By Qiao Li, Yunasa Program Coordinator
IEA’s annual Yunasa camp concluded powerfully at Camp Copneconic in Fenton, Michigan! Throughout the week, we watched all 79 campers – including 23 leadership campers – get to know themselves and each other in gentle yet profound ways. As ever, our leadership campers demonstrated incredible talents to connect with younger campers, support one another and be positive role models to all. All campers were empathetic, compassionate, sensitive and full of personality. It was an honor for the entire staff to watch the growth that transpired in each child.
Yunasa’s theme this year is passion. In a Fellow’s Workshop named Found Poetry, campers created a poem using reading materials focused on passion. It was a collaborative effort that culminated in a beautiful and powerful passage:
“This close relationship, it felt very natural,
An absolute thunderbolt merged with part of your being
My life had changed
Practice; how to play anew
Grand devotion, imported in my life
Such a devastating event, a slow burn, a sensitivity that resonates
Obsessively thought about
Devoted to this love story.
Fire, that’s me!”
In addition to Fellows Workshops, campers also spent time each day practicing psychosynthesis – a guided imagery meditation followed by in-depth discussion. Psychosynthesis helps one to focus, concentrate, be in tune with their senses, and be more aware of the present moment.
Yunasa also integrates specialized learning with traditional camp activities, so campers get a full experience of a weeklong sleep-away camp. Throughout the week, campers balance their day by participating in waterfront activities such as kayaking, sailing, tubing, fishing and riding in pontoons. Some land-based activities are also hugely popular such as archery, horseback riding, zip-lining and other rope courses.
Yunasa was a fun-filled week packed with exploration, friendships, growth and passion. Thank you to all campers, counselors, Fellows and staff for making it yet another amazing and memorable week. Have a great year ahead! We look forward to more summer fun in 2020!