Local News

Umstead Park Camp About More than Fun

Posted August 1, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— While some kids are getting ready for school others are still squeezing the last bit of excitement out of summer vacation by enjoying summer camp. One camp at Umstead State Park is about more than just fun.

The participants come from different homes, different backgrounds, and different lives. But for one week, the teens are coming together to talk about how they can make a difference in their communities.

"It's a time when you can meet people who are different from yourself," said intern Jasmine Spring McGee. "At the same time, you come together because you're learning a lot of different kinds of things, like nature experience and how to get along with all kinds of people and how to handle conflicts."

How to resolve conflicts peacefully is one of the main lessons of the camp. The camp director says teens are capable of much more than many adults are willing to give them credit for.

"You just get a lot of bad images of youth these days," said Director Janet Hurley. "Our experience is that, when given the opportunity, young people have amazing vision and amazing talents."

For the campers, this will be a week of activities and workshops designed to teach problem-solving skills that the teens can take with them back to school.

"We do a lot about peace in the community and how we can bring that back," said intern Jamaal Clark Turpin. "Peace between different minority groups in the community."

The camp is sponsored by the Center for Peace Education in Chapel Hill. Twenty-two teenagers will be at the camp all week.