Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

CVFM Hosts First Annual Vacation Peace School

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This summer the Meeting hosted its first Vacation Peace School with great success. From August 7-11, we spent morning in the company of 10 energetic children, exploring peace through story, meditation, and song; pursuing creative projects; painting and erecting a peace pole; and enjoying one another’s company. The children participated in cooperative games both outside and inside, enjoyed dances from around the world, and brightened the sidewalks in front of the Meetinghouse with chalk drawings.

 

The books we read included Moody Cow Meditates, The Villagers, The Peace Book, and What to Do With an Idea. With these stories and others, we discussed meditation, community, peace, and the development and execution of ideas. Sam led meditation with the children every day of Peace School. On the first day the children used meditation jars to practice letting their minds settle (a la Moody Cow). They also practiced sitting still like frogs, mindful listening, and mindful eating. Cindy came daily to sing songs with the group; “The Green Grass Grows All Around”, “This Little Light of Mine”, and “I’ve Got Peace in My Fingers” quickly became favorites.

 

Many of the art activities contributed to the peace pole project. One morning, the children helped paint “peace” in many languages on the finished product near the rain garden. Othe days they painted their handprints onto the bricks that now surround the peace pole, and decorated kindness rocks to which Margaret added messages of peace (you are invited to choose a rock from the basket if you want!)

 

After a couple of drizzly days, we got to enjoy a gloriously sunny final day. The culmination of Peace School was arranging the bricks, basket of kindness rocks, and flowers around the base of the newly installed peace pole.

 

The vacation peace school was a fun and engaging event whose smoothness can be attributed to many wonderful contributors. Although there were many hands involved, Pat’s work was especially instrumental in the Peace School’s success.

 

adapted from a piece originally written for the CVFM Newsletter by Atia and Liana Cole

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