I’m excited that our third summer of The Guidance Center Family Clinic’s Peace Camp Program is about to begin. This innovative program works with children, ages 6-12, from the Cambridge and Somerville area who have been identified as vulnerable to bullying either as a target, bystander, or aggressor. The program works to strengthen children’s friendship and leadership skills, by encouraging new and healthy risks, having the opportunity to safely express their ideas, and learning to work cooperatively with others. The camp uses evidence-based methods to prevent violence and build leadership skills.
I would like to pass along a great success story from this program that recently came across my desk… John, a 9 year old boy who lives with his mother, father and two siblings, has suffered the devastating effects of domestic violence. He now struggles with anxiety and has trouble controlling his anger. This has translated into displaying aggressive behavior and acting out both in school and at home. Through his Peace Camp experience, he became a leader of his group and was able to learn both mutual respect and conflict resolution skills. John was the person that peers went to for guidance and emerged as one of the camps strongest leaders. At the camp’s graduation John stood proud, while his parents watched with tears in their eyes, as he was presented with a leadership award.
What a great story to start the summer!
Guest Blogger – Borja Alvarez de Toledo, Division Director for Child and Family Services