USA: Back to Basics at Camp True North

by Alina Button, FFWPU USA

From December 27 to 31, 2017, nearly 50 teenagers and staff from across the Northwest United States gathered at Fort Flagler State Park in Washington state to explore the beauty, complexity, and value of the parent-child relationship in their personal lives.

With the theme “Back to Basics,” the workshop focused on how ultimately, we all desire a fulfilling parent-child connection—whether with our own parents, our True Parents, or our Heavenly Parent.

How can we connect to those who are so close to us, yet may seem distant? “Sometimes all that it takes to develop the communication is to reach out,” said Alina Button, a young Unificationist who participated in the workshop. “At other times various tensions stand in the way; these can include lack of trust, misconceptions, and language/cultural barriers.”

Local lecturers Sandra Lowen, David and Mitsue Wolfenberger, Teddy Sylte, Inchan Park, Sunny Pisano, Irvin Granstrom, and Youngsoo Devine further encouraged Unificationist youth to deeply reflect on their own relationships at home and how they would like to improve them.

In addition to the talks, discussions, and group activities, many participants and staff gave heartfelt testimonies during team discussions or before the entire group.

Although the talks on the parent-child relationship focused on the child’s point of view, on the last day each participant was given a letter that had been written by their parent(s). Many participants were surprised at what they read in the letters. Some letters contained things that they had never heard their parents express before—feelings of pride, hope, and complete love for their children. Through these letters the young people could understand how much their parents also valued their relationship.

Through the workshop the participants learned how important it is to open lines of communications with their parents. In the end, the campers left with more confidence, more awareness, and greater understanding of the parental relationship for the coming new year.

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