Have you wished lately that our national and local leaders had had a class in conflict resolution? How about impulse control? Perhaps some basic understanding regarding empathy or compassion?
Earlier this month a group of children from the area were involved in just such a process.
Each summer, the Institute For Peace Studies located on the Rocky Mountain College campus coordinates Peace Village, a weeklong day camp for kids, focusing on pretty serious issues. Cindy Kunz, director of the Institute, stresses that it's not a "play" camp. But we have a lot of fun. This is obvious by the number of campers who return year after year and may aspire, with additional training, to be accepted as junior counselors (ages 11 and up) and senior counselors (ages 12 and up).
Adults from the Institute Board, community and college faculty volunteer their expertise leading classes in nutrition, role modeling, meditation, exercise, music and behavioral skills.
I have been privileged to be part of that group for years, in the role of music leader, and am continually amazed by the growth and development of the participating campers.
And every year I wish more fervently that anyone in a leadership position could be exposed to this life-changing experience. It is a tremendous gift to the Billings community.
Alice E. Lyon