These four days can be set aside as a special time. Many camps have “Color War” or "Capture the Flag" events, during which campers are divided in two teams, splitting up cabin mates, in an intense period of zero sum, win-loose, us-them competition. In the field of education and camping, there is some concern about the psychological effects of competition, its relationship to violence, and a growing interest in cooperative, win-win, non zero sum activities. This time could be considered as “The Opposite of Color War”, bringing out the best in campers by appealing to their higher natures.

For example, instead of splitting cabins, it is possible to have two cabins collaborating on activities in a creative way. For some activities cabins could be paired so children in older groups could mentor younger ones. Two neighboring camps of differing orientations can get together for a day, perhaps August 9, as a culmination on the fourth day, with games, interfaith dialogue and prayer, diversity training, remembrance, and a peace concert.

Daily Themes*
Themes can be chosen for each day, with a progression for progression from mourning and reflection to hope and action. For example, August 6th can be a morning of mourning, followed by an afternoon of awareness and reflection, prayer and meditation, perhaps using some of the Insight Exercises and meditations on this site. August 7 could be a day of understanding focused on multicultural and diversity training, and perhaps Intercamp activities and dialogue.

August 8 could be a day of new ways of thinking, focusing on creative alternatives to violence, and August 9 could be a day of Hope and Commitment to a violent-free future

* Color of Dress - On e the first day, Hiroshima Day, people could dress in black, (like Women in Black), for a day. One day they could dress in rainbow colors, purple for healing, and could dress in white on Nagasaki day, for spirituality Colors can be used effectively in any way the camp chooses.

Camping Activities
  • sunrise awakening (the time of the bombing), with readings, prayer and meditation
  • a large bonfire, one on August 6th for Hiroshima and one on August 9th for Nagasaki
  • placing candle lanterns on the lake at night as they do in Japan, to symbolize the people
  • who jumped into the river to soothe their burns after the bombing

Arts and Crafts

  • making paper cranes, in memory of Sadako
  • making candle lanterns
  • art exhibit of campers’ relevant work

Creative Arts

  • poetry reading
  • dramatic performances of skits or plats (texts would be on website) 15 Minutes to Midnight
  • Peace concert and/or thematic talent show (suggested songs could be on website, others could be selected from Rise Up Singing Book of songs
  • Perform the play, “Peace Child”

Experiential Group Activities

  • The Opposite of Color War - a creative four day experience of cooperative games
  • a group dialogue about living with nuclear weapons
  • focus groups - campers in each cabin could explore an issue in depth and come up with a proposal
  • activities about peace, conflict resolution and violence prevention
  • The World Game
  • Prisoners’ Dilemma Game - Win as Much as You can
  • Role plays in which campers could take a perspective of other countries and how they see the United States
  • Model UN
  • exercises around envisioning a positive future, possibilities for humanity for a future beyond war, and how each person would contribute
  • Community service projects
  • Thought Provoking Readings


  • showing of films such as Fail-safe, Dr. Strangelove, Wargames, etc
  • Perhaps a satellite hookup to the ceremony in Hiroshima, or a videotape of it, if the camp has facilities
  • "A Force More Powerful", 4 part PBS show on effective nonviolent movements


  • a Japanese dinner (can include meal plans and recipes on website) to competition
  • speakers

(can be done individually, in pairs, or in cabins - followed by larger discussion)

  • Exercise on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Insight Exercises on the Enemy, the Art of Negotiations, and Apology (© Diane Perlman)

campers could write letters to politicians, expressing whatever they choose, possibly a request for a livable planet, a future without weapons in space and radioactive and other toxic waste in the Earth, and an improved

*Campers could work in groups to write up their own petitions. For example they could ask to replace war with successful nonviolent uses of force and conflict transformation. If the camp has any religious orientation, the use of nuclear weapons, and even the mining of uranium, violates all religious and civil laws of war, including harming innocent populations, going beyond the boundaries of countries, destroying nature, also going beyond boundaries of time by destroying the environment in the future and creating radioactive waste that is toxic for many thousands of years, etc. It is also illegal according to an advisory opinion by the World Court, which is informed by religious laws.

Sample 4 Day Program Design

August 6

  • 8:15 AM, the time of the dropping of the bomb in Hiroshima, make a bonfire, by the lake, silent meditation and readings.
  • Cooperative games (alternative to color war) for 4 days, and exploration of the alternatives to competition and their effects and meaning.
  • Tell story of Sadako, and make 1000 paper cranes, string up in dining hall
  • Japanese dinner
  • Film and discussion
  • Place candle lanterns on lake (as done in Japan) readings of peace and healing
  • Bedtime readings in cabin

August 7

  • Community Service Projects
  • Artistic expression - to be exhibited
  • Bedtime discussion and processing feelings in cabins

August 8

  • Cooperative games
  • Speaker and group dialogue about a chosen topic violence prevention and alternative ways to deal with conflicts the future of the planet.
  • Dramatic Performance
  • 15 Minutes to Midnight
  • Bedtime discussion

August 9

  • Gathering with another camp
  • Cooperative games
  • Interfaith - intercamp dialogue
  • Bonfire in memory of Nagasaki
  • Peace Concert

August 10

  • Letter writing to politicians and parents. Campers could write their own petitions, asking politicians to address their concerns about the future. They could ask them to follow the consequences of their actions for seven generations, like the Iroquois (though two would be sufficient)

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