Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Engaging a changing world with
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Camp EDOW: Peacemaking Starts Small

August 05, 2015

In Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, Shane Claiborne sets a “monthly action” as marks of new monasticism that is centered on a theme. The theme for August is peacemaking, which I find to be fitting for Camp EDOW, a place where we intentionally engage with the lessons of Christ, one being peace. Here are two lines from the August monthly action:

“Peacemaking, like most beautiful things starts small…[and] begins with what we can change---ourselves”.

On the second full day of camp, we begin with a light breakfast followed by morning worship as we prepare for our daily rotation of activities: ropes, canoeing, arts & crafts, faithnastics, archery, swimming, hiking, and games. Each activity offers the campers sometimes small, yet significant opportunities to create peace for the betterment of the camp community. For example, imagine you are a camper betting on a game, which seems to be popular with the middle camp, and you also value winning. Yet you and your teammates do not win for whatever reason. You become upset with yourself, the game, and even your fellow teammates. You are now faced with a decision to either hold on to the anger or create peace out of the situation.

“Peacemaking, like most beautiful things starts small…[and] begins with what we can change---ourselves”.

Camp EDOW is a place where campers are constantly surrounded by positive forces of Christ light, whether it come from the counselors, staff, faithnastics, worship, or the sheer beauty of Camp Merrick. These forces gently, yet loyally, guide and encourage the campers to choose peace at the end of the day. So now you, the camper who lost the game, has just left movie night, which featured Cars. At the end of the movie you witnessed that Lightening McQueen, who could have won the last race, chose not to because he saw another racer seriously hurt. Instead he helped the racer to the finish line by pushing him from behind, thus forfeiting the game and the value of winning. As you relate your own Tuesday experiences to the movie, you realize that Lightening McQueen, who originally was desperate to win, did not find peace in his winning, rather in making peace with an opponent by cheering him on and helping him to the finish line. Now you, the camper who lost, enter into the quiet of the night and begin cabin compline, you state “I am thankful for all of you who are here and good company”, signifying that you have changed your outlook within to express an external peace. I have witnessed many small moments like these where campers who value winning are changed, even if for that moment or game, to value something or someone outside of their selves.

“Peacemaking, like most beautiful things starts small…[and] begins with what we can change---ourselves”.

I am excited and eager to continue witnessing how the campers are challenging themselves to be peacemakers by stretching outside of their comfort zones and engaging with the theme of “Rocking the Boat: Stepping out in Faith”

Category: News
Tag: Camp EDOW

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