Camp Seymour Brings Together Junior High Students of Different Faiths

June 1, 2006

Source: The Olympian

On June 1, 2006 The Olympian reported, "Organizers of an interfaith camp hope to show junior high-age kids just how much common ground they have with people from other backgrounds and faiths... The Puget Sound Interfaith Youth Camp is open to kids who will be entering the seventh or eighth grades in fall of 2006. The camp will be at the YMCA's Camp Seymour near Gig Harbor. [Kathy Erlandson, executive director of Olympia's Interfaith Works and a member of the steering committee for the camp] said participants will be old enough to think about issues deeply, will know some of the doctrine regarding their faith traditions and will be aware of societal issues such as racial and religious profiling, she said... [but] the camp will focus mostly on bringing kids together to do normal camp activities... According to the camp's Web site, on a scale of 1 to 10, with one being a general camp with no interfaith component and 10 being a classroom experience, the camp will be a 2 1/2 or 3. 'One thing I'm really excited about is the question box, where anyone can put a question in about other faith things they have been observing,' she said. 'The kids can anonymously ask questions they're too shy to ask out loud. Adults will pull out the questions and give the kids a chance to discuss and talk about them.' The camp also will feature small group sessions. Subjects can include: stereotyping and faith in the media, resolving conflicts, expressing your own faith and exploring another faith in more detail. Each evening, a gathering will happen where one of the faith/religious groups will present an overview of its beliefs and practices, followed by questions and answers."