As year-end specials begin to flood our television programming and 2020 calendars stock the shelves at our local bookstores, we once more find ourselves reflecting on another incredible year with YEA Camp.
Here are some of the highlights from YEA Camp 2019.
Our 11th Summer
This was our 11th summer hosting YEA Camp for teens ages 12 – 17 and we are so grateful for the opportunity to work with these inspiring young people.
Our first youth camp was held at Nature’s Classroom in Charlton, Massachusetts from July 13 – 20. Our second youth camp was held at Camp Buckhorn in Idyllwild, California from August 3 – 10.
We had around fifty campers at each youth session representing two dozen states and three countries.
From June 30 – July 6, 22 campers from 12 states stayed with us at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in New Paltz, New York for the second ever session of YEA Camp for Adults. From yoga in the morning to meeting with farmed animals after lunch, from workshops on gender and race to trainings on communication and fundraising, our campers had the perfect mix of self-care and reflection while also learning valuable skills to help advance their activism.
Between the three sessions of camp, we were so blessed to have 35 amazing staff members from 16 different states.
Juan Antonio Nelson is an Iowa college student who flew all the way to New York to attend adult camp. When asked about the experience, he said, “Without YEA Camp, I wouldn’t feel that I could make a difference in my immediate community. I wouldn’t have the courage to stand up for others. If not for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t have met a strong community of activists who are passionately advocating for what they believe in.”
A few months ago, former YEA Camper and current YEA staff member Ananya Singh was featured on the Perennials Podcast. In the podcast, Ananya says, “When I was 12 years old, the summer before eighth grade, I attended this summer camp called Youth Empowered Action and this is a camp for teen activists and it really was a life changing experience for me. It exposes you to so many different social issues that are going on in the world and kind of takes the approach of intersectionality and showing how all of these issues are so interconnected and then really breaking down what is possible for young people to do.”
We also recently shared the story of former YEA Camper Leah Kelly who FIVE years after attending camp, wrote this blog post where she says, “Five and a half years ago, as a 15-year-old, I attended Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp for the first time and my life was changed immeasurably. I can’t imagine how different my life would have been from then on had I not spent that pivotal week learning what it means to be an effective agent of change and forming lasting connections that supported, and continue to support me as I navigate a chosen path of social justice and fighting for what I believe in.”
Our Brand New Program
This year, we also launched the first-ever YEA Camp Volunteer-a-thon. The Volunteer-a-thon was created to encourage our community in service and activism while raising money for the YEA Camp Scholarship Fund.
Participants created donor pages, shared what activism they would be working on, and asked their loved ones to “sponsor” them in their work. You can read more about three of our camper’s projects at this link and click here to read what one camper wrote about the experience.
All funds raised through the Volunteer-a-thon go towards the YEA Camp Scholarship Fund which makes camp accessible for all who want to attend.
This year, 51 of our 100 participants received financial aid and 17 of those campers were on full scholarships. Overall, we funded $66,400 of financial aid this year.
Thanks to two generous donors, we also have a special opportunity through the end of the year. All donations given before the end of the year will be TRIPLED. Click here to learn more and to donate to our Scholarship Fund.
Every year at YEA Camp, we have the privilege of meeting passionate and activated changemakers who are taking the world by storm. We feel so grateful to be a part of their story and look forward to supporting you in making a bigger difference on the causes you care most about, too!
See You Next Summer
Do you want to experience YEA Camp for yourself next summer, or know someone who would love to join us?
We are eagerly preparing for 2020 and are excited to offer an Early Bird special registration for $250 off those who sign up before the end of the year. Do you know someone who would be great for YEA Camp? Nominate them here!
- Youth Camp: in Ventura, California (July 5 – 12) and Charlton, Massachusetts (August 1 – 8)
- Adult Camp: in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey (July 18 – 24)