By Eileen Weber
For ten days in July, a peace camp in Vermont will bring a dozen American, Israeli, and Palestinian teens together to laugh, play, and learn about each other. The 16-year-olds will be a mix of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. And all of the effort to get this project off the ground came from one man: The Reverend Nicholas T. Porter.
As a small child watching his family’s black and white TV, Porter watched the images of the Arab invasion on Israeli soil in October, 1973. It left a lasting impression that led to a lifetime dream that peace in the Middle East might one day become a reality.
As the rector of Southport’s Trinity Episcopal Church, Porter and his wife Dorothy had long discussed an opportunity to host a peace camp. Having spent time in Jerusalem during his career, they felt a strong desire to stop the violence and hatred that occurs between the two groups that actually have more in common than they wish to admit. One way to do that is to teach the young about tolerance so that they grow to spread peace.