Amid a global pandemic and the fight for racial justice, the Peace and Justice Center in Wilkes-Barre will offer its annual Peace Camp virtually.
"As the importance of our virtual spaces has been magnified by the pandemic, even as our country's public life has become so fraught with division and the injustices plaguing it brought into even starker relief, so too is magnified the importance of learning to be peacemakers in those online spaces," said camp co-director Becky Elfman.
"The virtual nature of this year's camp will allow campers to participate from a wider geographic area and connect with peers and leaders with a range of talents and skills that can be used for peace and understanding. We can all learn and play and strategize with each other for the common good," Elfman said.
The camp is for students who will be in first through eighth grade this fall. It costs $15 per week, or $25 for all three.
Themes include "Peaceful bodies, peaceful deeds," for July 14 and 16, "Peaceful garden, peaceful world," for July 21 and 23 and "Peaceful minds, peaceful community," for July 28 and 30. Sessions are held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays with "an informal shared half-hour lunch period" in between.
The video platform Zoom will be used for the camp.
"The leaders are educators and a web platform designer, so we have some experience with technology that would allow us to offer a virtual experience," Elfman said. "Kings University has been kind enough to let us use their private Zoom setup, which will help us provide a safe environment."
The camp will still be able to deliver hands-on activities by preparing kits in advance.
"Our campers will receive kits with the supplies they need to participate in the hands-on activities: seeds, a yoga mat, art supplies, etc.," Elfman said.
They will also learn about communication strategies as well as "how to reduce prejudice, and finding ways to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit," according to the camp’s press release.
Go to peaceandjusticecenter.com/peacecamp/ for more information, or to register.