Who goes to YEA Camp and what difference does it make for them?
Glad you asked!
Since 2009, more than 500 campers from more than half the states in the US and 8(!) other countries have attended YEA Camp. Our campers come from diverse backgrounds, have a variety of passions, and have different levels of experience, but one thing everyone at YEA Camp has in common is the desire to make our world a better place.
We feel pretty confident in saying that the people who attend YEA Camp are some of the most inspiring, kind, and positive people you are likely to meet.
Thankfully they like us too. 🙂
YEA Camp is all about what you do when camp ends.
Think of it like this: If you went to a basketball camp, you probably wouldn't be going just because you love to play basketball. No matter how good you already were at dribbling, defense, or foul shooting, you'd be going to get better at basketball. Maybe you want to make the team, to play more minutes, to get a scholarship, or just to get better because you love the game.
YEA Camp is the same way -- except for instead of getting better at basketball, campers get better at changing the world.
Our campers go on to do amazing things.
Megan, 12, started a school club called Helping Hands for the Homeless that has raised thousands of dollars to help homeless people in Boston.
Gaby, 13, heard about a protest against police brutality in New York City after the death of Eric Garner. She wasn't able to attend herself, so she did the next best thing: she educated as many people as possible about it at her school, and thanks to her a group of students and teachers attended.
Bernie, 15, worked as a leader in his school's Green Team to get a composting program implemented at his school.
Josh, 13, gave a presentation about fundraising to the Board of Directors of the animal sanctuary he volunteers at. We asked him if he had had any fundraising experience before our fundraising workshop at camp, and he said, "No, actually, it was just the workshop was incredibly helpful. Really the whole camp in general was."
Leah, 17, from Connecticut, took the lead and worked tirelessly to successfully get Meatless Mondays implemented in her entire school district.
Orianna, 14, asked a teacher at her middle school if she could teach a weekly class about social issues, and he said yes! So far she has taught about issues related to gender, racism, and consumerism.
Joyce, 14, has given talks at her school about the issue of bullying, organized schoolwide clothing drives, and attended her first ever rally, which she wrote about for our blog and brought her mom too.
Natalie, 14, is a huge advocate for animals. She has gathered signatures for a statewide ballot initiative in Massachusetts sponsored by the Humane Society of the US, she has passed out leaflets, protested the circus, volunteered at an animal sanctuary, and more.
Jake, 16, got involved in politics for the first time after YEA Camp, interning with a local candidate for Congress, and as he became more politically engaged became passionate about the human rights and environmental crisis happening at Standing Rock. He eventually took time off from school and went all the way from his home in Missouri to support the Sioux protesting in North Dakota.
Erin, 14, has raised thousands of dollars to help victims of the terrible earthquake in Haiti, and is working to install a solar charging station at a school there to help people get access to technology. She recently won a grant from The Pollination Project to further her efforts.
This is just a drop in the bucket.
Follow us on our blog and social media, and check back here, for updates highlighting our campers' inspiring accomplishments!
Many campers collaborate with their new camp friends to make a difference!
From having a buddy to meet up with to hand out leaflets or to attend an event, to organizing something big together, many YEA Campers stay in touch and work together after camp ends.
For example, many of our campers are passionate supporters of Farm Sanctuary, which rescues farm animals in need. In 2016, YEA Campers from all over the country participated in the sanctuary's annual Walk For Farm Animals fundraiser, including 10 who met up and walked and fundraised together in the New York walk and 4 in Boston.
Groups of campers and staff have also met up at local VegFests, Bernie Sanders rallies, the People's Climate March in New York City, local peace and justice rallies, and more.
And of course, in this day and age, there is a huge online support system for YEA Campers through our private Facebook groups and other social media. Having friends who care as much as you do about important causes is a great reminder that you are not alone and that you are part of a larger movement to make our world a better place.
We love to see our campers meeting up and working together on their activism, which helps to keep our YEA Camp community connected long after camp ends.
"YEA Camp is a giant hug for teens that teaches them the skills to be more confident, stand up for their beliefs, get involved, and be heard! All the years of Girl Scout Camp my daughter attended never made an impact on her life, that just one week at YEA Camp did! AMAZING CAMP!!!!!!! She can't wait to go back to YEA Camp this summer!
I just love the people behind YEA Camp. They are making a difference and they are incredible people. It gives me warm fuzzies knowing YEA Camp exists and provides a place for teens that need to be around others like them, being accepted for who they are, and giving them the skills and confidence to change the world!"
-Kristy, mom of Hannah, 15, Arizona
-Lisa, mom of Dorian, 12, New Jersey
Click twice on a camper to see what they have to say about YEA Camp!
DOES YEA CAMP SOUND PERFECT FOR YOU?
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HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
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