We just wrapped up another successful summer of PEACE Camp. The Guidance Center Family Clinic provides this day camp to 20 kids, ages 6-12, from Cambridge and Somerville, who have been identified as vulnerable to bullying as a target, bystander, or aggressor. The focus is to help kids work together, strengthen friendships, and develop leadership skills. All involved take new and healthy risks, have opportunities to safely express their ideas, and through fun activities, and to learn to work cooperatively with others in relaxed settings. (For example, while at a splash park, they were able to practice saying “stop” when they didn’t want to get wet or to stop playing).
One of the eight year old campers this year struggles with impulse control, responding to limits, and can easily be swayed by older or more charismatic peers. At camp, he was recognized for his kindness to others, the times when he was able to control his impulses, and asked staff for help with solving conflicts. When he said something that hurt someone, staff helped him practice apologizing and to move on from the conflict. This was his second summer at Peace Camp, and it was clear he benefited from the ongoing relationship he had with staff. At the end of the summer, he said he felt he could be himself at camp, that he was going to miss everyone and, that he had learned a lot.
Six short weeks of camp! What a great investment in kids!
~Scott M. Bock, Founder and President/CEO