The Open House in Ramle - a peace education center in Ramle, Israel
 

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2011 Summer Peace Camp


Between July 3rd and 21st, OPEN HOUSE held its annual Summer Peace Camp. As in past years, the principal venue was the mixed Jewish-Arab village of Neve Shalom/Wahat as-Salam (NS/WAS). There were 83 boys and girls who participated, from 6 to 14 years old. They came from a variety of locations, including Ramle, Lod, Kfar Uriah, Abu Ghosh, and Mevaseret Yerushalayim, the last two near Jerusalem.

Photos from the 2011 Summer Peace Camp

Our camp program used different educational games, through which the children got to know each other and group cohesion was built. After the morning circle, we had activities like cooking for everyone and cleaning up (it is not always easy to motivate the children to do the latter), environmental art exercises, baking pita bread, sports competitions, swimming pool games, learning magic tricks, world music and dance workshops—all of which took place at the camp site.

Activities outside NS/WAS included trips to water and amusement parks, plus a day spent at Cinema City to see a 3D film.

For the first time, we had a professional film workshop in which the children watched films, learned about the components of making a film, climaxing with each group creating a short film of its own and screening it for the other campers.

We also had a day of food competition in which each group chose its own style of cooking and then presented the results to “judges.” Everyone then got to sample the different culinary creations.

Once again this year we were delighted to include on our staff young counselors and volunteers who had taken part in OPEN HOUSE summer camps in previous years. There were daily staff meetings for all of those responsible for running the camp program.

This year our OPEN HOUSE cooperated with NS/WAS in welcoming Palestinian children from Beit Sirah in the West Bank. They joined the outing to Cinema City, our sports competitions (in which they excelled), and an Animal Carnival, which concluded with a theatrical performance. The relationship between the two groups was very good, and we hope to continue this cooperation next year.

We thank all those who made it possible for the children to have such a wonderful and memorable time together, forging friendships across communal boundaries.