Articles From the September 1994 Unification News
Camp Harmony Welcomes Children and Staff of Region 5 and Neighboring States
by June Orland Kiburz
Carloads of eager children arrived at Camp Harmony, Illinois, to share a 3' day experience July 22nd through 25th, 1994. We observed children bounding out of cars to greet their friends of years past and reacquaint themselves with one another and with the beautiful lake setting of the camp at New Found-Nation, Illinois. Children who were first-timers lingered a bit more as they wondered what would unfold over the next three days. With perfect blue skies and warm sunny weather, we began our time together by setting up tents, eating a light dinner and meeting by teams. With a much larger response than last year, planning for Camp Harmony 1994 included expanding our facilities. Through the fortunate donation of many family tents and the blessing of beautiful weather we succeeded in accommodating our growing community.
My parents, Drs. Frank and Phyllis Orland, extended their help and hospitality with the preparations for the camp, as Camp Harmony was held at our family farm in northwestern Illinois on a bluff overlooking beautiful Lost Lake. Mrs. Kathleen Sometani, along with my husband and I, coordinated the camp program. We are so grateful to the thirteen adult staff members and two teenage assistants for all their fine help volunteered at the camp.
We received 55 children this year, ranging in age from 6 through 15. We feel that the internal unity of heart of the staff provided a clear spiritual foundation for the camp experience where all the three kingships could be represented-grandparents, parents and children. We were also pleased that two teenagers decided to attend as team assistants and that one guest could attend the program and hear the Principle for the first time.
Families traveled from seven states to attend-Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Ohio. We were so pleased to see more new parents come forward and offer their talents-teaching the Divine Principle and Korean language teaching, team leading, song leading and guitar playing, craft instruction, kitchen work, and water safety. Laura Lykes and Ilse Sutchar gave their hearts in food preparation; Greg Breland, Jack Kiburz, Berlin Oliver, Dieter Jesper, Rich Eide, and David Swenson led the boys' teams and Kathleen Sometani, Susan Starr, Mary Davenport, Renee Thompson and myself led the girls' teams. Harumi Kawamura and Jaime Figueroa, the teenage assistants, helped with the oldest teams.
All of the teachers did a great job, adapting their teaching styles to this large group of children of mixed ages by using objects from the creation, illustrations and stories from various books as well as drawings on the marker board. We taught lessons on the Principles of the Creation, the Fall, the Mission of Jesus, the Principles of Restoration, True Parents' Lives, and had two internal guidance sessions and morning services. Kathleen Sometani gave alot of life to prepare for the lesson times with her talents in singing and guitar playing. My mother, Dr. Phyllis Orland, enjoyed teaching the children a nature lesson on the native plants, and animals, including poison ivy and deer and wood ticks.
This year we involved the teams in the set-up and take-down of the meals and overall cleanup. This helped immensely as well as allowing our youngsters the opportunity to participate in taking responsibility. Other activities included swimming outings, nature hikes, T-shirt painting, various crafts with yarn and popsicle sticks, volleyball, berry picking and turns on the old-fashioned tire swing.
We had a great time-children getting to know one another, as well as the adults.
Shared experiences such as the dawn hayride and hike through miles of rolling hills, climbing the large, glacial red rock, and daily swims cooling off in Lost Lake allowed us to feel close together, like a family. One evening closed with a songfest around a roaring campfire.
Camp Harmony 1994 was organized through the combined foundations of Kathleen Sometani's Sunday School program and the Kiburz's Tribal Messiah work and offered to all church members and families of Region 5 and their guests, first, and then to families from other regions. In many ways, the summer camp was truly a Tribal Messiah event, with many Tribal Messiahs working together and with June's family (the Orlands) participating. The parents paid all the fees to cover the expenses of the camp.
Greg Breland, staff member from Kentucky, wrote a reflection after the camp: "Each of our three children had an excellent time and all of the effort the coordinators put into the project really showed. This is a memory our children will keep for a long time. In working with the older boys, one thing that struck me was the many different personalities present, all a reflection of God. And just like God in parenting each of us, we need to parent the children, respond to them and appreciate their strengths and weaknesses. They are not all the same and are not always interested in the same things. Some are aggressive, some are quiet, some are artistic, some are athletic, while others tend to be intellectual. All are precious. All have a deep need to be listened to by an adult. That makes them feel important and is one of the things I think we succeeded in doing at Camp Harmony.
"The relationships the children make at camp are so important, probably more than we realize. As one 10-year-old girl said to me: 'I just like being around blessed children better.' Even at this young age they can sense a difference. There is a camaraderie and a sense of purpose they do not find in other groups. Also, I feel the parents have done a good job in raising them to be thoughtful and sensitive to others, and kind and respectful to authority in comparison to the average child today. In teaching the Fall of Man and Woman, I felt the children understand the basic facts and that jealousy and selfishness caused the Fall. That True Father was the one who discovered this when no one else could was exciting to them. In addition, their determination to protect their love and center in on God is starting to form."
Last year we were delighted when a beautiful rainbow appeared at Camp Harmony on the second evening. This year God gave me another rainbow, this time a double rainbow the day before the camp began! My feeling is that the rainbow, God's gift, is a sign of hope and that God feels much hope in the children as they are growing up. The second arch of the rainbow represents the adults of the second generation taking creative responsibility as our heart and relationship with God guides us. I hope that we can continue to teach our children well by our examples so that they can inherit the embracing heart of true love and live full lives as God's sons and daughters, growing far beyond fear, guilt and prejudice.
Through this summer camp experience offered to the children, I could understand that now is a significant time for Tribal Messiahs to take creative initiative to support one another in relationship and accomplish many great things for heaven through the vision of our True Parents. Our heavenly desires, expressed with strong, clear intention will manifest as Heavenly Kingdom, the undenied world of pure love that enters through reciprocal relationship with God and with one another.
My husband made a two-hour videotape of Camp Harmony 1994. It is on sale for $12.00 which includes shipping and handling. The tape contains selected memorable scenes from the lessons, crafts and outings. If you would like a copy for your children or other camp materials to help prepare a camp in your local area, please let us know your requests. Please make checks out to Jack Kiburz, 1801 Buckingham Ave., Westchester, IL 60154.
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