The cornerstone of Ultimate Peace is Spirit of the Game, an admittedly intangible concept that makes Ultimate both extremely unique in the sporting world and perfect for peace-making efforts. Though hard to define, UP has done the impossible and come up with core values that we believe define and enliven the concept of Spirit: mutual respect, fun, non-violence, integrity, and friendship.
First-year assistant coaches Luka Faradsch, Amy Broome, Steph Wong, Charlie Blair who hail from Trier, Germany, Vermont, Andover, and London, respectively, have already discovered first hand the power of the last value of Spirit of the Game, friendship, and the power it has here at Camp UP:
Camp began before we ever arrived in Israel. After receiving amazing news that we would be assistant coaching at Ultimate Peace, we’ve been attempting to absorb information, gather thoughts, and collect discs, jerseys, and other donations. Little did we know that this would be only the beginning of the “sprint marathon” (in the words of the great David Barkan) that we had embarked upon.
We were friends before we met. More than 50 coaches travelling from across the world came together already knowing each other through various connections and places. While the rest of the world may have six degrees of separation, for the UP world there are merely a maximum of two.
Our stories start in Boston, Massachusetts, and Trier, Germany. Luka (from Germany) and Steph (from outside Boston) planned travels when we learned we would be coaching together. Steph included Amy, also from the Boston area, and we coordinated a plan for arrival in Israel. Having never met, we established connections in advance of camp, and united in the Tel Aviv airport, not knowing what UP camp would bring. Amy and Luka learned that they share a common ultimate friend outside of camp, and there have been so many more cases that illustrate how tight the world’s “ultimate geography” can be.
In the brief two and a half days before campers arrive, we have established connections that none of us expected. We’ve made a fast friendship with Charlie, from London, and made connections with people from Canada, Australia, Brazil, Korea, Israel, and the US. And everyone has gathered here to take part in this amazing thing we call Camp UP.
Time has travelled slower and faster than we could’ve expected. We have received coaching tips from world class ultimate players and learned Arabic and Hebrew words and phrases from Middle Eastern coaches and CITs. We’ve even had a short stint with slack lining, and a few long stints with flutterguts!
We’ve embraced new opportunities on and off the field and each other by opening up and sharing individual stories. Our CITs have moved us with their own stories of life in different communities—both to tears and to laughter. UP staff orientation and training has opened our eyes already, and we are now anxiously gearing up for camper arrival—T minus 18 hours!!
Peace, Salaam, Shalom (and Frieden),
Amy, Charlie, Luka, and Steph