Need, meet opportunity.
Participants in a Portland, Oregon-area intensive study of Book 3 (Teaching Children’s Classes: Grade 1) of the Ruhi Institute training sequence found an ideal venue for applying their new skills.
“A tough thing to do with Ruhi intensives is finding time to do the practices in the books,” notes 15-year-old Layli Veach of Beaverton.
“The great thing about this intensive was that it was scheduled the same week as a previously planned children’s camp, so the participants of the intensive could get their practice in as soon as studying of the book was over.”
The Ruhi course began with a full day of study.
The next morning, the nine youth participants and four tutors pored over the materials they would teach that day to children gathered for the first day of the Baha’i-sponsored Peace Builders camp.
“When everything was all set and ready,” says Veach, “they packed up the camp materials, piled into two cars and drove to the park.
“This being Oregon, the sky was a nice shade of gray interwoven with a few rain threatening clouds — the perfect day for a camp!”
Everything went smoothly as the Ruhi participants led children in team-building games, songs, and study of a quotation.
Until, that is, it came time for an art project.
“The children just finished with a long day, so they just wanted to play,” recalls Veach. “The youth tried to keep them all in check, but in the end, that last half-hour of day one of Peace Builders camp was just chaos.”
It proved a good topic for reflection, says Veach.
As a result, she says, “A few changes were made to the schedule, and a list was made of everything that went well, which provided a blueprint for the rest of the camp.”
Days 2 and 3 of the children’s camp went swimmingly. After continued study of Book 3, the youths met groups of children for arts and crafts — including making “Peace Builders” T-shirts — and other activities.
Then came the last day of camp. After the youths completed the third unit of the Ruhi course, they met the children for a special game they’d prepared; a review of the songs and quotations learned during camp; and a simple dance to the song “Walk It By Yourself.”
All in all, says Veach, it was a capacity- and peace-building week for children and youths alike.