NS PeacemakeHers camper Margaret Skabar
I am without a doubt able to say that attending the PeacemakeHers camp this past August at the Thinkers Lodge has changed not only the way I observe the world, but also how I participate in it. From the moment I walked into the Lodge, a sense of peace and hopeful enthusiasm washed over me and it very soon became obvious that we were a group of women who were ready to make change. The camp was beautifully organized, and included sessions that opened my eyes to causes and organizations that I had been previously unaware of, for example Sisters in Spirit, which has thus encouraged me to get involved in my community and participate in a walk to end violence. Prior to attending the PeacemakeHers camp, I knew very little about the Voice of Women organization. Since discovering more about the positive impact made by V.O.W., I have been in the process of starting a Voice of Women society on the St.F.X. campus, though this has been a fairly slow moving affair. A personal favourite event since attending PeacemakeHers was being able to help host an afternoon workshop hosted by the New Glasgow YMCA as part of their Peace Week activities. This workshop helped youth (9-15) learn peaceful communication skills and peaceful conflict resolution, and engaging a younger demographic was particularly inspiring for me. I sincerely look forward to participating in similar events in the future, and am entirely grateful to PeacemakeHers for granting me the opportunity to work with youth for peace.
More than anything, I think attending the PeacemakeHers camp has given me a sense of purpose and hope for the future. While often the enthusiasm that comes with attending a camp such as this fades as time passes, the PeacemakeHers effect has been quite the opposite on me. Every day I find myself more determined to go sleep in a world better than the one in which I woke up, even if the only way I am able to express this is through small acts of kindness, making a conscious effort to be a better listener or to be compassionate to everyone I encounter. PeacemakeHers has acquainted me with the most wonderful group of women and an infinite number of possibilities, including travel to Sarajevo this summer for the International Peace Bureau Conference. The energy and positivity that was instilled the weekend of PeacemakeHers has not only resonated in me, but it has continued to increase. The PeacemakeHers 2013 Pugwash camp has already vastly impacted my life, and will continue to do so. For this reason I genuinely hope that PeacemakeHers camps continue in Nova Scotia as well as throughout Canada, empowering and inspiring young women to make and be the change the wish to see.