Peace Institute teaches lessons of communication, teamwork and leadership

Published: Aug. 5, 2017 at 4:53 PM CDT
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Thirteen high schoolers in Dubuque are learning lessons of peace at the first annual Loras College Peace Institute.

Saturday they were at Four Mounds Ropes Course to bring their classroom lessons into the real-world.

Organizer and Director Lindsay James said, "what they're working on is skills of communication, teamwork, and leadership in the midst of those kinds of challenging circumstances, also the realities of not leaving someone behind."

They're using the ropes courses to work on the peace concepts they've learned in the classroom.

"They're learning things like nonviolent communication, restorative justice strategies, we're doing things like coming to Four Mounds and doing obstacle courses and trying to figure out what does it mean to have peace with others in the midst of a challenge," James said.

They hope the skills they learn doing these activities will have a ripple effect on the community.

"We really believe that this is the starting point for real difference," said James.

The students say they're learning how to work together even through tough situations.

"Kind of putting the other people in charge as well as yourself so you're working together as a team and getting the job finished, but without fighting or without conflict," student Ryan Burke said.

James says they hope to host another Peace Institute next summer, and that even more students will join.

The retreat cost $200 per student, but James said if a student couldn't afford to pay the whole fee, sponsors made up the difference.

For more information about the Peace Institute,