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Summer Camp

The experience begins at the neutral and supportive environment that is the Seeds of Peace International Camp. There, Arab and Israeli, Indian and Pakistani, Greek and Turkish Cypriot, and Serb and Bosnian youngsters go through an intense coexistence in which face-to-face interaction with the so-called enemy is the norm. Old stereotypes are continuously tested, confronted as they are by the reality of human interaction. From living together in cabins to sharing tables at mealtimes, from playing together on the same team to working on art and drama projects, every activity at the Seeds of Peace summer camp is coexistence in action.

Formal 'Coexistence Sessions' are held daily, and are one of the core elements of the summer camp. Led by professional facilitators, they are designed to help the teenagers build relationships based on honesty, understanding and respect for the position of the other side. Here, Seeds struggle to reconcile their new camp experiences with the reality of their lives. They are encouraged to air their thoughts and feelings about the conflict and to listen to the opposing view, discussing the harder and more contentious issues in a rational and productive way. In doing so they can share their painful experiences, and together search for a long-term solution.

On a weekly basis, all delegations are invited to witness each other's religious ceremonies. This creates a bond between the teenagers as they see each other as God-loving individuals, despite their differences. Although all camp activities are conducted in English, delegations re-group once a week and the youngsters are given the opportunity to absorb the week's events within the close circle of their national groups.

At the end of the month-long camp, the teenagers take a trip to the White House in Washington D.C., where they meet the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and their own Ambassadors. This empowering experience teaches the Seeds that there are world leaders who are willing to listen and learn from their experiences.

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