July 30, 2010
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. – Youth and children are invited to become peacemakers at the 2010 Lake Junaluska Peace Celebration: Mosaic of Hope, September 18-19, 2010. This unique 2-day event features leadership from children’s activist Jeni Stepanek, in addition to leadership from youth and children themselves.
Jeni Stepanek, who provides main leadership for this event, is a noted advocate for children’s and families’ needs in health and education, and a well-respected motivational speaker. Jeni is the parent of four children who have died to a rare neuromuscular disease. Her youngest child, Mattie, was a well-known international peace activist and three-term National Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Among her many pursuits, Jeni volunteers as a mentor for teenagers around the world who participate in the annual “Three Dot Dash Just Peace Summit.”
“I’m excited about the idea of teaching children how to be peacemakers,” said the Rev. Carolyn Poling, Director of Ministries with Young People at Lake Junaluska. “Most of the workshops and art responses at the Peace Celebration will be taught by either college age students or middle to high school age youth. Youth and children who attend this event will learn from others their own age that have a passion for peace.”
Youth Celebration participants will engage in hands on learning experiences with various organizations, including Paper Clips: The Holocaust Project, Invisible Children, and Creative Expressions for Peace. Younger children will participate in artistic responses and learn techniques to verbalize their feelings instead of acting on them, especially in regards to coping with stress, anger, and bullying. All attendees will have opportunities to respond through art and action about what they’ve learned. For instance, all participants will create friendship bracelets, which they will exchange with other youth and children they meet at the Peace Celebration.
“The Peace Celebration will not only educate our youth and children about peace, but it will encourage them to become involved in peace efforts themselves,” said Jimmy L. Carr, Executive Director of Lake Junaluska. “Through this celebration, we hope they will embrace peace and want to become peacemakers for the future.”
On Sunday afternoon, all participants will join in the first annual Peace Walk around Lake Junaluska, which symbolizes our efforts as a community to work towards peace. The Peace Celebration for Youth and Children will conclude with a Festival of Peace led by participants from the weekend’s event. Adults, youth and children are encourage d to participate in the Peace Walk and Festival of Peace, which bridges the Peace Celebration with the annual Lake Junaluska Peace Conference that begins September 19-21.
For more information about the Peace Celebration, visit www.lakejunaluska.com/peace-celebration or call 828-454-6656. A full schedule of events is available online. Lodging and meals are also available for this event.