What is PEACE Camp
PEACE Camp is a two-week day camp for the children in the neighborhood around Divine Redeemer. Knowing that the majority of the children in the area have limited structured activities in the summer, the day camp includes meals, Bible study and worship, recreational activities, trips to the pool and a cookout at the Guadalupe River. PEACE Camp offers an opportunity for the children of Peace Pals to grow closer to God and to each other. The youth from House of Teens volunteer as junior counselors and, as of summer 2015, college-age, House of Teens graduates were hired as the senior counselors.
Over the years, PEACE Camp has become very popular in our corner of San Antonio. Families trust us to provide a safe, fun place for their children, where they can get fed both physically and spiritually! The parents of campers are always incredibly grateful for a safe, supervised space to leave their children.
The kids were happy to get to swim and play, eat watermelon and create arts and crafts projects that they got to keep. By the end of camp, they were singing and energizing with enthusiasm, and had fully bought into “camp culture” where we treat each other with respect, are willing to get silly, share our stuff, talk about God, and instill the importance of Peacemaking. Without exception, they vowed to come back next year. The summer camp culture embodied in the urban environment of PEACE Camp fosters creativity in the youth, keeping them active, aware of their surrounding environment, and productively entertained, while providing and environment conducive to physical, emotional, civic, and social competence, all resulting in positive developmental growth.
Not only has PEACE Camp been wholly beneficial for the campers, but it has also become a place where the youth of House of Teens and the young adults of the neighborhood can thrive in a leadership role. With the addition of hire college-age young adults from the neighborhood as our senior counselors, we have been able to provide these House of Teens/High School graduates with a summer job that keeps them off the streets, and gets them involved in a positive, spiritual experience. These senior counselors then become positive role models from their own neighborhood for the junior counselors and campers!
Through ¡Vamos Ya!’s PEACE Camp, God is doing work that transforms our youth, their families, and our community as a whole.