Tag: PACTS

Facilitating peace education in Virginia

Laura Carr-Pries at Brethren Woods camp in Keezeltown, Virginia.

As a student, I always try and find ways to connect what I’m learning in class to “the real world.” So, when I received a job description for the position of Peace and Justice Director at Brethren Woods camp in Keezletown, Virginia, I realized that this was not a job I could turn down.

While I knew that I wanted to explore peace education, I was afraid that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, going to an area of a country that I know carries a wide range of perspectives on peace and justice.

Despite my hesitation, I decided to go for it. I had the opportunity to create a peace education curriculum, where I taught conflict resolution skills, and explored what the Bible says about peace.

We read stories, played co-operative games, and asked questions about why we act with violence. We made peace quilts and brainstormed how we can become peacebuilders in our own communities.

I quickly realized that I would not be able to do what I did without all of my CMU experience.

The hands-on learning that I experienced in my classes taught me how to engage different learning styles and the content of classes gave me ideas for different topics I could teach.

Over the course of the summer, I worked with campers to create a Peace Path. Each camper had a stone which they painted with one step they could take to make the world more peaceful, their stepping stone for peace.

Laura Carr-Pries at Brethren Woods camp in Keezeltown, Virginia.

Their answers ranged from smiles and friendship, to tolerance and generosity. After the stones were painted, each camper laid their stone on the path with a recognition that peace is not the responsibility of one person, but is dependant on many people working together. 

These stones now line a path, where there is a prayer for peace in the world and in our communities.

In light of recent events in Charlottesville, which is an hour away from the camp I worked at, I am hopeful that our world is not stuck in pain and violence.

Throughout the summer, campers asked me about the situation in Charlottesville, and questioned why people respond to hate with more hate. These young voices shared their hope that people with differences would have conversations and recognize their common humanity.

I feel honoured to have walked with these children as they have learned a language of peace and I am hopeful that they will become agents of positive change in their communities.

This fall, Laura Carr-Pries enters her fourth year of a PACTS and Theology major at CMU.

Get to know your student ambassador: Emilie Roussis

Hey Friends!Emilie-Roussis-CMU-2016

My name is Emilie Roussis. I’m from Sarnia Ontario and I’m entering into my third year at CMU. Over these past few years, I have been involved with the social committee, CMU’s soccer team, leading a youth group in Grunthal, and working at a church through the summer. I am also a student ambassador.

I love dancing, meeting new people, travelling, and the season of fall. I learned that I am not an adrenaline junky through the Outtatown South Africa program, when I was given the opportunity to bungee jump, skydive, and shark dive. It was all very terrifying to me!

I have never been a person who thinks further past a week, so as of right now, I’m planning on graduating with a degree in Social Sciences with a major in Peace and Conflict Studies and a minor in Psychology.

This year, I’m looking forward to many of my courses, such as Social Cognition and Influence, and Counselling Techniques. I’m also looking forward to exploring Winnipeg and getting more involved in volunteer positions.

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