What does a bike-powered ice-cream maker have to do with peace and justice? A lot, for the 47 children from grades 1-6 attending June’s Interfaith Peace Camp – a collaboration by Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Interfaith Engagement with local faith communities. “At the heart of peacebuilding is relationship building,” notes a statement of the camp’s purpose.

Following its 2011 theme, “Earth Care-People Care,” campers learned about sustainable living on visits to Jewish, Christian and Muslim places of worship, as well as the New Community Project (NCP) mini-farm in north Harrisonburg.

The morning at NCP – where attractions include the abovementioned dessert-producing workout device – immersed kids in aspects of sustainability that, incidentally, proved fun:

Painting the recycling shed (and each others’ faces). Shaking sand and clay on a tarp to prepare for making a cob oven. Setting out cucumber plants. Staining hands picking mulberries for ice-cream topping.


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