standing up for others," "being honest," and "accepting differences" among them. These ideas are coming from some of our youngest campers; I am always impressed with the hearts and minds of kids of all ages and I am excited to take those ideas and create scenes to share our passions.
As always, looking forward to the rest of the week!
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