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  • Writer's pictureShawntelle Augustine

The First 3 Weeks of Fall 2022 Mini Peace Camp

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

Hello Peace Families,

Welcome to the first post of the Peace Camp Insider. This blog post is long, but I promise to make it worthwhile. I am excited to embark on this new virtual journey with you all. These blogs are made for everyone to experience what we do in SOLA. For the Fall, I will be focusing on the Fall 2022 Mini Peace Camp. I will inform you through the blog and email if I have any announcements or changes. With that being said, let's start this experience together.

Week 1: Peace and Latinx Heritage Month

Happy Latinx Heritage Month! Latinx Heritage Month is set on September 15, moves into October, and ends on October 15th. We celebrate Latinx heritage because Latinx people are underrepresented in the U.S. but have contributed to American culture. Fun Fact: Latinx Heritage Month is set on the 15th because, in many Latin American countries, Independence days land in the last weeks of September. In Week 1, we talked about Chicano culture and how Chicano artists create murals to tell their stories to the world. While creating our murals, we talked about Peace and what peace means to us. What does peace mean to you? Does it mean solitude? Does it mean calm and silence? To the campers, it means all of those things. Be kind to one another and create an environment where everyone can feel safe.

Week 2: Community Gardens, Gardening, and Peaceful Mindfulness

Take a look at the neighborhood you live in. Do you notice any community gardens? What would you want in the community garden if you hadn't been to a community garden? Fruits and veggies? Beautiful flowers? Succulents to take to your own home? These are questions we dug into in Week 2. In the summer, campers had the opportunity to visit a community garden and learn about the elements of gardening. We made a Lego community garden and grabbed leaves around our garden to create a collage. Finding leaves in the fall brings me so much joy because, like some flowers, leaves change. It's just the cycle of life. As the wind blows the leaves swiftly, we remember again what peace means to us. For Gandhi's birthday, we expressed how peace is also nonviolent. Gandhi believed that mindfulness is being aware of yourself and your body and being vigilant about the issues around us. To take measures on issues that don't bring a peaceful society, we need to express ourselves calmly and elaborately, Using our voices in many outlets. What do you do to stay mindful? I practice transcendental meditation for 20 mins a day. If you are feeling overwhelmed? Breathe deeply. Inhale and count to 4, hold your breath for 2 seconds, and exhale. How does that feel?

Week 3: Indigenous People's Day and Listening

It wasn't that long ago that we changed Columbus Day into Indigenous People's Day. Why did it take so long for this change? This has a lot to do with our peace word for Week 3. For a long time, our country hadn't listened to indigenous people that had occupied the land we walk on centuries before English settlers arrived. Fun Fact: The land we are walking on belongs to the Tongva tribe. We recognize that we are only settlers to indigenous land, and for this week, we learned more about Indigenous people all over the country and listened to the voices that are silenced. This week we got the chance to paint with fruit. How is this possible? Before pencils and pens, indigenous people used highly pigmented fruits like blueberries and blackberries to communicate with each other. How do you listen? Do you listen with just your ears? At Peace Camp, we listen with our ears, yes. We also listen with our eyes, heart, and mind. We make eye contact and ask questions to entirely understand what a person is saying.

We did all of these fantastic things in three weeks. I am so proud of the campers and the staff for creating a space where we can learn about social issues while being aware of our well-being. Now, it's your turn. What can you do to make others feel heard? Feel free to leave any comments, questions, or concerns about the Fall. Before I go, I would like to say that YOU are a magnificent human being. Nothing can change that.

Peace and Blessings,

Shawntelle A.

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