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High Mesa Healing Center

Dedicated to Personal and Planetary Wholeness

The annual Peace Village camp is held in late summer at High Mesa Healing Center in Alto, New Mexico. Peace Village is a multicultural day camp with the mission to provide a fun, educational environment in which children can learn the messages and practice of non-violence and peacemaking from various world traditions. All activities encourage respect for racial and cultural diversity. In 2006 two nonprofit corporations, Peace Village and Youth Enrichment Services, collaborated with Barbara Mader, owner of the healing center, to make the camp a success.

In 2008, Peace Village leadership restructured itself a bit. The existing director, Kaylah Glasgow, was joined by co-director, Susan Finch, who brings over forty years of experience in school administration as well as a love for kids. Together, these two have reorganized and tightened the organization. Dedicated adults and teens begin their planning early in February or March for the late summer event. They come from many fields: teachers, exercise experts, artists, musicians and health professionals. The enthusiasm of these people is contagious and inspiring. They work for the sake of the children and, through the children, for the future of the planet.

The children meet in an opening circle each morning to formally begin the day. They will hear inspiring short talks from local leaders about a topics related to Peace. It might be a discussion about the similarities and differences among different cultures or various methods of non-violent conflict resolution. Then the kids break up into groups by ages for many other classes.

In the afternoon organized musical games and rhythm band activities entertain the children while teaching the value and fun of team activities. Local coaches and high school sports stars introduce the kids to sports they may not have had the opportunity to experience, and stress sportsmanship and fair play. The young people also enjoy nature walks in the beautiful forest that surrounds the center, often to collect items they will use later in craft projects.

All classes and experiences are developmentally appropriate for each age group seven through thirteen. Every year high school students serve as group leaders, mentoring the children in their groups. The interactions between campers and teens, who serve as positive role models, are one of the most important aspects of the camp. On Friday, the last day of camp, parents are invited to a graduation ceremony where each child receives a certificate of participation and a T-shirt.

The core group of leaders/planners include Susan Finch, Kaylah Glasgow, with support from former campers, local volunteers and visiting teachers. The teachers may change each year, but often include Lou Ann Ellison, local music teacher, Andrea Reed, local dance teacher, Angie Fernandez, newspaper columnist for healthful diet, and Kathy Golightly, retired teacher and HMHC colleague.

Copyright High Mesa Healing Center 2012

Slideshow of the Peace Village at High Mesa Healing Center The Peace Village at High Mesa Healing Center