We are having a rich week of learning how to be effective change-makers. At YEA we say that camp does not end on Friday, but that we are building knowledge, skills, confidence and community for the rest of our lives.
There are intentions for each day that guide our work, creating a culmination of leadership traits and activism skills for campers and staff alike.
The caliber of wisdom, sincerity, and intelligence of this group is incredible. Connections and friendships were created immediately, and folks are generous in offering themselves and their experiences as resources for one another.
Campers created a mandala that illustrates their visions for the world.
We have had many workshops on a variety of topics, focusing on defining activism, interconnectedness of issues, power and distribution of resources, decision making processes, gender stereotypes, the “Story of Stuff,” and much more. Today we are focusing on building skills such as fundraising, using social media, and running school clubs.
One workshop focused on bullying, which is an issue of importance (IOI) for several campers. People anonymously shared experiences being bullied and their roles in perpetuating bullying, and some resources that assist in making our schools safer. Another wonderful workshop discussed arts activism, looking at the different ways and mediums (such as spoken word, street theatre/flash mobs, music, recycled art…) we can creatively make social change.
In addition to a plethora of great content, we have focused on the campers building meaningful connections with one another and with staff. A really fun activity we did on Sunday evening is “Show Off and Tell”. As activists we sometimes diminish our accomplishments by deflecting recognition. This was a chance for everyone to really be proud and ‘brag’ about things we have done to make the world a better place, or talk about issues of importance to us and the goals and aspirations we have to tackle them.
Yesterday was the halfway-mark for camp, and we took a reflective silent hike to a nearby waterfall, observing the beauty of nature and taking time to write in our hand-made journals about what we have taken from our experience so far.
Campers have chosen their mentors, a staff member who will serve as a resource over the course of their projects, and we worked excitedly together hammering out the nuts and bolts of action plans. The rest of the week will focus on solidifying action plans, and taking action while we are here, including making youtube videos and starting petitions on change.org.
Thank you for your support and for loaning us your most precious people.
For more photos and regular updates check out the YEA Camp Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/YEACamp