Our Idea

I believe that kids need someone in their lives besides their parents, someone who doesn’t have to care about them, but does anyway. Someone who can accept them as they are, and convince them that they are already worthy of respect, affection, and dignity. Someone who, while accepting their present, inspires their future.

I believe that the incandescent joy of a happy child transcends every ethnic and economic distinction humankind has invented to keep us apart.

I believe that every prejudice, every oppression, every resentment, and every misunderstanding can be cured more quickly by mixing everyone’s children together, making two teams, and letting them play than by any form of conflict resolution, court intercession, or legislation we’ve come up with so far.

That statement, excerpted from a submission to NPR's This I Believe series by a longtime camp staff member in 2006, gave birth to the idea of Peace Camp. Traditional American summer camps have, for more than 100 years, created great summers for kids from all over the country and all over the world. Summers that changed each child's life, but in most cases, probably did not change the world. We at The PeaceCamp Initiative take advantage of that long history of friend-making and trust-forging, and have started to offer it to future leaders from Israel and Palestine. Every summer, in conjunction with the organization Budo for Peace (BudoforPeace.org), we bring a few children of Israel and of Palestine to Camp Susquehannock. Athletic kids, regular kids, innocent kids.

All candidates for this program will be selected based both on their ability to get the most out of camp, their ability to teach, and learn from, the rest of the campers, and their ability to then do the most for their friends, their classmates, their parents, and their communities when they return.

We do not expect that many of these candidates will have the resources to afford airfare and camp fees, even when discounts are available.

Your generous support for the Peace Camp Initiative this summer will make something extraordinary happen in the war-torn lives of deserving young men and women from Israel and Palestine. They will experience a world without bullets and bombs, refugees and resentments. They will learn to trust and value each other as teammates, cabinmates, and friends. They will outgrow their inherited enmity.

These young men and women will also, in turn, become leaders amongst their peers, and start sowing seeds of peace and tolerance in a land where both are scarce.

Aiki Extensions and Budo for Peace hope to make next summer's life-changing Peace Camp spots available to Israeli and Palestinian kids regardless of their ability to pay. While Camp Susquehannock is, for its part, offering discounts across the board, there are still significant travel and tuition expenses the program needs to cover. The generous support of individuals, foundations, and faith communities will help the Peace Camp Initiative succeed. Please do your part today. you can download the Peace Camp flyer here.
Sponsor a Peace Camp Delegate
Full Scholarship for 3.5 weeks & Travel is $5000
Level
Tuition + Travel
Total
White Belt
175 + 75
250
Black Belt
500 + 250
750
Sensei
1750 + 750
2500
Shihan
3500 + 1500
5000
The PeaceCamp Initiative is a program of Aiki Extensions, a 501(c)3 registered non-profit. All donations are fully tax deductible. There are two ways to donate:
1] You can donate online via Network for Good. Please designate the "Peace Camp" program when submitting your donation.
paypal button

2] If you prefer to mail a check, it should be made out to "Aiki Extensions", with a note on the check saying "PeaceCamp". Please mail checks to Aiki Extensions Program Manager Greg Harkless at this address:

Aiki Extensions, Inc. / 6155 Hickory Ridge Road / Spotsylvania, VA 22551

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
(MLK Jr.)

The PeaceCamp Initiative allows you to help bring peace to the middle east - a few kids at a time.