We began our morning again at 8 a.m. to the sound of bagpipes and knocks on our doors for calisthenics that included yesterday’s “bear fights,” and a round of the “Hokey Pokey,” which was introduced by the American students.
Today’s theme was “Our Values: Personal, Social, Global.” In our morning session we watched the “Science of Character” and learned how our character is shaped by our families, friends, and community, and in turn, our values affect our families, communities, and even our world. In groups, we reflected on our own core values and which of those we feel are most important to the group as a whole.
Following that, we moved outside to the glorious sunshine and acted out scenarios that helped us discover our “tolerance limits.” These included a landlord deciding whether or not to rent a flat to a Muslim refugee/immigrant, or even an elderly person with a hearing disability. We found that some of our own biases affected our decision-making, and we spent time exploring the reasons behind those biases.
After a morning of heavy topics, the lake beckoned us to come swim. We donned our swim trunks and bathing suits and raced to the dock, where the brave jumped right in, and the smart ones waited to test the temperature of the water or stayed ashore.
After lunch we had the pleasure of listening to PhD candidate and former Fulbright scholar, Auste Valinčiūtė, from Vilnius University who discussed science and communication. We were “treated” to pictures and vivid descriptions of smallpox infections, and learned about the eventual discovery of a smallpox vaccine. This led to a discussion about why science is so important, and how it paved the way for the development of other vaccines that have ultimately saved millions of lives.
Following the speaker, we wrapped up yesterday’s task of creating a camp symbol, and selecting the finalist through a democratic vote.
And the winner is
During free time, we played beach volleyball, swam, had a pillow fight, and kicked around the football before engaging in activities about careers and participating in a raucous but thought-provoking Forum Theater.
At the fireside, we brewed strawberry tea, learned a hand-pushing game, and played Ninja. All in all, today was another great day at Democracy Camp!