Ellen Fowler

Children's International Summer Village camp planner

Who's coming to this camp?

This is a three-week summer camp for 15-year-olds, and we'll have nine different countries represented. Each will have one leader along with four kids, two girls and two boys. We really can't give out the names of the countries until they leave, for security reasons, but they're coming from South America, Europe, Asia—pretty much all over.

What's the goal?

The main purpose is to promote international peace, just through getting to know each other. They'll do team-building activities, and there's a theme for this camp, called "We Dream in Green." It's all about conserving our world for future generations.

What was involved in the planning?

We started 18 months ago to get everything ready and plan excursions. They'll be going to Tremont, Splash Country, and going shopping at the mall and uptown to see the Sunsphere.

How did you get roped into this?

James, my son, has done CISV programs, like an interchange with another teen in Austria for alternating summers, and my daughter went to Austria as an 11-year-old for a four-week village. I just volunteered to give back to the organization.

Have you been criticized for letting such young kids travel?

Yes. My response is, if your child really wants to do it, how can you tell them no? My daughter came back having friends from Japan, England, Holland—now those aren't just places on the map to her.

What's your favorite thing they'll do at this camp?

At the end of every meal, they do a song called "Kittos" in all these different languages and they just kind of chant it, to thank the cook for the food. They jump up and down while they're singing it and it's always a lot of fun.

For more information about the Open Day for visitors, July 27 from 3-5, gefowler@bellsouth.net