What’s a typical “day in the life” of a camper this summer?
Campers take part in different activities every day. However, a typical day starts off with wake-up at 8 a.m. They go to “line up” (an outdoor assembly facing the beautiful lake where the whole Camp gathers for announcements—we’ll wear our masks!), then breakfast, bunk clean up, special activity which campers choose, morning activities which include dialogue for half the campers, line up again, and then lunch.
After lunch, we have rest hour, then afternoon activities (including swimming!) and dialogue, line up again, and then dinner. After dinner there are more activity blocks. At 8:15 p.m. we have a Camp-wide evening activity led by youth or staff, then free time in the bunks, and finally lights out at 10:30 p.m. The day sounds long but it goes by quickly. The schedules for both counselors and campers change daily and are posted every morning.
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 frisbee, making arts and crafts, taking part in performance arts and dance, gardening, and more. There is something for everyone, and Camp is a place to discover new passions! There are also dialogue, community-building, community action, and group challenge sessions throughout the week.
What are your COVID-19 protocols?
Seeds of Peace is receiving public health consulting from Drs. Laura Blaisdell and Josh Rising, pediatricians with public health training, regarding our COVID-19 protocols, and will continue to update guidance accordingly throughout the spring.
A full overview of Seeds of Peace COVID-19 protocols will be updated soon according to the most recent guidance. As of Spring 2021, we are expecting that all campers will quarantine for 14 days prior to arrival to Camp (this means limit your contact with people outside of your household and wear that mask!) and provide proof of a recent negative COVID test before traveling to Camp. Campers will also be tested for COVID-19 after arriving at Camp.
Campers will be in a “pod” with their bunk (six campers and two counselors in total), which means they can be mask-free when within the bounds of the bunk. When interacting with individuals outside of their pod during the initial days at Camp, all individuals must either be outdoors and socially distanced or masked. Leadership staff who interact with more than one pod will do so outdoors, and be masked and socially distanced. As time goes on during the session and after symptoms monitoring, we hope to be able to expand the pods and interact with each other more closely.
The Camp will generally be closed to visitors. We’ll ask staff to remain on-site for the duration of the summer. COVID protocols will change according to the most up-to-date guidance from our medical consultant, the American Camping Association, and the state of Maine.
What if the COVID-19 situation worsens before the start of Camp?
On May 30, we will re-evaluate the COVID-19 situation and send an update regarding Camp. We will follow the guidelines of state health officials, and if rates of COVID-19 reach unsafe levels, we will cancel the program. All camper fees will be fully refunded and campers will be invited to attend one or both of our virtual opportunities being offered this summer. If there is an outbreak of multiple cases of COVID-19 after arrival at Camp, the program will end, and participants will be sent home by the same means of transportation that brought them to Camp.
How many campers will attend this summer?
60-96 per session
Where will campers come from?
Due to travel restrictions and other safety measures in response to the pandemic, the 2021 Camp will only be open to youth participants who live in Maine, the greater Boston area (including Vermont and New Hampshire), the greater New York City area (including New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut), and Syracuse. Seeds of Peace will also offer a virtual Camp program for all youth who do not currently live in those areas. In future summers, Camp will once again be made available to youth from other parts of the United States, 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. We therefore prioritize the recruitment of youth who represent different racial, economic, political, or religious backgrounds but live in the same metro areas or attend the same school districts.
How old are campers?
Most campers are between 14 and 16 years old and in the 9th-11th grades in the 2020-2021 school year.
What are Camp accommodations like?
Accommodations at Camp are basic but comfortable. Bunks are simple wooden structures with simple bunk beds. There is one toilet in each bunk and many showers are in a building outside of the bunks a short walk away. The showers are simple stalls with curtains. There isn’t any air conditioning in the bunks, but the many open windows in each building allow for a nice breeze. The entire Camp community, including campers, contributes to keeping our Camp environment comfortable and healthy through daily clean-ups.
This summer, there will be six campers per bunk, with two bunk counselors who sleep in the bunk for the entirety of the session.
Your bunk will be made up of youth from different places and of different religious, economic, political, and racial backgrounds from yourself. In addition to sleeping in the same bunk, you will take part in other activities together with your bunkmates. This summer, your bunk will be your COVID-19 pod, and the group of people you spend the most time with.
How can I stay in touch with my loved ones while at Camp?
Campers will be able to use the designated landlines to call loved ones. These calls will be at different times throughout 2.5 weeks of the session, so calls will only be outgoing from campers to family and loved ones.
If family members need to contact a camper, 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 campers one-way notes to our camp email account that will be delivered to campers the following day during regular mail call.
Are there opportunities to pray at Camp?
Yes. Campers can be excused briefly from a given activity during the day to pray, but must return promptly to the activity after they finish. Every Friday, campers will have the option to participate in Muslim services in the afternoon and Jewish services in the evening. On Sundays, campers will have the option to participate in Protestant and Catholic services. Campers will also have the opportunity to observe other services (such as Hindu and Zoroastrian services). During Eid al Adha, which coincides with the first session, we’ll work to host an imam at Camp in a COVID-safe way.
Who at Camp can I go to if I have a problem?
This summer, there will be a 3:1 camper to counselor ratio within bunks, so counselors are never far away for support or guidance. In addition to your bunk counselor, campers will have many other adult supports at Camp, including facilitators, other counselors who lead activities and programs, the Camp directors, and a nurse and mental health support team who are available around the clock. Campers will be routinely encouraged to seek out the supports they need in order to have a safe, fun, and meaningful experience.
How big is the Camp staff?
There will be a minimum of 24 counselors/activity leads on Camp, as well as a leadership team made up of three Seeds of Peace full-time staff members, the health center team with at least two nurses, and facilitator team of six.
Who are the counselors and how are they selected?
Counselors apply through a competitive process and are chosen because of their own lived experiences, their background in working with youth, and their belief in the power of youth. Many come from an education background and are career teachers and youth workers throughout the year. The minimum age for counselors is 20. Counselors come from the same communities as campers, and share a diversity of passions, skills, interests, and backgrounds.
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. They are there to structure the conversation, support each participant as they share honestly and openly, and to responsibly push and challenge participants to ensure a productive and meaningful experience.
How do I become a counselor or facilitator at Camp?
Staff applications are open! Seeds of Peace prioritizes hiring staff representing the racial, economic, political, geographic communities of youth at Camp, and who live in the same communities as campers. Air travel to Camp is prohibited, so counselors must live in Maine, the greater Boston area (including Vermont and New Hampshire), the greater New York City area (including New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut), or Syracuse. We will arrange staff travel from Boston, Portland, Syracuse, and New York City. Apply to become a counselor or a facilitator this summer ››
What is the food like at Camp?
The Dining Hall provides all our meals at Camp. There will always be a hot option (pizza, pasta, tacos, chicken, etc.), salad, vegetarian option, and peanut butter and jelly available. There are also kosher/halal meals available for those who require them. The food might be very different from what campers are used to at home. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions in your application. Meals might look different this year due to COVID-19 precautions: we will eat many meals outdoors under the beautiful Maine sun near the lake.
What is the weather like at Camp?
Maine summers are usually sunny and beautiful, warm (average of 75°F) during the day and sometimes chilly (average of 50°F) at night. Campers will need to wear sunscreen every day, but also be prepared for sudden rainstorms with an umbrella or raincoat. Rain 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 need.
What about doing laundry?
Laundry is done once a week. Each camper is given an individual laundry bag which gets sent out to a laundromat in town and comes back the next day. All campers will get five green Seeds of Peace t-shirts and two sweatshirts when they arrive. Because they wear our green shirts each day, they really don’t need to bring many clothes. Campers should write their names in permanent marker on all of their clothes.
What exactly is a dialogue session?
Campers participate in dialogue sessions for 110 minutes most days at Camp. 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. During 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 exactly is Community Action at Camp?
All Seeds of Peace programs emphasize dialogue, community, leadership, and action-taking. This portion of the Camp program is all about growing campers’ leadership and action-taking skills so they are prepared to lead change both at Camp and when they return to their home communities. Have an issue that you care about in your community? This is the place to learn the skills to tackle that issue together with other campers.
What exactly is Group Challenge at Camp?
This portion of the Camp program focuses on learning and understanding your own unique leadership voice, style, and approach in the context of your peers. Campers participate in a series of group problem-solving activities using our low ropes course that bring up important conversations around authority, decision-making, power, and influence. Group Challenge is a part of the dialogue sessions and a different way of having dialogue together.
Can I have visitors to Camp during my time there this summer?
Campers will not have visitors to Camp all summer in order to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure. For more information about this decision, please refer to our Camp 2021 COVID-19 Protocols and Risk Management Overview.
Am I allowed to smoke at Camp?
Seeds of Peace is a tobacco-free and drug-free environment. This means that we prohibit alcohol, drug-use, or smoking of any kind, including vaping. All campers and staff must store their medications in the Health Center to maintain everyone’s health and safety.
Will there be a program for returning campers (like the PS Program) this summer?
Unfortunately, Seeds of Peace Camp in summer 2021 will be open only to new campers. There will be other opportunities available to campers from previous summers (Seeds), offered virtually. If you have been to Camp before and are interested in helping us by talking to youth interested in Camp or Seeds of Peace programs, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 7,300 changemakers and will have access to our year-round suite of programs and opportunities.
Youth who attend the Seeds of Peace Camp in Maine will spend their summer learning more from one another and about themselves, and will have the opportunity to think about projects they will lead when they return back home through the Community Action sessions. Seeds of Peace will continue to run rich and rigorous virtual and (in some locations) in-person programs that support them in these efforts. Throughout each school year, Seeds of Peace runs several programs available to youth, 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 anticipate continuing their engagement with Seeds of Peace and their peers far beyond the Camp experience.
How can I learn more before applying?
Seeds of Peace will be leading two virtual open house sessions this spring. Come hear more about Camp directly from our staff and have space to ask questions!
What is the camper application process?
First, you’ll fill out the application form (coming soon) and sign up for an interview. Then, Seeds of Peace staff or alumni will have a 20-minute conversation with you to learn more about you, and for you to ask any questions you have about us! If you are accepted, you’ll have to also submit recent medical forms and fill out our program requirements before your acceptance is confirmed. We are dedicated to being sure we have the supports you need at Camp.
If you are a student in Maine, this process might look a little different, and your school will contact you directly for an interview.
Other questions that weren’t answered here?
Please feel free to contact our staff at email@example.com.