Here's an update on the new initiative I'm leading at the Office of Religious Life at the University of Southern California: Campfires @ USC.
A campfire gives people a focus while they hang out together. There’s something elemental about it, no? – going back to human pre-history. A campfire encourages intimacy, but allows for quiet. The sight and sound of it are soothing, encouraging reflection – an ideal environment for making friends!
So light a virtual fire, and gather round! — in classes, Greek life, clubs, dorms, special events, or – just for the joy of it! Get a group together in a circle. Put your all your laptops and/or smart phones (with phones in airplane mode) in the center, all playing this campfire video (no need to synch – the sights and sounds blends together). Start asking questions!
You don’t need a special reason for a campfire – any excuse is good! The principle behind them all: creating a convivial environment in which acquaintances can move toward real friendship.
ASK QUESTIONS – MAKE FRIENDS – BUILD COMMUNITY
“Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.” – Cicero, Roman philosopher, 44 BCE
ARTS OF CAMPFIRE – Thursdays, 7 pm, URC 203 – – OPEN TO ALL STUDENTS — This weekly student-led “campfire” explores ways that clubs, residence halls, fraternities/sororities, and other groups – as well as individuals – can create the conditions for friendship and conviviality to thrive on campus. Student org leaders are especially encouraged to attend on a drop-in or regular basis. Among the topics: facilitating club/group-wide intimacy, mindfulness in group settings, hosting meaningful and cool parties, friendship in the great outdoors, etc. Contact student leader for details: Lisa De Rafols – [email protected]
SOUL CAMPFIRE — Tuesdays, 7:30 pm, URC 202 — asking the burning questions of spirituality – interfaith/interspiritual – for all students. Host: Dr. Wanjiru M. Gitau, [email protected], USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture.
CLICK! Making Meaningful Relationships – a free non-credit course for all students – 5 sessions – Oct 3-31, Wed’s, 12 – 1:30 pm, URC 201 – email orl.usc.edu to register – subject: “click class”. Grow in your ability to make and maintain friendships.
GET ON THE LIST! To hear about future CAMPFIRES – email orl.usc.edu – subject: “campfires” .