If you’d have asked me about my greatest fears before running off to peace camp with ThinkPeace Workshop for Girls this summer, after I got past the actual camping part of it, I’d have had to say, I worried about how the girls would get along. I am happy to say that all my fears were ungrounded. (I was ungrounded, I got to sleep inside on a bed! whoopee! Imagine the delight of an Aging Indoor Priestess!)
But I’m here to report that Peace-working causes actual Peace to break out. I’m not saying there weren’t rocky moments and the girls weren’t girls, but they were kind girls. They were involved girls. They were caring girls. Maybe crossing out were, substituting are. They are adorable, strong, funny, smart, wonderful breaths of air and hopes for a new world. They are girls.
These lovely young women watched movies that broke their hearts and challenged their senses of what is fair. They participated in projects that acknowledge that the world is not easy or gentle but are designed to change that. They spent some time writing their ways out of own troubles and then envisioning ways to help World Girls move out of their own. They saw their privilege and looked for ways to leverage that. I’m not sure if they’re clear that’s what they were doing, but that’s what happened. And in their free time, they played, sometimes like the young women they were, sometimes like little girls, running in the back yard, playing in the pool. More friendship bracelets were made than anyone would have thought possible. (As a child of a child of the Depression, I was astounded by the supplies they ran through!) People’s fears were soothed.
And they spent most of the week in a puppy pile on the couch and floor in the Gathering Room. They solved problems together. They traded taking the lead. They included everyone and they worked to their strengths. They stepped up
They didn’t do this on their own. Peace doesn’t break out spontaneously. The week was carefully set up. Boundaries were set. A covenant was drawn, agreed to and pretty much followed. And that week, girls made a difference. In their own lives. In the lives of their companions. In their Leaders’ hearts. And maybe, just maybe, in the way the future grows.
That’s a pretty good outcome from a week of gathered girls. Sing Ho! for the Peace of a Girl.