PeacemakeHers Leadership Summer Camp for Young Women, British Columbia
Facebook: The Peacemaking Collective
From Amanda Pitt, camper August, 2015
” My experience at the Young Women’s Leadership Peace Camp was beautiful. This August 2015, near Nelson BC, on a beautiful forested property by Kootenay Lake, women of many ages gathered to talk about the state of the world, our issues, peace, change, activism, self-care and more, all from a woman’s perspective. Five days and four nights were spent building community as we camped together,and ate delicious food together that was home-cooked, often vegetarian, and very kindly donated to the Peace Camp. Many volunteers, organizers and donors helped do everything necessary to support this Peace Camp and to support the women who attended it, from running workshops to making food, from set-up and take-down to providing comfortable spaces full of comforts like spare clothing and toiletries, to loaned cushions and musical instruments.
There was a jam-packed schedule of workshops, but that schedule relaxed a little as presenters and participants alike came and went from the Peace Camp, taking time for self-care and other life activities. The workshops offered at this year’s Peace Camp included: decolonization, dancing our dreams alive, common ground, solidarity with activism camps such as the Unist’ot’en, Dances of Universal Peace, making changes in community, Telling the Story of Me, Us and Now, Moon cycles, co-creating music, consent and boundaries, media portrayals of youth, self-calming and conflict de-escalation, international women’s rights work, art therapy, participatory theatre for gender empowerment and an nature honouring circle.
Some of the most empowering workshops I found were ones that reconnected us to the power of our bodies and our communities by gently encouraging us to be present in our bodies, our voices, our senses and our life-stories. These workshops raised our own awareness of the power inherent to each of us, and then took that power and guided us so that we might collectively extend that power outwards to support and honour anyone who was in need of some extra nurturing. All that, and we found time to hit the beach and write in our journals too! It was a blast, and a think retreats like these could be a stepping stones, perhaps reminding ourselves of the growth we have all already achieved and perhaps coaxing each of us to attempt the positive personal and societal changes that are as yet ahead of us.
Thank you for the beauty of community,
About The PeaceMaking Collective:
The PeaceMaking Collective consists of collaborating organizations and individuals who join together as strategic partners and as a consultative forum in the community to transform the current model of threat-based security to security through collaborative nonviolent conflict resolution, enhancing peacemaking potential. Skill-building, service and leadership are facilitated to reduce all forms of violence and create cultures of peace.
Groups presently represented in the Collective are: the Nelson & District Women’s Centre, SelfDesign High, West Kootenay Global Awareness Network, and Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.The collective invites others with similar visions to join.
The PMC assists in assessing and responding to community needs and initiatives through multiple levels of community engagement. It enhances information-sharing between generations, groups and organizations about career, community life and global opportunities in violence reduction and enhances peacemaking potential.
When people have skills to resolve and de-escalate conflicts and are connected to their community, they know how to intercede before conflicts becomes acute. Costly interventions may be avoided. With an aging volunteer population in our community, building capacity with youth to engage in volunteerism is much needed for sustainability of many programs and activities in the area.
Activities by the PMC include design and delivery of capacity building experiences for a variety of age-groups through workshops, trainings, and camps. PMC also presents public events for education, celebration and to raise funds that support specific projects. These funds make it possible for interested qualified youth to attend the camps that PMC offers each year at little or no cost. Fundraising also supports local youth to get to trainings and workshops outside the region.
The PeaceMaking Collective is a project of the Kootenay Society for Life-long Learning, a not-for-profit society fostering lifelong learning that celebrates the universal human spirit by developing and supporting learning experiences that awaken and engage human potential. KSLL engages with the advancement of Peace and Social Justice through the creation and support of not-for-profit courses, seminars, projects, camps and workshops for high school learners, community members and international guests.
Young Women’s Peace Leadership Camp: firstname.lastname@example.org