Brotherhood, USA (BUSA)

In 1961, I got involved with reediting of the National Conference of Christian and Jews (NCCJ) film, "Brotherhood, USA." The director came to the Cinema Department for help. I had no idea, when I took on that job, that I would get so involved in their yearly camp. As a matter of fact, each June, for seven years, I participated as a staff person at the youth workshop at Idyllwild.

Since they had no sound equipment of their own to use during camp, I'd check some out from the Cinema Department. I'd gather all kinds of stuff, hundreds of feet of cord, several microphones, a couple of loudspeakers and a tape recorder. I had quite a time loading all that stuff in my car. Usually, I was over-stocked. Our sound department had all kinds of equipment available so I took anything and everything I thought I might be able to use. I also had a Polaroid camera and a copier. The many pictures I took covered the large bulletin board throughout the week. For sure, each camper went home with a nice collection of camp pictures.


Glenn with his Pictures from "Brotherhood"
The purpose of the camp was to bring together youth of various races and religious faiths. The goal was to promote understanding of those who were different from you by learning about their cultures and religions. Protestant ministers, Catholic priests and Buddhist priests were invited to explain their beliefs and demonstrate some of their ceremonies. Also various workshops were designed to help the youth overcome their prejudices of other races.

The Brotherhood USA Camp was under the direction of a wonderful and vibrant woman, lovingly known as "Marg!" During the school year, BUSA staff would be busy interviewing and encouraging teenagers to attend the camp. By summertime, they would have enrolled two hundred or so youth to be bussed to Idyllwild for a week of "genuine brotherhood" experiences. It wasn't easy gathering such a diverse group of teenagers together of all races and religions. The staff, too, was just as diverse. We lived together, talked together, played together, ate together and sang together.


"Brotherhood" Staff
The song "Let There Be Peace on Earth" was introduced at one of the camps. Sy Miller and Jill Jackson, a husband and wife team who wrote that song, credit the BUSA camp for spreading their song to others. The reediting job I mentioned above involved adding kids at camp singing their song. Sy and Jill were a wonderful couple who dedicated their lives to bring peace and understanding among people. After Sy's death, Jill continued her efforts to promote their song. What happened to their "Peace Song" is now history. It has been song around the world, especially by children's choirs, and is now published in many song collections and even in hymnals. Jill became our personal friend and has visited in our home.

I had wonderful experiences at the brotherhood camps. I'm sure that by the end of each camp, those attending all had a better understanding of the meaning of that word "prejudice." I know I did. Those camps I attended from 1961 to 1967 changed my life forever!

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me;

let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father, brothers all are we.

Let me walk with my bother in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me; let this be the moment now.

With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow;

to take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

This song, both words and music were written Sy Miller and Jill Jackson

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