True confessions, I woke up the morning after camp (way too early) spinning on one of the small wrinkles that came up the last day. Thus, I was inspired to remind myself (and now you) that even when things don't go as planned and sometimes seem to go way south of the original plan part of our job is not to make assumptions about the relative "success" or "failure" of our efforts. Often times we may never know the ultimate impact we have on the children we connect with at camp. Much of our work is simply mulching the soil and planting the seeds. To quote from my friends at Mindful Schools, "What we can trust is the sincerity of our intention, the integrity of our presence, and the innate resiliency of children and youth."
I was reminded consistently throughout camp of a couple of truths that highlight this awareness and the importance of Peace Village in our community.
ONE- How we (teachers, staff, parents) embody our teaching, facilitating and parenting is equally as significant as the content of our words. Through a baseline of connection and presence our aim is to loosen and amend the soil for inner spaciousness so that over time kids are cultivating wide pathways to their own truth and self-connection. Simply getting out of our own way (which for me means caring for our tender spots that can get poked) and showing up with presence for whatever emerges in relationship with kids serves that purpose more powerfully than we can often know.
TWO - All children have a significant need to be seen and heard. It’s that need that frequently underlies the random comments and tangents of discussion when sitting in circle with kids. We're not a listening culture and kids show up scanning for opportunities to be met in a safe space, with warmth, eye contact and the words, "tell me more". Meeting them here feeds their growth and intelligence in powerful ways beyond any lesson plan.
AND, from many sources word is that camp was wonder-full this year and many of us continue to bask in the afterglow and renewed inspiration that gets invoked after a week of life within the re-villaged world we all dream of!
Peace Village is on the cusp of evolving in new formats and new places that would allow us to meet kids in these ways more and more. Thank you for joining us. Stay tuned!
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