Unification News for September 2005

Camp Tongil 2005 - Our 2nd Generation in the Pacific Northwest

What a blast! It was better than we expected. The power of God's loving spirit poured out on all of us for six days giving renewal and joy to young and old alike.

There were 120 Blessed Children aged 8 to 13 enjoying lectures, games and crafts in a glorious environment. Their 14 teams were led by 20 2nd Gen teenagers, who poured out energy, enthusiasm and fun all week. There was vibrant musical accompaniment and theatrical performances of varying qualities.

The support staff included some 2nd Gen students and about 30 volunteer parents to oil the wheels, cook the food and keep us all on task. In addition to the staff, we had 15 young people in our Counselor-in-Training program, led by Mrs. Rose Ann Kennett with Ms. Vicky Martin. They did a great job of teaching leadership skills necessary for future counselors.

We shared prayer and testimonies, skits and hikes, canoeing and swimming, and a week that felt like God's kingdom touching down from heaven, embracing everyone. None of us will soon forget it.

Our camp was on beautiful Whidbey Island in Washington's Cornet Bay; wild herons, blue skies, great trees of the Pacific Northwest lined the hills and lakesides beside the vast Pacific Ocean.

Rev. Moon Shik Kim, Regional leader of Oregon, gave his blessings to the week at our opening meeting, together with Rev. Gerhard Wiesinger from Seattle. Each morning, eager campers who had volunteered the day before would act out the message of the Morning Service, which was then elaborated by Mr. Steve Sechrist's PowerPoint presentations.

The younger campers were entertained and educated by Pastor Mike Yakawich from Montana, who made the Divine Principle accessible to them through wonderful stories, a deep and prayerful heart and some astonishing props, activities and magic tricks.

The older children were taught by Dr. Thomas Selover from Saskatoon, Canada. His interreligious insights and his knowledge of Chinese characters enriched the presentations based on the 8 paragraphs of The Family Pledge. His lively and original perspective both underlined important concepts and opened our minds to think of them in new ways.

An additional session covered Church traditions including prayer, Holy Candles and Holy Salt. Some of the older campers participated in elementary abstinence education that promoted awareness of media bias against sexual purity and role-playing techniques to resist negative peer pressure.

All in all, it was a rich and rewarding week for everyone. On the final evening, Rev. Lee, the Regional Leader for Washington state joined us and shared a short video of his recent visit with True Parents in Alaska.

We want to thank all those who participated and helped to make the camp successful. Thank you to all the parents who sent their children to participate and to all those who worked hard to make the camp possible. Special thanks go to Mr. John King and Mrs. Jane Bowman, who invest so much time and effort to make Camp Tongil a reality.

And most of all, we wish to thank God and True Parents for their inspiration and vision of the Kingdom that we are privileged to share.

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