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Fourth, fifth campers share injustices, solutions

Intermediate camp co-directors Steve Haddan, pastor, and Kaila Russell of Tolt UCC in Carnation, took an idea in the junior high curriculum on the 2019 theme, “Peace Works,” and modified it for their fourth and fifth grade campers.

Fourth and fifth graders at N-Sid-Sen shared roots of injustice to fruitful actions.
Photo courtesy of Steve Haddan

Steve drew the figure of a tree with trunk, roots and bare branches. 

They then asked campers to name injustices they are aware of. They wrote those on the trunk.

The campers listed people without family or parents, being selfish, different treatment to different religious groups, sexism, lack of education, prejudice; differentially-abled, bullying, using too many resources, privilege, being greedy, hunger, racism, homelessness, lack of clean water, lack of health care, and not treating others like you want to be treated.

Then campers shared “ways we can help” and wrote these in green in the branches to represent leaves.

This list was pool resources; share and create awareness; start a non-profit; save resources, and donate, money, clothes and food; spread kindness, do a food drive and volunteer, and fill other’s buckets.

Steve said they asked the campers to think about why the injustices they named exist. They wrote these on the roots as the roots of injustice.

The list included: treating people the way they have been treated; lacking education or having inadequate education; acting out of anger and being afraid of change; using difference as a weapon; abusing drug; acting out of jealousy; having a lack of leadership; learning handed-down, generational learning we have been taught and shown; having parents unable or unwilling to give support; parents kicking children out or being too busy; having traumatic experiences; or having poor or bad influences of role models.

“After we asked them to think about the roots of injustice, we asked them to go a little further out on the limb and list how we can address the roots of injustice,” Steve said.

“We wrote these in the branches with red or pink to represent the fruit,” he said.

They listed;

• Lead by example, spread love and Ubuntu (African for “I am because we are”;

• Awareness, see who needs help and Heiwa (Japanese weaving peace and harmony together);

• Write letters to make change, change yourself and Se Si Puede (meaning “Yes, it can be done);

• Show real support without taking over and making decisions for others—including and hearing voices to make real change;

• Connect with others, conserve resources and be a real presence;

• One camper shared what he has been taught at home:  “There are two ways to enter a room: 1) sit down and wait to be served, or 2) look around and see who needs to be served.”

“Our fourth and fifth graders get it,” Steve said.

“Kaila and I were honored, humbled, and again forever blessed and changed by what the camping program in our conference creates for our children, and how our children respond, learn, grow, share and transform during their time at camp,” he said.

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