Palestinian and Israeli Kids Gear up for an “Egg-Citing” Year!

“We are . . . PEACEPLAYERS!”  The group after finishing their scavenger hunt challenges at National Park.

Recently participants of the PeacePlayers International – Middle East program attended a retreat in Kfar Maccabiah, PeacePlayers International has developed youth basketball programs in regions affected by conflict and uses sport to breakdown old-standing divides.  Activities on and off the court strengthen relationships between our young participants and their communities.  This retreat was a great way to excite everyone on a new year!

The retreat focused on teamwork, communication, responsibility, and problem solving, all important skills in PeacePlayers, basketball, and youth development.  Responsibility and communication were the main focus of day one.  In five small groups the participants worked together to decorate an egg and use materials such as yarn, tape, and cardboard to create a safe place for their egg.  Each team was responsible for taking their egg with them wherever they went during the retreat.  The activity went so well that some of the participants even slept with their beloved egg!

KidsOn the second day the main activity was a scavenger hunt at the nearby National Park.  The participants worked together on the same small teams and had to complete trivia (regarding health, geography, exercise, sports, and teamwork) and missions.  The missions included getting through ropes without touching them, posing like a statue, and getting from one place to another using “lily pad” plates.  One popular task was collecting trash in the park.  Others passing by commended the group on a job well done!

In addition to teamwork, it took serious focus and concentration to make it through the ropes course!

In addition to teamwork, it took serious focus and concentration to make it through the ropes course!

The last part of the scavenger hunt was testing if the “safe” egg would survive a hard toss from the top of a jungle gym.  Most of the eggs survived but there were a few casualties.  The group took some time to reflect and discuss the retreat and the lessons learned.  Overall it was an EGG-cellent way to spend the weekend!

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