Does YEA Camp offer financial aid/scholarships?

YEA Camp is committed to social justice and diversity, and we have never turned an eager camper away due to lack of funds. YEA offers camperships (camp+scholarship) to qualified campers. At the same time, we are a nonprofit organization, so we rely on families’ honesty in applying for financial aid. Campers and families who are committed to attending YEA Camp should fill out the registration form. You will then be given a link to the Campership application. We encourage potential campers applying for financial aid to fundraise toward their tuition, and we provide help for them to achieve their fundraising goal. We will contact you within two weeks regarding a scholarship award. Returning campers are not eligible for camperships.

How do I know if there are still spots or camperships left for a particular session?

Unless we have indicated that a session is full on our Dates and Tuition page, the session is open and we are still registering and accepting  campership applications for that session.

Where does YEA hold camp sessions?

YEA Camp currently has locations in Oregon, California and Massachusetts, but we have campers attend from all over the country (and sometimes from other countries, too!). See our locations and session dates here.

What type of activism do you promote or teach? Do you endorse violence?

Unfortunately, the mainstream media typically only shows activists who have done something resulting in arrest (which they probably did because they knew that was the only way the media would cover the issue), which has colored many people’s views of activism. YEA Camp defines activism inclusively as “taking intentional action to bring about a result that helps others besides oneself.” By this definition, we say you qualify as an activist if you have recycled a can, rescued a stray dog, signed an online petition, donated to a charity, spoken up against a bully, or countless other things to make life better for others.

YEA Camp’s curriculum follows a “popular education” style, meaning that rather than try to formally impart our views or knowledge on those less informed (the way school is typically set up), we have dialogue, ask questions, and encourage people to think critically and share their views. YEA Camp does not promote specific causes and instead gives campers opportunities to “share about what they care about” so that everyone can learn from one another. Everyone doesn’t always agree with one another on every issue, and that’s ok. We teach nonviolent communication and have an Honor Code our campers and staff hold the group to so that everyone is treated with respect, even if people disagree.

Having said this, our camp would be considered “progressive” in valuing human rights, environmental sustainability, and animal protection. Of course this looks different to different people, but we are not trying to force views onto anyone.

YEA Camp absolutely does not advocate anything that could result in harm or arrest. There are countless amazing things we can all do everyday to make our world a better place without hurting anyone or risking our freedom to do more amazing things in the future. If someone cares about the environment, yes, they could choose to break into a power plant or chain themselves to a building, but we think they’d be more effective by starting a recycling club at their school, eating vegetarian meals, passing out flyers, writing for their school newspaper, greening their school with solar panels or a composting program, and countless other things that not only don’t risk arrest but also look great on a college application. We do not know of a single YEA Camper who has gone on to do something they got arrested for, and if someone does in the future, it will not be because of anything we encourage them to do.

I want to come to camp to make a difference, but is YEA Camp fun? This is summer!

OMG, YES!!! We promise you will have so much fun at YEA Camp! We do so much silly stuff — we make music and art, play goofy games, have about 2 hours a day of free time to spend as you’d like, and Camper Choice Night is usually the most fun night of people’s year. And campers make amazing friends here. Typically within the first 2 days of camp, campers start saying that they feel closer to the people at camp than they do to their friends at home. We promise you will have fun!

And, yet, having fun is not the point of YEA Camp. You can have fun at home watching Netflix, messing around on Instagram, or doing whatever it is that’s fun for you. While we’ll definitely have so much fun at YEA Camp, our time together is about training and supporting our campers to train the world. Which can be really fun too!

My child is 11 and really wants to go to YEA Camp this summer, do you make exceptions to the 12-17 age range?

We allow 11-year old campers on a case-by-case basis. If your 11 year old  would like to come to YEA Camp and you feel like it would be a great fit, register here. We will make a decision based on their application, perhaps also having a phone call to be sure, and get back to you within two weeks.

I’m 18 or 19 and I really want to come to YEA Camp! Can I come?

We have a Counselor-In-Training program for 18-20 year olds. See this page for more information about our CIT program and how to apply.

How do you handle the developmental differences of 12-17 year-olds in such a diverse age group?

Our campers come to YEA Camp with a shared purpose to do good in the world, and that unites them as a community. Our curriculum is “differentiated,” meaning campers with varying levels of knowledge and experience can take it as far as they want. Think of it as a yoga class–we’ll be teaching the basic moves, but some of them can take that and put their leg behind their head and do a more advanced move! Our goal is to meet the campers where they are and move them forward.

Often the older campers work with and mentor the younger ones, though sometimes 12-year-olds have more activist experience than 17 year-olds, and the roles are reversed! We always have a range of campers within each age group, so there are always people there within each age and for each camper to connect with, if that is a concern. We are very mindful of how we place campers in cabins and keep their age in mind.

Why does the camp serve vegan food? And does it taste good?

Our food is amazing and gets rave reviews from our campers (meat-eating and vegan alike)!
YEA Camp is a camp for teens who care about social justice and want to bring about a more peaceful and sustainable world. The more we have learned about modern animal agriculture, the more we see these values compromised. (Visit ChooseVeg.com for more info on this.) While we are not seeking to “convert” anyone to a particular way of eating, we feel it would be hypocritical to serve standard camp food at a camp with such a big mission to move our world in a more peaceful and sustainable direction.
Meanwhile, while our food is far healthier than the average camp or school’s food, our menu items are really pretty similar to what most kids eat at home or school — things like pancakes and French toast for breakfasts, burritos and veggie burgers for lunch, pasta and stir-fries for dinner, chocolate chip cookies or brownies for dessert. Yum, we’re making ourselves hungry!

I don’t see my question here.

We’re happy to answer any questions you have! Please contact us through our web form or at info @ yeacamp.org.