Welcome to our blog!

We hope you’ll join in on the discussions.

As we roll out our updated website and announce our new initiatives it seems fitting that this inaugural post should be a dedication…

I was on my way to visit my father when I called my dear friend, 92-year-old Elizabeth “Weebie” Mapes Clark.  I was eager to share with her my plans for The Growing Peace Project.  I had had many conversations with Weebie in recent years about my desire to serve, and in typical gracious Weebie fashion she encouraged and applauded my vision.  During the conversation we talked at length about our mutual dismay at the ills of the world – violence, hunger, injustice, hatred – and I could hear the sadness in her voice.  I was reminded once again why I respect this woman so much.  She embraces the whole world with her heart.  She is the kindest person I know.

I described to Weebie my vision of bringing together kids from different backgrounds to learn about each other’s cultures and to problem solve around social justice issues.  I also told her about my plans for a leadership retreat to be held on our land.  When I explained that I was working with a school in Harlem she eagerly revealed that her very first campers nearly 40 years ago were from there as well.  I felt that things were somehow coming full circle, and I took it as a sign that my vision would manifest.

You see, Weebie owned the VT property that Robert and I first rented in 1977.  Thirty-three years later we live there still, having bought the place from her a number of years ago.  At the time of our arrival she was still involved with the New Haven YWCA, where, in the footsteps of her mother before her, she volunteered and ran programs for over 50 years.  During that time she arranged for urban kids involved in the Y to come to her VT property for summer camp.  I remember clearly those early years listening to the excited squeals of city kids playing in the woods and ponds for the first time in their lives.  I think I took for granted that country life was the one I chose for my own family, but hearing those other kids play taught me the power of pure joy that romping over the land can hold.

For more than 30 years Weebie has been both inspiration and vital role model .  So it is to her that I dedicate The Growing Peace Project.  I hope to do justice to the profoundly important role she has played in my life.  I know I have very big shoes to fill.


6 Responses to “Welcome to our blog!”
  1. Noah P. says:

    What a beautiful dedication!

    Looking forward to the updates…

  2. Amanda says:

    I am so humbled and so grateful to be a part of something so much bigger than myself…I eagerly look forward to continuing to help make Growing Peace a reality for kids, and in doing so learn a thing or two from amazing women such as yourselves along the way. Thank you for sharing this beautiful history.

  3. Angelina says:

    You are doing good things in the world! It’s inspiring.

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