The State of Maine

Our relationship with the State of Maine is vital to Seeds of Peace operations and programming. The town of Otisfield has been an ideal home for the Seeds of Peace Camp, our core program, providing a safe, serene camp setting as well as area attractions for Seeds, like the annual Casco Days festival and Portland Sea Dogs baseball games.

In 2000, at the request of and with generous support from the State of Maine, Seeds of Peace adapted its internationally-recognized conflict resolution and youth leadership program to launch its first domestic program, focused on intercommunal tensions in the state.

Every summer since, Maine Seeds—later accompanied by Seeds from Syracuse, New York and, as of 2016, Los Angeles, and Chicago—have had their own programming at the Seeds of Peace Camp. At Camp, they participate in activities that promote religious and cultural understanding, combat violence and address economic challenges. These activities continue throughout the year, with the cooperation of Maine schools, police, and youth agencies.

Since its inception, the program has built a core of more than 350 young leaders who are working to resolve conflict and transform schools and communities across the State. Maine Seeds often have the opportunity to engage members of the state and local governments. In 2003, 14 Portland Seeds created a Youth Charter for the State of Maine, which they presented to Gov. Baldacci. The Governor then included the Youth Charter in his Maine Youth Summit, a conference which brought together students from across the state to discuss the most important issues facing Maine youth. Maine Secretary of State Charles Summers met with Seeds in the summer of 2011 to discuss his role in the government and the importance of civic duty.

Since then, Seeds of Peace staff and Maine Seeds have met regularly with high school superintendents across multiple Maine school districts to work to implement dialogue, and youth leadership programs through schools, statewide.

“Seeds of Peace is able to bridge borders and foster peace in the midst of longstanding global conflicts. Perhaps a decade from now, one of the thousands of Seeds of Peace alumni will be in a decision-making position in his or her home country, and they will remember their time at a special summer camp in Maine where the ‘seeds of peace’ blossom every year.”
— Senator Susan M. Collins (Maine)