What is the application process to Camp?
In order to apply to attend Seeds of Peace Camp in 2022, there are several steps all youth must take.
Step 1 by March 31 (additional applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, as space allows): Complete the online Camper Application. This asks all applicants to answer questions about why they want to attend Seeds of Peace Camp, and helps us get to know a little bit about who they are. Make sure your teacher or supportive adult at your school has completed the Youth Nomination Form.
Step 2 after submitting written application: Meet with a Seeds of Peace staff member for a 15 to 20-minute Zoom interview. This is a chance for applicants to share more about their story, their interests, and to make sure Camp is a good supportive fit for them.
Once the Camp selection committee reviews your written application, adult nomination form, and interview report, ALL applicants will receive an email notifying them of acceptance into either Camp, or another program with Seeds of Peace. Acceptance to Camp is not final until we receive completed registration and health forms.
Step 3 by May 15: All accepted applicants must submit Forms to secure their spots at Camp: a Mental Health Form, Physical Health Form (signed by a physician), Parent/Guardian Permission Form, and Applicant Permission Form.
Step 4: Upon receipt of all Camper forms, the Seeds of Peace selection team will confirm acceptance to Camp. Acceptances are sent out on a rolling basis, but all applicants will receive final decisions by June 1.
Step 5: Campers join us at Camp!
Camp Session 1: Start Date: June 26, 2022
Camp Session 2 Start Date: July 17, 2022
What’s a typical “day in the life” at Camp this summer?
Campers participate in different activities each day, all intended to be fun and meaningful. A typical Camp day begins with wake-up around 8 a.m. We go to the first of three pre-meal “line ups” at which campers sit on rows of benches together by the lake to hear announcements and begin their day together).
Every day, there are activities offered that campers can sign up for, such as arts and crafts, sports, or other games. Campers have swim-time in the lake almost daily as well. Ninety-minute dialogue sessions take place every day in the morning or afternoon, and campers always have a rest hour. In the evenings, the entire Camp gathers for a performance, game, or activity together. A sample daily schedule is below.
Sample Daily Schedule
7:15 a.m: Early Bird Wakeup (independent supervised quiet outdoor activities for early risers like jogging, yoga, reading)
8 a.m.: Wakeup Bell
8:30 a.m.: Line-Up
8:45 a.m.: Breakfast
9:30 a.m.: All-Camp clean up
10 a.m.: Special Activity (these are workshops designed and led by both counselors and campers!)
11 a.m.: Activity or dialogue; Activities: boating, gardening, athletics, or arts (Drama/Music/Visual Arts)
12:40 p.m.: Lunch Line-Up
12:55 p.m.: Lunch
1:50 p.m.: Green swim, Blue rest
2:50 p.m.: Blue swim, Green rest
3:50 p.m.: Activity or dialogue
5:30 p.m.: Snack
5:45 p.m.: Community Action. This is an opportunity for campers to gather by region and discuss and plan the ways in which they would like to see their community improved or changed for the better.
6:30 p.m.: Line Up
6:45 p.m.: Dinner
7:30 p.m.: Field time
8 p.m.: Evening Activity
9:15 p.m.: Shower time
10:25 p.m.: Bunk time
10:45 p.m.: Lights out
What are some of the daily activities I can take part in at Camp?
During a given activity block, campers could be swimming in the lake, playing team sports like soccer, basketball, and football, doing arts & crafts, doing performance arts and dance, gardening, and more. There are also dialogue, community-building, and group leadership challenges throughout every week.
What are your Covid protocols, and how will I need to prepare to attend Camp in person safely?
As of Spring 2022, we are still building our COVID Protocols with the guidance of Dr. Laura Blaisdell. All campers and staff will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including booster shot, prior to the summer, and we anticipate having a testing requirement in place. This means that you will need to complete a COVID test (TBD if PCR or antigen) and provide proof of a negative test before traveling to Camp, and again upon arrival to Camp.
Any visitors will be approved in advance of the summer and will adhere to our visitor guidelines regarding interacting with campers, behavior while on-site, and COVID-19 precautions. Staff will have the option to travel off-site in between sessions, but will be required to follow strict COVID-19 guidelines and precautions. Due to COVID-19 precautions, we do not anticipate allowing family visitation days; campers will be able to call their families during a few established times throughout the session.
Our team is closely monitoring the unfolding of the Omicron variant, and will update our COVID-19 protocols accordingly, all in consultation with Dr. Laura Blaisdell, and in accordance with CDC guidelines. We will send a COVID-19 Protocols document to all registered campers in the Spring, which will be updated as our protocols and health precautions change.
How many kids will be at Camp this summer?
Seeds of Peace Camp will host 125 youth per session of Camp, with two sessions over the course of Summer 2022.
Where are eligible campers from?
Due to travel restrictions and visa processing delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Seeds of Peace Camp in Maine will only be open to youth participants from the United States. In future summers, Camp will be made available, once again, to youth from the other regions around the world in which we work (Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia).
We work hard to bring representative cohorts of youth to Camp to ensure that all youth have support and community both during their time at Camp, and when they return home to implement action-oriented activities and projects. This is why we select youth from established school partnerships in each of our regions across the United States. We also prioritize the recruitment of youth who represent different racial, economic, political, or religious backgrounds.
How old are the campers?
Eligible applicants to Camp have completed their 9th or 10th grade in high school (during the 2021-2022 school year). This makes most campers between 14 and 16 years old next summer.
A small cohort of youth will be returning to Camp for a second summer as Peer Supports, and they will have completed their 10th or 11th grades in high school.
What are the Camp accommodations like?
Accommodations at Camp in Maine are rustic but comfortable. Bunks are simple wooden structures with beds and mattresses on bunk beds. The showers are outside of the bunks a short walk away. Each bunk has one private bathroom stall, where campers may use the bathroom and change in privacy.
This summer, there will be 8-12 campers per bunk, with two bunk counselors who sleep with them in the shared cabin for the entirety of the session. You should expect to share space in a bunk with students from different racial, religious, or political backgrounds from you, who live in a different region, or who have a different lived experience than you. In addition to sleeping in the same cabin with your bunk, you will take part in Camp activities together.
How can I stay in touch with my loved ones while at Camp?
If family members need to contact their child, they can do so by sending snail mail or calling the Seeds of Peace office phone for specific messages to be passed along.
Parents can also send their campers one-way emails to our Camp email account that will be delivered to campers the following day during regular mail call. Camp staff prints out the emails and shares them with the Camper.
Campers will have at least three designated times to call home using the Camp phone during the Camp session, including after arriving and two additional times during the session. We will share the date/time of each bunk’s phone time with families at the beginning of the Camp session. Campers should bring a paper with important phone numbers of friends and family, as campers will NOT have access to their phones or computers at Camp. Apple watches are also not allowed at Camp—we encourage campers to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to build relationships with the other campers and staff, and to handwrite letters to loved ones.
Campers who partake in therapy are encouraged to continue virtual therapy in coordination with the camper support specialist and their therapist, to be scheduled in advance of the summer. Seeds of Peace will provide a laptop to campers for this purpose.
Can campers receive care packages?
In 2022, packages will NOT be allowed at Camp for campers. If your camper forgot a critical item at home or if your camper needs medications etc mailed to them, exceptions may be made with special permission of the Camp director or Camp operations coordinator. We encourage you to send emails or letters to stay in touch with your Camper. Camp will provide toiletries and extra clothing to campers who were unable to bring their own, so all basic needs will be taken care of. Camp also provides snacks to campers, so no food needs to be delivered to Camp.
Are there opportunities to pray at Camp?
Yes. Campers can be excused briefly from a given activity during the day to pray with the approval of the Camp staff leading that activity, but must return promptly to the activity after they finish. Every Friday, we will have group Muslim services in the afternoon and Jewish services in the evening. On Sundays, we will have group Protestant and Catholic services. We also have the opportunity for the observation of other services (such as Hindu and Zoroastrian services), depending on campers’ needs each session. There is a designated prayer space onsite. It is the responsibility of campers and counselors to maintain this prayer space as respectfully as possible.
Who at Camp can I go to if I have a problem?
At Camp, there is a 1:4 camper-to-counselor ratio within bunks, so counselors are never far away if a camper needs support or guidance. Campers have many other adult supports on Camp, including facilitators, other counselors who lead activities and programs, the Camp leadership team, and the medical team of nurses and mental health supporters who are available to campers around the clock. Campers will be routinely encouraged to seek out the support they need to have a safe and meaningful summer experience.
All adult staff on Camp receive training in youth development, mandated reporting, CPR, sexual harassment, and concussion response. Our Camp Health Center will have two nurses available around the clock for emergencies. We work with a local pediatrics office (Western Maine Pediatrics in Norway) for triage and guidance as needed. We will also have a Camper Support Specialist to provide supports and connect campers to external resources in a non-clinical, advisory capacity.
How big is the staff at Camp?
There will be a minimum of 32 counselors/activity leads at Camp, 7-9 facilitators, and about 10 amazing support staff (health center nurses and camper support staff, kitchen director and staff, maintenance, etc.) led by the Camp Director, Programs Director, and Camp Operations Director. Get to know the 2022 Camp Staff ››
Who are the counselors and how are they selected?
Counselors apply through a competitive process, and are chosen because of their own diverse lived experiences and experience working with youth. Many come from an education background and have experience in youth work in various contexts. They are passionate about working with young people and bring that energy and excitement to all that they do. Counselors are over the age of 20, and all Camp staff complete the Camp staff training in positive youth development, trauma-informed engagement, mandated reporting, activity design, and basic youth mental health supports.
Who are the facilitators and what sort of training do they have?
Camp facilitators are trained in the skills of dialogue facilitation and conflict resolution, and often bring advanced degrees in conflict studies, counseling, mediation, or other adjacent skills. In daily dialogue sessions, facilitators structure the conversation, support each participant as they share honestly and openly, and responsibly push and challenge participants to ensure a productive and meaningful experience.
The facilitators live in the cabins on the Pines Side of Camp, separate from the bunks where campers live.
How do I become a counselor at Camp?
In hiring procedures, Seeds of Peace prioritizes hiring staff representing the racial, economic, political, and geographic communities of youth at camp, and staff who live in the same communities as campers. Counselors must be at least 20 years old to apply. Learn more and apply to be a counselor ››
What is the food like at Camp?
The Seeds of Peace dining hall provides all our meals at Camp. There is always a hot option (like pizza, pasta, tacos, chicken), a vegetarian option, a salad bar, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich station available. There are also kosher/halal meals available for those who require them.
Please let us know if you have any other dietary restrictions by emailing email@example.com. Before the session begins, the Health Center or Kitchen Director will email all campers who listed allergies on their health forms to ensure we can support you with healthy and delicious food throughout the summer.
What is the weather like at Camp?
Maine summers are usually sunny and beautiful, warm (75°F) during the day and chilly (50°F) at night. Campers should wear sunscreen every day, but should also be prepared for sudden rain storms. A raincoat, boots and/or Crocs are always a good idea! All participants will receive a full packing list prior to Camp to make sure they have everything they will need.
What about doing laundry?
Laundry is done once a session. Each Camper and staff member is given an individual laundry bag which gets sent out to a laundromat in town and comes back the next day. Because we wear our green shirts each day (which are provided to each Camper on arrival day), campers don’t need to bring many clothes. Please write your name in permanent marker on all of your clothes.
What is a dialogue session?
Campers participate in dialogue sessions for 90 minutes every day. They remain in their same dialogue groups, with the same two adult facilitators, for the duration of the Camp session. Dialogue is a youth-led space where campers explore and unpack issues around identity, power, privilege, and community, and share with a supportive group the many complex perspectives and identities that make up their different lived experiences. In dialogue, youth are considered the experts on their own experiences, and they, as a group, lead the content of the conversation.
Facilitators are guides, and are there to simply structure the process to ensure it is honest, meaningful, challenging, and trauma-informed. The purpose of dialogue is not to come to consensus or agreement, but to more deeply understand the differences that each individual brings, to listen and to be heard in all of our complexities, and to learn something new about oneself and others. Participants leave the dialogue experience with the courage, curiosity, and communication skills they need to engage others back home and throughout their lives in difficult or complex conversations and discussions.
What is the Community Action program?
Community Action is an opportunity for campers to take what they have learned at Camp—through dialogue, leadership skills building, and building a new kind of community across lines of difference—and plan to take action when they return home.
Campers gather in cohorts from the same school or city with the guidance of engaging and trained staff (select counselors, activity leads, or facilitators) to:
- understand and identify issues of injustice in their school community
- practice telling the story of an issue
- make demands to improve a community issue
- understand power, decision-making, and influence
- practice creating action plans to address an issue in their community
This way, campers connect their Camp experience to taking action in their home communities—together!
Does Camp allow visitors?
There will be no visitors other than pre-approved Seeds of Peace staff to Camp all summer due to the safety measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure. For more information about this decision, please refer to the COVID-19 Protocols document.
Will there be an advanced leadership program for kids who have been to Camp before (like the PS Program) this summer?
Yes! A small selection of youth who attended Camp in 2021 will be invited to join the Camp community again in a different capacity—as Peer Supports whose main job is to support first-year campers and build a welcoming and inclusive community where all campers feel they are seen, heard, and belong. Applications for the Peer Support program at Camp will be sent directly to Seeds from the 2021 Camp summer.
How does the program continue after Camp is over?
Seeds of Peace is a leadership development organization that runs multi-year programs rooted in each community from which youth come. When youth depart Camp, they will be joining a global community of over 8,000 changemakers, and will have access to our year-round suite of programs and community-wide opportunities.
Youth attending Camp in Maine will focus on projects and initiatives they will enact once they return back home. Seeds of Peace will continue to run rich and rigorous virtual and in-person programs (depending on youth location) that support them in these efforts. Throughout each school year, Seeds of Peace runs several programs available to youth, including the Global Institute, regular multinational dialogues with youth from around the world, and certification programs in dialogue, leadership, and action-taking. While these programs are not mandatory, youth attending Camp should prepare to continue their engagement with Seeds of Peace far beyond the Camp experience.
How can I learn more before deciding whether Seeds of Peace Camp is right for me?
Please feel free to contact our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.