Spreading Peace in the U.S.A: Successful Youth Training in Idaho

We are always excited when we find new partner organizations that are passionate about our work—and even more excited when our partners find us! Based in Nampa, Idaho, Reverend Karen Hunter, runs a small nonprofit called Learning Peace, a free day camp where children age 6-13 learn skills for peaceful living. While in the middle of planning a peace camp, she remembered coming across Play for Peace several years ago. 

“I found Play for Peace online several years ago,” Reverend Hunter said. When our Learning Peace organization was looking for a way to expand and continue our program beyond age 13, I knew Play for Peace was the answer.”

Reaching out to executive director, Sarah Gough, she asked if Play for Peace would be a part of the camp—which would also launch their Play for Peace club. As a result, they invited Richard Rutschmann, a long-time Play for Peace certified trainer from Chicago, to come to the camp in July to do a training.

During the camp, the youth took part in Play for Peace games and learned about conflict resolution, mindfulness, media literacy, and connection with nature. They also took part in cultural events and did a low ropes challenge! Inclusivity was also an important lesson imparted to campers, as it is an important value to the camp founders and why the camp is free. 

“Our youth loved every moment,” said Reverend Hunter. “I watched them not only have fun, but become more important and impressive, literally transforming into caring and competent young leaders.”

On the last day of camp, the teens were already leading Play for Peace games! They also received Play for Peace facilitator pins and are planning to meet twice a week as a club. Not only was Reverend Hunter extremely impressed with the training and its results, but the teens were positively affected as well.

“Play for Peace gives me hope that when the children we teach are older, they will have grown up playing peace games—so there will be less conflict in the world,” said Sierra Armbrust, a youth facilitator in training.

Nine kids trained during the peace camp, but more want to join the club. While the group in Nampa, Idaho, has not officially registered as club yet, they are in the process of doing so and we are very excited to welcome them to our global learning community.