YEA Camp may be celebrating the ten year anniversary of hosting life-changing camps for world-changing teens but that doesn’t mean we forgot about the 18+ crowd. After years of adults asking us to create camp for them, we listened. In 2018, we launched the first ever session of YEA Camp for Adults.
YEA Camp for Adults is for aspiring activists who know they want to make a bigger difference in the world, and who want focused skill-building and leadership training in the midst of the playful world of summer camp.
We met some incredible activists last year whose dedication to making the world more just and sustainable is nothing short of inspiring. One of those activists is Monik Walters. When she offered to write a blog about her experience at camp – especially the serendipitous way she ended up at camp – we knew it would be a great insider’s look into what YEA Camp for Adults is all about.
Summer camp for adults was the last thing on my mind on a hot day in June 2018. Well, second to the fact that I had 200 unread emails waiting for me. In hindsight, one of those emails would turn into the miracle I didn’t know I needed.
I was almost to an empty inbox when I saw an email from Nora Kramer.
The timing could not have been any more perfect. It was June 29th, 2018 and camp was starting on July 1st, in only two days. I scrambled to reach out and make all the proper arrangements. Nora responded quickly and kindly about making this a possibility for me.
I got my round trip bus ticket to High Falls, New York and waited for Kali, one of the camp counselors, to come pick me up. Kali and I were instant friends. We talked about our blackness, veganism, and cultural exchange. I knew that I made the best last minute choice ever.
Once we arrived, I chose my bed and met the other campers and counselors in the main area. I got to create my name tag and fill out a cute questionnaire. From the very beginning everyone was warm and inviting. I felt like I could come as who I was, no questions asked. I was learning a lot about people and the causes that fueled them and I felt re-energized. The more involved I got in these conversations the more I began to think critically about my own life, my cause, and why it was important to me.
Why YEA Camp for Adults is Special
In my mind the phrase #BlackLivesMatter kept ringing in my head. I care about people, equity, and equality. Quickly, I realized I was in the right place to feed that passion and care. After hours of mingling, learning and unlearning, and eating amazing vegan food, I knew that YEA Camp would forever have a piece of my heart and soul. I knew that the bonds and relationships that we were able to create in a week would last a lifetime.
Being able to volunteer with YEA Camp is the best way to stay intimately connected with its efforts. I want to share this message so other students casually checking their emails can stumble across the same kind of miracle.
Are you passionate about making the world a better place? YEA Camp for Adults will help you identify how you can get more active and effective on a cause you care about in ways that inspire you. Join us this summer! Go to YEACamp.org/adults to learn more.
Monik Walters is studying Geography and African-American Studies at Dartmouth College. She is the student body president of Dartmouth and the president of the school’s chapter of the NAACP. She attended YEA Camp for Adults in 2018 and is passionate about civil rights and black social justice.