Be grass! Be Rocks! Stop that water! These were phrases yelled out by youth during a game at MCC’s fourth annual Raise the Peace Summer Camp. The youth spent a week learning about creation care and peace-building from MCC staff and provincial partners. This particular game was hosted by Katherine Finn of the North Saskatchewan River Basin Council who took a morning to teach the youth about the importance of protecting our watersheds so we may have healthy sustainable water sources into the future. The group was learning about riparian zones and how grass, rocks, and other plants are necessary parts of our ecosystem’s natural water protection system.
They ran fiercely around the area as the rocks and grass tried to catch the youth pretending to be water. The game was not only fun and interactive but we could hear the youth using their new found words as we hiked throughout Shekinah Camp. We’d hear “is this a riparian zone?” and “Be Grass!” as we walked from one end of the camp to the other.
Through workshops like “how to live a waste free life” and “why protect our watersheds?” these youth were engaged in the important work of unlearning our habits of using more than we need and learning instead to care for one another by caring for creation.
The annual Raise the Peace Summer Camp is in its fourth year and is an outcome of MCC’s 13 years’ of experience in the neighbourhood. The main objective of the camp is to offer an opportunity for young people from diverse backgrounds to gather together for activities, games, and workshops that address conflict and bullying, racial and religious diversity, leadership and peace-building. A significant component of the camp this year focused on creation care and how caring for creation is a practical way for youth to be involved in peace-building.
*A special thank you to Shekinah Retreat Centre for hosting our campers, connecting them to nature and providing them with a unique camping experience.