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Sowing 'Seeds Of Peace'

In Day 3 of the weeklong series, The Early Show Goes To Camp, it's Harry Smith's turn to spend a day with some extraordinary campers. The following is his report.
I traveled to Maine where, for the past 13 summers, a camp called Seeds of Peace has been bringing together some unlikely bunkmates: Kids from regions of conflict around the world.

It pretty much looks like any other camp, with all the summer sports activities you can cram into a day, like tennis, baseball, and basketball.

But the kids at this camp are different. They come from parts of the world where conflict is part of the rhythm of everyday life.

Starting with Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian kids back in 1993, the Seeds of Peace camp was created with a bold notion that future generations might be friends, not enemies. Kids from ten regions of conflict attend this summer session.

"I'm from Pakistan," says Khadijia. "I'm 15, and I'm Muslim."

"I'm from India," says Ishani. "I'm 14 years old, and I'm a Hindu."

"I'm 16 years old," says Liron. "I'm Jewish, and I'm from Israel."

The campers are not all dreamy idealists. Many harbor deep distrust. Some family and friends wonder why they would want to get to know someone they should hate.

Rawan is Palestinian. She says her image of Israelis is one of guns and violence.

She says, "I always would say, 'Why did they do that? Why? How? Why?' I want to understand them. You know, if I can live with them for a couple weeks, I will understand them."

Tal is from Israel, and he says, "I'm telling you, I was afraid before I came here. Not afraid afraid but, you know, I had my thoughts. I had my, like, `pre-things' that I had about stereotypes about the Palestinians and other people."

Prejudices?

"Prejudices," he says. "That's a good word. It's changed. It has changed."

At a ropes course, Rawan and Tal are teammates. An Israeli boy and a Palestinian girl have to work together, trust one another to successfully complete their journey from one side to the other.

Rawan says she trusted Tal.