YEA Camp

New Youth Blog Team Showcases Teen Activism

Welcome to the New Year from the YEA Camp Blog Team!

We are very excited to introduce ourselves and the revamped 2016 YEA Camp Blog. Having gained many new campers who bring countless brilliant and unique ideas to the table, YEA Camp is overflowing with passionate voices from young activists.

YEA Camp is a summer camp for social change, and it attracts and trains some of the most inspiring young changemakers on the planet.

This blog is the perfect platform for the stories and accomplishments of these incredible youth to be heard and shared everywhere. We can’t wait for you to read about the amazing things our campers have been doing to change the world!

First, let us introduce ourselves. We three activists are YEA Camp alumni and current YEA Camp Youth Advisory Board Members who were selected by YEA Camp’s Director Nora Kramer to manage and oversee the blog because we love to write and edit. A quick snapshot of each of us:

Leah is 17 years old and lives in West Hartford, CT. She attended the YEA Camp MA 2014 and NY 2015 sessions. Her primary passion is animal rights with an emphasis on vegan lifestyle. She founded and is president of the animal rights club at her school, Coalition for Animal Respect and Equality (CARE). A dedicated vegan, Leah convinced her entire family to go vegan and is working to bring Meatless Mondays to her town. She is a proud PETA supporter and a member of the peta2 Youth Advisory Board. Some of her favorite things to do include writing, filmmaking, playing trumpet, making art and hanging out with her pets.

Danielle is 17 years old and lives outside of Asheville, North Carolina. She attended the YEA Camp California 2015 session. Her primary issues of importance are homelessness and the incorporation of both animal rights recognition and health in a vegan diet. She is an active member in her community, often working with the elderly and those experiencing homelessness. Danielle has helped to coach her friends in becoming more eco-friendly and incorporating plant-based rituals into their diets. In addition, Danielle is an honor-roll student who enjoys running, yoga, hiking, and writing.

Amanda is a senior in high school and lives in Canton, Ohio. She attended the New York session for animal advocates in 2015. She founded and is president of an environmental club at her school, called Saving Our World (SOW). She is passionate about all of the aspects of veganism, from animal rights to human rights and beyond. She is also chair of the tabling committee for the Cleveland Animal Rights Exchange, and a member of the peta2 Youth Advisory Board. Outside of activism and being a dedicated student, Amanda also enjoys playing flute and piccolo, reading, hiking, and yoga.

The three of us came to YEA Camp passionate about animal issues but also care about so many other important issues in our world. We will be working to elevate the voices and accomplishments of a diverse group of YEA Campers across the country who will be telling their inspiring stories about the difference they are making for so many causes that concern young people today.

Nowadays, adolescents tend to be painted in an increasingly negative light by the media. Well, it’s officially 2016 and our New Year’s resolution is to turn that stereotype around.

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Five YEA Campers (all too young to vote) passed out leaflets at this Bernie Sanders rally in Oregon.

The YEA Camp Blog is ready to paint many deserving youth with positive recognition. The stories you will read here recount the bold feats of a teen trying to end modern-day slavery, the determined voice of a girl working to erase the stigma of ideal body image in society, the exhilarating experience of a camper who recently attended the COP21 environmental conference in Paris, tips for youth getting involved in politics (who cares that we’re too young to vote?) and so much more. These are just a taste of what’s to come this year in the name of social justice activism – all of which have been accomplished by middle and high school-age YEA Campers – and we know you will be blown away.

Let’s forget everything we thought we knew about what teens do in their free time.

Let’s envision a world where fresh young voices are heard over the rest, rising above societal expectations, prejudice, hate and negativity. Of course, rising above the crowd requires many hands to hold them up; that’s where you all come in. By keeping up with or subscribing to this blog and supporting YEA Camp’s life-changing work, we can help carry these voices of the future up through the clouds and out beyond the stars. Let us take you on a journey you won’t forget.

Best wishes for 2016,

Leah, Amanda and Danielle

YEA Camp Blog Editors