A Dose of Inspiration: What our campers have been up to since camp ended

YEA Camp NJ 2012The problems of the world can sometimes feel overwhelming, but it can help to recognize that there are many people doing so much to make the world better. For those needing a dose of inspiration, you need look no further than the amazing work our campers have been doing since YEA camp. Take a look:

  • Isabele is gathering pledges and participating in the AIDS Walk Portland with her high school’s Queer-Straight Alliance. She is also starting a project to mentor middle schools who are just beginning to have a GSA/QSA.
  • Mehar in NJ is putting on her first ever event to draw attention to issues around the education of girls in Third World countries on October 11th, the International Day of the Girl.
  • Sky and Shikha in New Jersey have started the Harry Potter Alliance, a community service club, at their high school.
  • CJ in Washington created and completed a school climate survey to gather data about how safe students feel at his high school. He is using this data to launch a club with a goal of implementing school-wide anti-bullying curricula.
  • Djuna from New York led 13 high school juniors and seniors on a service trip to New Orleans. They worked and lived on an urban farm in the Lower Ninth Ward. She led workshops to her classmates and teens from the area about social justice issues.
  • Destiny in Oregon has been leafletting every two weeks about veganism and last weekend attended a circus protest with several other YEA Campers. She also joined and is growing her high school’s animal rights club.
  • Griffin from Oregon has been leafletting to educate Oregonians about Nestle’s plan to bottle water in the Gorge, resulting in environmental destruction. He was joined by several other YEA Campers.
  • Danika in Massachusetts created an anti-war flyer when couldn’t find one online that communicated what she wanted to say. She is also working to get more Spanish-language books in her local library, and is developing trainings for other youth activists so they can benefit from the trainings and experiences she has had, such as YEA Camp!
  • Many YEA Campers on the east coast volunteered in August at Sunny Meadow Animal Sanctuary together.
  • Ramsey in Oregon is beginning an internship at Farm Sanctuary in California.
  • Nick in Illinois started a school club for animals that has already had their first meeting. He has been volunteering with Mercy For Animals outside of school.
  • Jasmine in Connecticut has been volunteering with the Humane Society of the United States.
  • Sarah in New Hampshire is organizing an event for National Primate Liberation Week to draw attention to the plight of primates in labs. She also got a letter to the editor printed about NPLW in her local paper! Way to go, Sarah!
  • Fletcher in CA started an anti-bullying group called Delete at his school that now has 44 members!
  • Kelley in Tennessee has been collecting cans to donate to the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County (one pound of cans buys two pounds of dog food!)
  • Grace in Ohio joined her school environmental club and is starting a project to remove styrofoam trays from the school cafeteria.
  • Anthony in North Carolina attended the DC Vegfest and will be interning with Mercy for Animals.
  • Jaliessa in Oregon is volunteering with the Portland VegFest and recently attended her first-ever protest for elephants at the circus.
  • Katie in California held her GSA’s first event of the year, a “Chapel of Love” where anyone can get married, complete with ring-pop rings and marriage “certificates” which include information about marriage rights and same-sex marriage. The pictures of the happy couples are posted on Facebook.
  • Alex in California is passionate about sexual health education for teens and started a club called the Sex Squad at her school. She is working with UCLA to inform her classmates about safe sex and healthy sexuality. She filmed teens at her school asking them why Health Education is important to them. She plans to make a video and send it to the school board. She is also starting plans for actions on World AIDS Day, and she was recently awarded a $1,000 grant from The Pollination Project to further her efforts.

This is just a small sampling of some of our campers’ accomplishments that we are aware of – and this is only since the camps ended in July and August. We are so proud of their accomplishments and cannot wait to see what they do during this school year and in the years to come!