Testimonials

PRAISE FOR YEA CAMP

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Virtual Winter Camp Officially Gets a 10 Out of 10 Recommendation for Changemakers
Hello! My name is Phoenix Turner, and I am 12 years old. I went to …
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We Asked Our Campers to Finish This Sentence
For over a decade, YEA Camp has been training aspiring activists to make a bigger …
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A Renewed Sense of Purpose and Hope from Working at YEA Camp
By Martina Gauderer July of 2019 will go down in my personal history as one …
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Finding My Voice at YEA Camp — a Summer Camp for Social Change
By Rey Watson This past summer I had the opportunity to enjoy one of the …
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YEA Camp Helped Me Develop the Confidence to Be an Activist
By Hannah White This summer, I was able to go to the truly life-changing place …
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Finding Out What It Is To Be An Activist at YEA Camp
By Chloe Howe Climate change, war, hunger, animal abuse, racism. When I was younger, I …
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Saying Yes To YEA Summer Camp for Adults
By Maggie Berke I had never been to sleep-away camp. Even as a child, the …
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How 1 Random Email Turned Into an Unexpected Miracle
By Monik Walters Summer camp for adults was the last thing on my mind on …
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Finding the Motivation for My Activism at YEA Camp
By Elyanna Calle There is a reason why we care. There is an event or …
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Finding a Sense of Belonging at Activism Summer Camp
By Sana Doctor I remember when my mom came up to me, talking about a …
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Sixteen-Year-Old Vegan Regains Faith in Humanity After YEA Camp
By Eden Curtiss I’ve always loved animals, but until two years ago, I was part …
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A Twelve-Year Old Explains How YEA Camp Changed His Life
By Noam Cohen-Weinberg I came to YEA Camp because I wanted to find a community …
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YEA Camp Restored My Confidence In Activism
By Mia Drumm This summer, I had the opportunity to attend Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp, …
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My Experience at the First Ever YEA Camp FOR ADULTS!
By Liz Hixon I’d left Columbus, Ohio, for YEA Camp on the Saturday before check-in …
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“I gained a ton of confidence, both in my activism skills and my value as a person. If you want to change anything anywhere in the world, come to YEA Camp.”

Griffin

15, Oregon

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“Before YEA Camp, I didn’t care one bit about politics. In fact, I hated everything about them. YEA Camp changed that. It taught me how important politics really are, and how I can play a role in them. Shortly after camp, I became an intern for a congressional campaign. I never would’ve done that before YEA Camp.”

Jake

15, Missouri

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“Before YEA Camp, I truly didn’t know where to start or what to do… I honestly wouldn’t have done any of [the activism I’ve done] without YEA Camp.”

Joyce

14, New Jersey

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“My son went to YEA Camp and it changed his life. He has a huge heart, but until YEA Camp, he didn’t have any idea that he could be a changemaker. Not only did he find his voice and gain real-world tools for activism and for building positive relationships, he also found himself in a place where he fits in with everyone around him. YEA Camp is nurturing and life-changing for kids.”

Kristen

Mom of Drake, 15, North Carolina

“My sweet, young daughter Sarah attended YEA Camp when she was just 14. Since she was a young child she had always been so full of compassion for all living things and concerned about the future of our planet. I would worry that she would not find friends who were like-minded at that age.
Sarah flourished at YEA Camp. All the young kids shared the same concerns and were so full of love. These youths validated one another and YEA Camp offered them that platform. Sarah was a changed child. Her worry about the world turned to activism and the camp and her new friends were the catalyst.
Your YEA Camp expedited my daughter’s path in life towards kindness and compassion.
I am so proud of Sarah and so thankful for that summer that she learned that she wasn’t alone and that she could make a difference.”

Penny

Mom of Sarah, now 17

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“This week has truly boosted my spirits and given me all that I need to make the world a better place. I’m not sure what I’d do if there weren’t people like you guys to support people like me and to restore my faith in humanity. Thanks so much — this week is one of the most valuable in my life.”

Jasmine

14, Connecticut

“My son has gone back to YEA Camp each year now, this year as a counselor-in-training. He has made life-long friends and, it’s safe to say, he is now headed down a different path — a very exciting one! — that he likely would have never known about had YEA Camp not opened the doors. I am so grateful to Nora, Pierce, Laura, Erin, and everyone else who has helped to shape my son’s life through YEA Camp.”

Amanda

Mom of Jake, now 18, Missouri

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“My daughter, Julianna attended YEA Camp 2 years ago. It was life changing for her.. and for me! She became vegan, found her passion and wants a future protecting animal rights. So proud of her. Nora, every time I hear you speak and hear what YEA Campers have learned, it brings tears to my eyes.”

Michelle

Mom of Julianna, 12, California

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“ I love everybody here. YEA Camp is like a safe haven for people who want to express themselves and be who they are.”

Kakari

16, California

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“YEA was amazing… I know I’ve said it over and over again, but this camp has truly changed my life. You have inspired me to do so much with my life and to make the world a truly better place… Because of you, I have been able to actually make a difference, even within only a few months.”

Bianca

16, California

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“I’ve worked with lots of teens in my career – and it’s rare to find a place in the teenage world where there’s just absolute and complete acceptance – room for everyone to be who they are, and to be accepted with open arms. There were no cliques, and the campers opened up and shared a lot about their personal hopes, fears, and aspirations.
I was rejuvenated, too, by the generosity of spirit and the creativity our campers exhibited on throwing an amazing party for the staff on the last night! We’d planned a fun night for them, and instead they took charge and capped camp off with a truly unforgettable dance party and dinner. I was continually impressed by the thoughtfulness, passion, and integrity of the campers – and look forward to seeing what changes they can now make in the world with the preparation and training from YEA Camp.”

Sharon Smith

Author, “The Young Activist’s Guide to Building a Green Movement and Changing the World”

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“I love being able to recommend YEA Camp for those who feel the call to change the world, be of service, and create a better life for all of Earth’s inhabitants. At Farm Sanctuary, we have long observed the powerful change that occurs when caring people join together and explore pathways to turn their compassion into action, and I’m thrilled this program exists to support people in doing just that.”

Gene Baur

President and Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary

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“YEA Camp keeps me hopeful and inspired! Whenever I need a break from the news, which is often depressing and toxic, I check out YEA Camp [social media] to watch videos and read stories about young people working to make the world a better place for all…. We need YEA Camps in every state across the country!”

Rose Aguilar

Host, Your Call radio show on KALW; author, Red Highways: A Liberal’s Journal Into the Heartland” and guest speaker at Virtual YEA Camp

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“YEA Camp was truly one of the best things that’s ever happened in my life, not only as an activist, but also as a person of character and civic duty. The experience and lessons that I learned at YEA Camp are something that I’ll take with me wherever I go and plan to do. I’ve learned such an incredible amount. I love everything about YEA Camp!”

Lamanh, 16, California

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“I’ve seen from personal experience the huge difference YEA Camp makes, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a boost to get active making a bigger difference. Our communities need more people to go to YEA Camp.”

Lisa Hall

Director of Rays of Hope

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“YEA Camp is not only one of the most fun events ever created – it just might shift the course of history. The more people who participate in YEA Camp, the more hope we will have for our future.”

Ocean Robbins

Founder, Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!), and CEO, The Food Revolution

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“I would not have the confidence to go around school with my head held high and talk to staff about my IOI. After YEA Camp it made me refocus on what I am fighting for.”

Roberto

15, North Carolina

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“If not for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t be starting this club to help the homeless because I wouldn’t know how to, or what to do when I started it.”

Megan, 12, Massachusetts — now 16

Founder of Helping Hands for the Homeless and Hayhband

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“I wouldn’t have been passionate enough to do any activism, but YEA Camp made me realize my passion and I’m so grateful for that.”

Maddie

15, Colorado

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“The sense of community at YEA Camp just sort of transcends everything. I really value it even today, staying in touch and building those relationships…. If it hadn’t been for YEA Camp, I would not have been as effective or as organized of a leader for my Gay Straight Alliance. I was the president that year, and I definitely took a lot of skills from the YEA Camp trainings and workshops we did.”

Shelby

California — a camper at 17, and then 3 summers on staff

“I am a proud supporter of YEA Camp! I know that YEA Camp is an incredibly powerful and supportive environment for people of all ages who care about their world and want to be informed and empowered in making a difference! With all that is going wrong in the world, it is so uplifting to be able to learn about solutions and how best to make a positive difference with the gift of our lives!”

Julia Butterfly Hill

World-renowned activist and best-selling author of “The Legacy of Luna” and “One Makes the Difference.

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“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!”

Kristie

Mom of Hannah, 15, Arizona

“I felt the YEA Camp experience offered Dorian a nurturing environment away from distractions. So much so that he felt a connection to the campers and leaders in just 8 days. He told me he felt he could say anything to his friends there more than he could to his own friends [at home].
I also think he learned resilience. He was bullied [at school the year after camp], yet he stuck with his sport even though it was his team member. He persevered and continues to do so.
I’ve never seen him want to get back to anything more than YEA Camp.”

Lisa

Mom of Dorian, 13, New Jersey

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“Before camp I knew that I was passionate about making a difference in the world, that I wanted to change things and make the world a better place, but I had no clue where to start. At camp, we learned a lot about what I can do as a teenager and how I can inspire more people to do something like this…. It gives me the confidence and inspiration and community to do things that I never would do before camp, like starting an activism club, which is what I’m doing now.”
Watch Ananya’s video testimonial here, as well as a blog post she wrote about her activism here.

Ananya

13, New Jersey

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“YEA Camp was a pivotal step in my activism. The work that I, my fellow campers, and our camp leaders did shaped the way I approach my IOI [issue of importance], human trafficking, today. It also helped prepare me to articulate my passion and gave me confidence in the way I present myself as a youth who often faces ageism—a discouraging challenge. YEA Camp helped me hone my skills, develop my knowledge, and build my convictions, which I want to use in full force to help develop, foster, and encourage future YEA Campers. I call on the experiences I had and growth we did together at YEA Camp to make my work stronger and more powerful.”

Rachel

17, Oregon

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“YEA Camp is unique in its ability to nurture people with an activist or community vision and help them prepare for lives of purpose, effectiveness, and joy.”

Hillary Rettig, author of “The Lifelong Activist”

lifelongactivist.com

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“I’ve seen from personal experience the huge difference YEA Camp makes, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a boost to get active making a bigger difference. Our communities need more people to go to YEA Camp.”

Lisa Hall

Director of Rays of Hope

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“YEA Camp is not only one of the most fun events ever created – it just might shift the course of history. The more people who participate in YEA Camp, the more hope we will have for our future.”

Ocean Robbins

Founder, Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!), and CEO, The Food Revolution

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“I just want to let you know that you all changed my life a couple summers ago. YEA Camp changed my focus in life and opened my mind to compassion and love for everyone. I have gotten into amazing colleges because I learned so much from everyone that one week in July many months ago and I couldn’t have done it without YEA Camp. College essays came easy to me because I could remember all the important memories from YEA Camp like it happened yesterday! Thank you to each and every one of you for shaping me into who I am today. I will never have such an incredible experience like it again!”

Ethan Lyne

Class of 2019, Haverford College

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“At YEA Camp I gained a ton of confidence. For me the most impactful part of YEA was the incredible people I got to meet. Both young and old everyone there was absolutely inspiring. I was able to learn from each and every one of them. I made some great friends and have people I can reach out to and continue to look up to, something I think everyone could use. The family feeling you develop with everyone during the week is unbelievable.”

Ashley

15, Oregon

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“YEA Camp, to me, was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. I got to spend the week with some of the most amazing people who want to change the world like I do. It was beautiful and inspiring, and I love that we had each other for support. I think that’s what a lot of youth need in order to show that they have power in making a difference.Watch Jia Hui’s video testimonial here.”

Jia Hui

15, California

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“YEA Camp was so great…. I hope to enlighten others like YEA Camp has enlightened me.”

Brooke

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“Thank you for helping me find my voice.”

Faith

12, Texas

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“One of my primary observations as a founder of The Pollination Project is that, as a society, we have greatly underestimated the power of young people to be change agents for social good. YEA Camp wisely recognizes their vast potential and creates the causes and conditions for it to blossom.”

Ari Nessel

Founder, The Pollination Project

“I’ve learned so much. [Before camp] when I looked at the civil rights movement, it was like, what can I do today? … Now I have a plan, instead of just going off the top of my head or going with the flow. I have a plan. I’m not unprepared for the world.”

Bema

13, California

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“I’m really passionate about the environment, and YEA Camp helped me do so much. I started a compost program at my school, and I’m screening the ‘Story of Stuff’ and ‘Cowspiracy’ this semester, and none of that would have been possible without YEA Camp. It’s changed my life so much, and I’m really grateful…. If not for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t be as kind and accepting as I hope I am.”

Bernie

15, Oregon

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“YEA Camp was truly one of the best things that’s ever happened in my life, not only as an activist, but also as a person of character and civic duty. The experience and lessons that I learned at YEA Camp are something that I’ll take with me wherever I go and plan to do. I’ve learned such an incredible amount. I love everything about YEA Camp!”

Lamanh

16, California

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