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Peace Camp 2015: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

July 6-11, 2015; Eastern Mennonite University; Harrisonburg, VA


June 24, 2015

Peace Camp 2015: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

We will be gathering at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA in just a few days for the 30th BPFNA Peace Camp. Here are things to know before you go!

Still need to register? Click here to do so now!


If you are an ABC pastor and want CEUs (ABC Continuing Education Units), contact Evelyn at [email protected] immediately so we can have a certificate printed out and ready for you.

If you are willing to assist with childcare for toddlers during one morning and/or evening session, or lead an evening session for the older children (activities will be suggested), please let Evelyn know ([email protected]). With several people taking a turn, no one has to miss much of the program.

Fill out a Summer Conference evaluation! Please help us make conference even better by completing an evaluation. You can fill one out online or download a printable copy at Your input will assist us in planning future conferences. We will also have a few paper copies printed in the BPFNA conference office.

The Climbing Wall in University Commons will be available for our use on Thursday from 3-5pm. Children under 18 will need to have a waiver signed by a parent. If you are bringing children/youth other than your own, please make certain this waiver is signed by the parent before leaving home. Contact Scott at the BPFNA office ([email protected] – 704-521-6051) to get a copy of the waiver.

There will be a number of off-campus afternoon activities. If you have a car available, please consider driving so others can attend.

The Prom For All will be held Thursday evening. You are invited to dress for the occasion – in any way that works for you! Come prepared or visit the nearby Gift & Thrift shop to purchase your outfit and support the work of the Mennonite Central Committee.

You can do your Christmas shopping at Artisan’s Hope, which features fairly traded jewelry, scarves, and unique gifts from around the world. You will receive a 20% discount on any non-food purchases when you say you are with the BPFNA!  

Help purchase a truck! The Seminario Intercultural Mayense (Mayan Intercultural Seminary – SIM) in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico is a long-term BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz partner in peacemaking. Several years ago we raised enough money at Peace Camp to support their project to document human rights abuses in their area. Now they need a truck to replace the one that is beyond repair.

Mayans struggle to survive on the margins of the modern world. The ministries of SIM (education, women’s empowerment, water purification projects, environmentally sustainable agriculture, as well as a significant peace and human rights program) impact the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of people, who often live segregated from the mainstream world, with their lands exploited for natural resources by the Mexican government and multinational corporations.

SIM has never had a brand-new truck, relying on used vehicles, often with high mileage and wear that require constant maintenance. It’s likely this replacement will be the same, depending on what monies can be raised. It does need to be a pickup truck with four-wheel drive, since the condition of the roads they travel are often poor (washed-out dirt, rocky terrain, etc.) and the weekly trips to villages like Puebla Nueva and Maravillas are 4-5 hours each way from San Cristóbal.

Please consider coming prepared to make a generous donation towards the purchase of the truck as a special offering.

What Can We Do? There is a plenary session Friday afternoon to plan actions for the coming year. Our goal has always been to turn peacemaking dreams into concrete deeds. On Friday afternoon, we'll gather to make plans for how BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz members and Partner churches can take action in the coming year to "cross borders for peacemaking.” We'll bring some specific ideas and resources AND we would be grateful if YOU would also come with ideas, suggestions, plans and resources to share with the group. Contact LeDayne at [email protected] if you have questions.


The EMU campus is easily accessible from Interstate 81.

If you prefer to fly, you will want to use either the airport in Charlottesville, VA (CHO - about one hour away) or the Dulles airport in Washington, DC (IAD - about two hours away). (While Charlottesville is closer, Dulles is generally cheaper and offers more travel options.) Amtrak also serves Charlottesville and DC.

If you fly or take the train into Charlottesville, you can arrange and pay for a private shuttle service to the EMU campus – 540/718-2954 or

If you fly into Dulles airport, you can arrange and pay for Green Shuttle service to the EMU campus – 540/718-2954. BPFNA has arranged for special group rate shuttles on Monday, July 6, at 12 noon and 2 p.m. and on Saturday, July 11, at 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. YOU MUST CALL THE SHUTTLE COMPANY DIRECTLY TO GET A RESERVATION on those special shuttles. The cost will be $48 per person each way. Mention “EMU” when asking for these special group shuttles. Make certain that your arrival flight times allow for getting off the plane and to the shuttle pickup location in the baggage claim area. If those times do not work for you, you can make arrangements for other times but note that the trip will be more expensive.


Check in: We begin with check-in at 12 noon on Monday, July 6th in the University Commons, 2nd floor. Late check-in will be in the Conference bookstore in the South Dining Room in Northlawn at 8:30pm after evening worship. If you arrive after 9:30pm contact an EMU security officer (540/478-3456) to be let into your room where your keycard will be waiting for you.

Lunch on Monday is not included in the meal package. The campus dining hall will be open until 1pm. There are a variety of restaurants in Harrisonburg, some within walking distance of campus.

Check out: Our time together will come to a close on Saturday, July 11 with a worship service ending at 10:30am There will be boxes in the residence halls to leave your key when checking out.

The University can accommodate early arrivals of one day but NOT late stays. On Sunday, rooms will not be available until late afternoon. If you did not indicate on your registration that you will be arriving on Sunday, contact us so we can make those arrangements. The single day room charge will apply.


Hangers are not provided so you may want to bring your own. Pillow, blanket and a linen packet are provided. Guests make their own beds. One towel and washcloth are also provided per bed. There is no towel exchange available throughout the week, however laundry facilities in each building are free to use if you provide your own detergent.  

If you are saving money by sleeping on the floor of a dorm room or suite, you’ll need to bring your own sheets/sleeping bag, towels and a pillow. You may also want an air mattress.

The dorm has a few shared refrigerators. Please note that cooking is NOT allowed in dorms.

Animals (other than service animals) are not allowed on campus. Smoking is not permitted in or within 25 feet of campus buildings. Candles and cooking are not allowed in any room. Alcohol is not allowed on campus.

You will receive a room key and a swipe card that gives you access to your dorm and serves as your meal ticket. There will be a charge of $25.00 for all lost residence hall room keys and $10.00 for all lost dorm access swipe cards payable at check out. Refunds will be given for keys turned in to the University within 72 hours after check out. We will bill you for lost keys that are not returned within that 72-hour period.


The dining hall is able to make accommodations for special diets on request. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available at every meal. If you have other allergies you can check with the kitchen staff about ingredients as necessary.

Those paying for the full meal plan will use their swipe card when entering the dining hall. Meal plans run from Monday dinner through Saturday breakfast.

Those attendees who do not choose to pay for the meal plan may pay cash or use a credit card at the door of the dining hall. Cash prices are the following- breakfast - $6.00 lunch - $7.00 and dinner - $8.00.

Please note that cooking is NOT allowed in the dorms.


There will be a golf cart available for those who need assistance in getting around campus.


Peace Camp is a laid-back place with a casual dress code. Jeans and t-shirts (or items similar) are absolutely fine! However, if you would like to wear something fancier to the Prom for ALL, please remember to bring that OR you can purchase something once you get to Harrisonburg from the local thrift shop.


Leslie Lee and Steve Gretz are our Conference musicians. They have several opportunities available for folks wanting to get involved:
1) There will be a camp choir that will meet in the afternoons and sing in evening worship services.
2) They welcome any instrumentalists that want to play along with songs/hymns in worship.
3) They would welcome a pianist willing to accompany choir anthems.


If you are able, we would be very grateful if you would consider making a special monetary gift separate from your own conference fees to help someone with financial limitations to attend. Gifts in any amount will enable us to fulfill more of the many financial assistance requests we have received. Go to to give to the scholarship fund.


You will be given a card at check-in with the information on how to access the internet on campus.


There are a variety of recreation activities in the area. Information will be available at check-in.


We will be making peace cranes for Pace e Bene’s commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago that killed over 150,000 people, so bring your origami paper and folding talents – or your willingness to learn. We will have paper and directions available in the lobby outside the dining hall.

Pace e Bene’s Campaign Nonviolence and the Upaya Zen Center are calling on people everywhere to fold 70,000 paper cranes for peace to be brought to "the cradle of the bomb", Los Alamos National Laboratory, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days. On Aug 6-9th, hundreds will be gathering in New Mexico to participate in a National Conference on Nonviolence. They will travel to the heart of nuclear weapons research, Los Alamos National Laboratory, to hold a vigil, a peace march, and deliver 70,000 paper cranes that have been folded by people like us.

The symbolism of the paper crane began with Sadako Sasaki, who was two years old when the blast from the Hiroshima bomb threw her out a window. She was ten when purple spots formed on her arms and legs. Hospitalized for leukemia in Feb 1955, the popular girl died in October 1955. In her last year of life, she folded 1300 paper cranes as a prayer for healing. The paper crane is now an international symbol of peace, and a poignant reminder of the human costs of nuclear bombs.


We will have a ride board at conference to allow you to make connections to give/get a ride during the week, back to the airport, or back home.


Please consider a donation of $3 per person to offset your carbon footprint for the conference. Contributions will be sent to the Climate Justice program of Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika. Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika is a women led community organization in Kenya that is working to build the capacity of women who have been adversely affected by droughts and conflicts induced by climate change, in the semi-arid north western region of Kenya. Click here to see their April 2015 Newsletter filled with information about the good work they are doing! 

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