I have personally learned so much from Peace Village folks of all ages, that it made me think about the unique style of mentoring found at a Peace Village. -- DeLona Campos-Davis
For many good reasons, mentoring is a popular buzz word these days. We know that mentoring relationships are important for children. Mentoring programs offer a formal or informal relationship where adults spend time with children or youth, offering stability and the one on one attention that all kids need. At Columbia Gorge Peace Village mentoring can be observed in all aspects of camp life.
Peace Village is a somewhat unique day camp experience because it becomes a bit like an actual village. There are all ages and all walks of life in the village and mentoring flows in all directions as we learn from and with each other.
During the Peace Village week we have names for each group at camp. Turtles are the youngest villagers. Not yet old enough to officially be campers, Turtles range from infants to energetic 5 year-olds and are the children of staff and volunteers. Turtles show us how to be in the moment and how to follow our bliss be it with art, a swing, singing, running or a nap. Our youngest campers we call Frogs. Frogs let us play, play, play. They can be challenging to get moving all in one direction but they remind us that the side trips are just as important as the planned route.
A couple of years older, the Bobcats offer insight in to learning to channel big energy and feelings. The Coyotes play it cool. Young teens keenly observe the older youth. Teens and young adults lead the way, playing and teaching with the campers while learning job and life skills from the adults.
Parents and other adults come to camp to teach a specific skill or help with some of the many logistical tasks and find themselves pulled in to play; learning as much as they teach. Grandparents sit with tired little ones, sing a song, tell a story, share a skill or make magic in the kitchen.
Playing, trying new things, practicing peace, talking through misunderstandings, being open to new tastes, new friends, new music, new moves: these are what we mentor for one another.
Peace Village Staff and Volunteers share mostly during the week of camp. Sign up above to receive notifications of blog posts and you'll never miss the latest news.