About Josh Seamon

Saying Goodnight

Last night, as I led my campers to their rooms for some much-needed rest, two of them took quite some time. Waiting on campers is no new experience – most of them like to take their time gathering their things, putting on sunscreen, walking from place to place, and talking (and talking and talking) no matter how fast we coaches like to move. It’s an adjustment, for sure, but we make it work every year. Most of the time, I have to remind my always-moving brain and body to relax; this is about fun, and even if I think things are taking longer than they should, what matters the most is the campers’ attitudes and experiences.

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UP Families

In 2014, five members of the Ultimate Peace Friendship Tour came to Chicago. I came home from school for the week to help with fundraisers, events, and to show them around. Two members of the group stayed at my house – then second year LITs. I won’t embarrass them too much, but I will say this: They were young, sweet, and a little (maybe more) nervous.

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Are We Ready?

We have talked about Ultimate Peace for a year. We have requested donations, reached out at tournaments, organized complex travel plans, and shared with many people the importance of this work. We flew long, unusual paths to get here and have spent many hours informing and preparing ourselves for some 165 Middle Eastern kids who arrive today.

Are we ready?

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At First and Second Glance

Whoa.

Shockingly, it was not as easy as I thought it would be – walking into a new group of young people in a country halfway across the world who chat away familiarly in what seem to me foreign languages. They hug, laugh, cheer, dance, and perform intimately created handshakes as I watch silently from afar, hoping that it’s the sun turning my face red rather than my apparent awkwardness. Occasionally, I exchange shallow conversation with those I met in years past on their Friendship Tour to America.

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Full Circle

We’ve made it back to camp and are welcoming in Camp UP 2017! Staff arrived yesterday morning and we’ve been at it ever since – meeting our coaching teams and planning for practices, preparing activities for campers, organizing mountains of gear, climbing trees to put up UP banners, and getting to know one another as members of a creative, collaborative peace-building team. This is camp #8 for me, and one of my favorite parts has always been getting to know the diverse and inspiring set of peacemakers. We all have so much to learn from one another, and it begins the moment we set foot on campus. We’re all putting our own skills to work and gaining new ones in the process.

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