YEA Camp is Hiring Summer Camp Staff!

camp counselors at YEAWant an opportunity to work with an incredible team of youth and adults to bring about a more peaceful, compassionate world? YEA Camp is hiring for summer camp jobs at each of our camp sessions, in CA, OR, and  MA. Interested or know someone who might be?

Our staff have told us that working at YEA Camp is one of the most rewarding, fulfilling, and inspiring experiences they have ever participated in! We are hiring counselors, camp chefs, and health supervisors for all three of our sessions.

For more information about the positions or to apply, check our our dates and job descriptions. We look forward to hearing from you!

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YEA Camp Spring Update!

We have a lot of big things happening at YEA Camp as we gear up for another life-changing and world-changing summer of camps!

Some updates about YEA Camp 2014:

  • YEA Camper Madison at a school event she organized to raise awareness about LGBTQ issues

    YEA Camper Madison (left) at a school event she organized to raise awareness about LGBTQ issues

    We are expanding to bigger venues in all of our locations, and yet with camp still 3 months away, our camps are a quarter of the way full. We have seen a real increase in awareness and interest in our program across the country this year and appreciate your help spreading the word!

  • We are excited to be creating some powerful new curriculum for our post-camp mentorship program to provide added support to campers throughout the year and to help them take more strategic action.
  • ana scholarship

    Ana, a future YEA Camper!

    Thanks to the generous support of donors like you, we have already offered scholarships to several outstanding campers like Ana (left), who are so excited to be coming to YEA Camp! Ana had this to say about YEA:

“I am very active in the activist community in San Diego, but would like to find teens with similar ideologies as me. I want to learn how to successfully campaign and convey my knowledge of issues that I am passionate about to others. From extensive research on YEA Camp, I believe that it was created with teens like me in mind.” -Ana, age 14, San Diego

Ana is right! YEA Camp was created with teens like Ana in mind, and we are so greatful to our donors that we can offer amazing young people like her a chance to attend our life-changing program. We will continue our commitment to never turn applicants away for financial reasons.

Some recent exciting developments to report:

  • We have hired a highly successful PR firm to work with us on getting some big media for our program! This means more campers, supporters, and demand for further expanding program.
  • groupWe have been accepted for a consulting project grant through the Oregon Organization Development Network! We are working with ODN’s amazing team of consultants to strengthen our strategic plans for long-term growth.
  • We have been working with a grant writer and have submitted five proposals, with more in the works, to increase funding to our program. Being awarded any of these carefully chosen grants will help us expand our efforts to reach more young people wanting to bring about change in their communities.
  • We have just hired our second paid year-round staff person! This is huge for us and we are so excited to be able to increase our capacity with more program support!

This is shaping up to be a great year for us and we are already realizing many of our goals and dreams. Our three camps in 2014 will have 100 teens and over 40 staff members. We can’t wait to get started!

If you don’t already, follow what we are up to on Facebook and in our e-newsletter. And if you know a young person who you think would be perfect for YEA Camp, please share our website with them! www.yeacamp.org

 

 

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The Impact of YEA Camp

1075826_10151698880786843_1406474056_nWe are excited to share that we have recently developed a report that summarizes the outcomes and impact of YEA Camp!

For a PDF, click here to access our YEA Impact Report.

Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp is an overnight teen summer camp with sessions near Portland, OR, Santa Cruz, CA and Boston, MA designed to train and support teens who want to change the world.

Our focus is developing four areas we think are critical for all activists’ success: knowledge, skills, confidence, and community. We carefully design our curriculum to expose campers to different issues, teach them skills that they can use to take action, encourage and challenge them to overcome personal barriers that hold them back, and show them that they are not alone.

We tell prospective campers before they apply that while YEA Camp will be lots of fun, that’s not the point. Our mission is to make more effective activists, and we measure our success both quantitatively and qualitatively by the actions and accomplishments of our campers after camp.

Of course, we want to know if our program is achieving these goals and producing the results we are committed to, so we set out to collect and report the results of several surveys we have conducted of parents and campers.

Outcomes, according to our campers and their parents

We surveyed the parents of our campers a month after camp ended to demonstrate the power of our program.

How impactful has YEA Camp been for your child on a scale of 1-5?

Parents-Impact

More specifically, we asked parents: One month later, what differences have you seen in your child since attending YEA Camp?

Parents-Changes

Parents see the impact YEA Camp has on their kids.

“After attending camp, Tanner was very excited with renewed sense of belonging to a group of kids who had social justice commitments. Tanner has stayed in touch with his mentor and has participated in distributing handouts asking people to go meatless one day a week in front of Ventura Trader Joe’s side walk.”
– Michael, father of Tanner, age 12, California

“My 13 year old daughter Shayla has benefited significantly from her experience at YEA Camp.  Her self confidence has boosted and she has matured in the way she interacts with adults and authority figures. On the drive home from camp I asked “So, how’d it go?” She responded without hesitation “That was the best thing that ever happened to me!” Since camp she’s been much more comfortable being exactly who she is.  YEA Camp is an excellent investment.”
-Michael, father of Shayla, age 13, Massachusetts

hannah“Hannah came back from YEA Camp with a whole new outlook on things. Her after-camp action issue was to start a club at her school that dealt with animal rights. She got right on that as soon as school started and was able to start her Peace for Animals club. Hannah and her club are now working with the school to get veggie burgers on the menu…. She also uses the skills she learned at camp to help her friends get through rough times, stand up for others, and offers kids who are considered ‘different’ a shoulder to lean on and advice to help them cope, that she learned at camp.

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!”
– Kristie, mother of Hannah, age 15, Arizona

See more parent testimonials here.

Camper Feedback on YEA Camp

Campers-PrePost

YEA Camp’s purpose is to support campers in building the knowledge, skills, confidence, and community to make a difference in the world on what is important to them. How well do you feel we accomplished this for you?

97% of campers responded with a “5″ (definitely) and 3% with a “4″ (Mostly).

Campers recognize the impact YEA Camp has had on them months after attending.

1450895_10152347212339698_1073771136_n“If not for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t have taken the action to stand up and try to make a difference for others in my school rather than just going with what others did, in fear of being judged for breaking away. I feel that YEA Camp has taught me that it really is okay to be different, and it’s good to be myself. Thank you to everyone. YEA was truly a life-changing experience.”
-Angelina, 13, Massachusetts

“If not for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to start a club and talk about issues that are close to my heart.”
-Mai, 14, Oregon

“After camp, I became a member and VP of my school’s sole environmental club, Grizzly Green Team. This past week I worked at Club Rush for the club and we got over 40 people to sign up. Most of the members are not really into the environmentalism thing, so I’m looking forward to teaching and educating members on the things I learned at YEA Camp. I also signed up for our school’s GSA Club.”
-Ethan, 17, California

“If not for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t have been kind enough to myself to prepare for the actions I need to take this year.”
-Kami, 14, Oregon

“Before YEA Camp I had really lost my passion for my issue and was distracted with so many other things. After YEA Camp, I found my love and passion again.”
-Katlyn, 17, Oregon

“If not for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t have even thought about being a passionate vegan or learning more about helping the planet and our society. I am so grateful to yea camp for giving me more confidence and the will to try.”
-Devon, 15, California

“I started an online business, Bright and Courageous Arts, to sell duct tape items and donate all of the money to charity. Rylee and I had a pretty successful first month of our Etsy shop. We sold a few things and raised over $100 for Mercy For Animals. If it weren’t for YEA Camp, our online shop wouldn’t have been possible and I wouldn’t have met Rylee [her business partner].”
-Phoebe, 13, California

“If it weren’t for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t have the motivation, skills, or confidence I have now to do my activism and change the world. I wouldn’t have the knowledg1157635_10202276416857652_271638635_ne I have now, and I wouldn’t have done the things I have done to make this Earth better, and I wouldn’t have the goals I have now.”
-Olivia, 12, Oregon

“My biggest accomplishment recently has been working on starting up my Interact Club. I have been planning big things, including soup kitchen visits, sponsoring families for Thanksgiving/Christmas, a human trafficking awareness and fundraising week, and a clean water project. If not for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t have been as confident as I am now (about my IOI, my beliefs, and just in general) and been so proactive with setting up my Interact Club.”
-Gina, 17, Massachusetts

“YEA Camp has officially changed my activism life and my social life. I have more confidence, I am way more outgoing and it has given me a better/different view on the well-being of other people in society and on my issue of importance. I wish YEA Camp could last forever, but I realized by leaving I was being helped to find a new perspective and a new way of expressing who I was. YEA Camp changed my life (in a good way) and I hope they will continue to change lives and help the world grow.”
-Tanner, 12, California

“No one has ever been there for me like the people at YEA Camp have. Before camp, I never wanted to do anything in front of anyone. But at camp I knew I could be myself, and people would be kind and be my friend anyway. Now whenever someone criticizes me for doing activist work, I always have a smart thing to say back. And I’m not afraid anymore.”
-Alanna, 12, Massachusetts

See more camper testimonials here.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

1001747_10152222781279698_851496915_nYEA Camp exists to make a difference in the world, and so ultimately the measure of our success is what our campers do once camp ends.

Many campers report having “life-changing” experiences at YEA Camp, such as realizing for the first time that they are not alone, that they actually have the ability to make an impact, and that negative beliefs they had about themselves are not true or no longer need to hold them back. In many ways these epiphanies result in unquantifiable impacts in the long term.

Here are just a few of the impressive short-term accomplishments of our campers in the first few months after YEA Camp. Most tell us that they would not be doing these things if not for attending.

After YEA Camp, our campers…

  • Educate Others

-Tegan, 16, from Oregon, organized a schoolwide assembly, bringing in an expert guest speaker and giving a speech herself in front of her whole school to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking.

-Tanner, 12, from southern California, brought leaflets with him about animal cruelty when he went trick-or-treating with friends and gave one to each home he visited.

-Griffin and Bernie, both 15, who met at the Oregon camp, couldn’t find a leaflet about the environmental topic that they care most about, so they made one together to start handing out.

  • Raise Funds

-Deborah, 14 from Oregon, was such a dedicated Planned Parenthood volunteer that she was given the opportunity to be one of the keynote speakers at the organization’s annual Portland fundraising event, where she spoke passionately about women’s rights in front of over 900 people.

-Phoebe and Riley, both 13, who met at the Oregon camp, started an online Etsy store called Bright and Courageous Arts, selling their duct tape wallets and hand-made jewelry. Each month, they donate the proceeds from that month to a different nonprofit organization!

-Vivian, 15, from California, has applied her love for baking with her commitment to human rights, selling her popular homemade cookies every day at school and raising over $2000 for an organization working to end human trafficking worldwide.

  • Change Policies

431083_10151358232664698_598632532_n-Oliver, 15, from New Jersey, was told by school administrators that he and other transgendered students couldn’t use the bathroom of their identified gender. Just weeks after YEA Camp, Oliver contacted his state assemblyman and influenced him to introduce Bill A2224, which would allow students throughout the state to use school facilities that correspond to their gender identity.

-Owen, 16 from rural Illinois, worked through much bureaucracy to change the minimum age to volunteer at her community’s animal shelter from 18 to 16, enabling her and others to walk, foster, and help homeless animals get adopted.

-Brian, 16, from California, persuaded his school cafeteria to implement Meatless Mondays.

  • Impact Their Communities

-Ariel, 16, from Ontario, hosted the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up in her area, where her group picked up litter over 1/2 a kilometer of shoreline. She and her sister alone picked up 48 lbs of garbage and 1010 cigarette butts!

-Emily, 13, from northern California, persuaded her middle school administration and PTA to implement YEA Camp’s curriulum about bullying. Once a month, every homeroom class does an activity we do at camp to generate a dialogue about the expierience of being bullied and being a bully.

-Thirteen-year-old Elisha from Washington worked with her school administration to implement composting at her school and is currently working to make this district-wide.

  • Start School Clubs

1452336_10152382693989698_762022819_n(1)-Before camp, Lacey, 17, from Sacramento, had been involved in a variety of school clubs, but noticed that many students weren’t engaged. After camp, she decided to start a YEA club at her school to educate and inspire students to make a difference on the issues they care about.

-Shelby, 17, from LA, is part of a strong Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at her school and knew that other schools would benefit from a powerful GSA presence on their campuses too. After YEA Camp, Shelby reached out to other GSAs around the Los Angeles area, and has been acting as a mentor to schools with newly forming GSAs.

To learn more about YEA Camp, including to register, donate, or to apply to work with us this summer, please visit www.yeacamp.org.

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Support YEA Camp’s GlobalGiving Campaign!

Announcing the launch of our GlobalGiving campaign!

We are excited to announce that we were selected to participate in a fundraising challenge through the GlobalGiving Campaign, a prestigious crowd-sourcing website. The minimum challenge is to raise $10,000 between November 25th and December 1st from a minimum of 40 individual donors.

If we meet the challenge, we not only provide funding for our program for 2014, but also secure ourselves a permanent spot on the GlobalGiving site. Global Giving provides fundraising trainings, resources, matching gifts and grants to the organizations on the site, and it would be a major boost for us to be a permanent organization on the site! There are bonus prizes for the organizations who raise the most money and who have the most individual donors, so we’re going for that too!

How do I help?

1. Make a donation. Smaller gifts help us more toward our 40 donor total; larger gifts help us more toward the $10,000 total! It all adds up! And the more we get, the closer we get to the bonus prizes! All donations are tax-deductible.

2. Share with your friends, family and contacts who would support the life-changing work we do. This will just take a minute, and each person who learns about our program can become a supporter, volunteer, or even a future camper. To share our campaign on Facebook, just go to our campaign page and click “share” or “tweet”!

3. Share with your friends in an email and ask them to support the work we do! Please see here for a sample email you can send your contacts!

Your support helps make it possible for us to continue to train hundreds of teenagers to make a difference in the world.

Thank you so much for all you do!
-The YEA Team

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Greening Up the Holidays

The holidays are a time of family, fun and friends. It is also “the season of giving.” Every session of YEA Camp, we show The Story of Stuff, which shows where “stuff” comes from and goes, and why we tend to want so much of it! This is especially an issue during the holiday season, but this holiday can be a time of reducing our carbon footprint! Here are some fun ways to reduce, recycle and reuse this holiday season.

HAVE A “WHITE ELEPHANT PARTY” TO EXCHANGE ITEMS IN LIKE-NEW CONDITION FOR RE-GIFTING

Did someone give you a present that Imagesomeone else would love but you just don’t? Maybe you got a sweater you will never wear? RE-GIFT IT! At your holiday party or Thanksgiving dinner ask your friends and family to bring gifts that are in like-new condition to exchange. You can trade your sweater for some someone’s brand new, but unneeded, earrings and re-gift them to your earring-loving sister!

GET DONATIONS RATHER THAN MORE STUFF!

If you feel like you’d rather support charities than get more items you probably don’t need, there are many websites dedicated to helping people find charities to support and requesting donations instead of gifts from family members. Check out justgive.org, globalgiving.org, and others!

USE FABRIC INSTEAD OF WRAPPING PAPER

Wrapping paper and ribbon simply get thrown away each year but fabric can be used for years to come! You can wrap a present in a beautiful scarf or use a “fat quarter” from your local fabric store. The pre-cut squares of fabric only cost a couple dollars and there are hundreds of fabrics to choose from! Or use paper bags instead of wrapping paper and use a piece of lace as an accent. You can even make your own snowflakes instead of lace! Remember those?  Simply tie them on with a piece of reusable fabric ribbon just like you would would with a disposable ribbon.  Just remember to take the fabric and trimmings back while your gift receiver is enthralled with your amazing gift and reuse them next year!

ImageMAKE YOUR OWN BEAUTIFUL MENORAH OUT OF REUSED ITEMS

Many families are finding that making their own menorah is a fun way to get their kids engaged at Chanukah. And you can make a new one each year without spending a lot or buying brand new items. Even Martha Stewart and Oprah have come up with unique ways to make menorahs. Here are a couple of my favorites as well as some that will make you laugh for sure.

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If you have lots of glitter in your crafting cabinet try this idea by Martha Stewart. (Click photo for directions.)

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If you have little ones, you might like this idea. (Click photo for link.)

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If you like using natural items on your table, you might like this idea using apples from Oprah.

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For those of you who like a challenge check out this idea using corrugated cardboard. (Click photo for instructions).

And for some that will make you laugh check out 25 Hilariously Wrong Menorahs from The Huffington Post online.

Do you have an idea to “Green up the Holidays?” If so, post it on our Facebook or post a pic on our Instagram.

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Prepare to be blown away: what our campers have been doing since camp!

If you don’t already know, we are all about what campers do after camp. In fact, our goal is to turn campers’ passion into action to make a better world. Our last session of camp only ended in August and we are so happy to see our campers already taking action on their IOI (issue of importance). If you’re looking for some inspiration and renewed hope in the world, keep on reading!543894_10152160652264698_193072300_n

  • Hannah from our Oregon session formed an animal rights club at her school, called Peace for Animals. During her school’s club fair, she was able to get 57 students to sign up.
  • Vivien from our California session started a “business” selling cookies at her school– every week!  100% of the proceeds go to support organizations working to end human trafficking.
  • Lamanh is working at getting a composting system installed at her school!
  • Lacey from our California session started the first ever YEA Club at her school, a club that will teach her peers how they can make a difference in the world.1184771_10152256890704698_1674133487_n
  • Since meeting and becoming best friends at camp Phoebe and Rylee have started an etsy shop called BrightAndCourageous. All proceeds from their shop go straight to charity, this month’s proceeds being donated to YEA Camp!
  • Alanna noticed that the Apple emoji keyboard does not promote diversity, and has created a change.org petition to change that. It already has almost 700 signatures!
  • Oliver from our Massachusetts session met with his state assembly member in New Jersey about having transgender friendly bathrooms in high schools (something his principal had shot down previously).  Not only did the assembly member meet with Oliver in person, but they agreed to talk to the Superintendent of the district about creating a new policy. To top it all off they may be drafting a new bill in the New Jersey legislature!
  • Ofzerna has been very busy since camp. She started Project July, a project hoping to 540683_511911062221010_1547481970_nraise enough money to adopt and support a calf that would otherwise be raised only to be slaughtered for beef. Rescuing this calf is part of a long term goal to one day start a sanctuary. She wishes to educate people about what they are eating by giving them positive interactions with cattle. Along with this, Ofzerna has also started a change.org petition after noticing that Cinemark Theaters was advertising for SeaWorld. Her petition has received over 600 signatures and a personal call from James Meredith, vice-president of Marketing at Cinemark. Meredith told Ofzerna he would take her views into consideration.
  • Ethan from our California session has become vice-president of his school’s 1001917_491275184285768_576715437_nenvironmental club.
  • Tommy has been volunteering at his local soup kitchen and has become a board member of ARK, or Acts of Random Kindness Club. This is a club dedicated to promoting goodwill and happiness in the world.
  • Hani has been a super-star activist since camp! To raise awareness, she has been handing out flyers to raise awareness of Hersey’s support of child labor. She has already had her first community service club meeting at school and is holding fundraisers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.1240191_577818702253488_900498640_n
  • Shelby from our Massachusetts session is currently leading two groups at her school, a gay straight alliance and an animal allies club. If this isn’t amazing enough, she is starting to leaflet with Mercy for Animals, trying to initiate composting at her school, has participated in a coastal cleanup, and is organizing a field trip for several
    kids at her school to go to an anti-bullying training workshop.
  • Ariel hosted the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up. She and her friends cleaned half a kilometre of shoreline where they picked up 48 lbs of garbage and 1010 cigarette butts!
  • Jose from our California session got Styrofoam cups banned from his workplace. YEA!
  • Jacob started a change.org petition to get more comprehensive gun control in New Jersey.1075826_10151698880786843_1406474056_n
  • Shayla is forming an eating disorder support group, first meeting by early December.
  • A group of YEA Campers attended a Ringling Brothers Circus protest to educate the public about cruelty performing animals endure.

If you thought this was a lot, this is only a small sampling of what our campers have been doing in the past few months. We are so proud of all the work our campers have done since camp and are looking forward to seeing all the amazing activism they will be doing in the future. We have no doubt in our mind that our campers will make huge strides in changing the world!

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Top 10 Reasons 2013 Was Our Best Summer Yet!

Every summer of YEA Camp feels like our best yet, but this year we REALLY think this was our best ever! The inspiration was through the roof, the curriculum was outstanding (if we do say so ourselves), the staff was amazing, the venues were beautiful, and the campers were absolutely incredible. Thank you so much to our staff, volunteers, interns, donors, and of course campers, who made YEA Camp such a success! We narrowed down our countless reasons why this summer was so phenomenal to these top 10. If campers, staff, or parents from this year or others want to challenge this list, message us! :)

Top 10 Reasons 2013 Was Our Best Summer Yet:

1. Our curriculum was our best ever.1073055_10152095145684698_1125890369_o
YEA Camp’s curriculum is methodically crafted to develop four key areas critical for activists of any age: knowledge, skills, confidence, and community. This year we added a workshop on time management, we strengthened our life-changing Being Unstoppable workshop (which calls into question the accuracy of the mean little voice in our heads), we introduced our first-ever YEA Camp secret handshakes (so fun!), and we launched …

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Campers during Changemaker Olympics work to convince “Mr. Drew” to drop frog dissection from his biology class as part of an activism simulation game.

2. The Changemaker Olympics.
On the final full day of camp, teams of campers competed to win campaigns, like persuading “Principal Brian” to get solar panels at school — he needed to see a serious fundraising plan — and proving to faculty club advisor “Ms. Alex” that their school club is worth her time — she needed to see clear goals, a publicity plan, and hear everyone’s passion for the club. Campers put their newfound skills and knowledge into practice and faced some of the challenges that can come along with working for change.

3. Graduation Ceremony
As fun as YEA Camp is, it also challenging. We nudge campers out of their comfort zones to express their feelings, speak in public, overcome fears, and dream big. This year, we celebrated each camper with a graduation ceremony and gave each of them certificates of completion, signed with a personal note from each staff member, which read that the camper “Has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to bringing about a better world. Through completion of YEA Camp you have developed yourself as an effective activist and changemaker for years to come.” Parents were so proud, as they should be!

4. Mike McLendon’s Story1095114_10151758687631462_182117653_n
One of our fabulous cooks realized early on that YEA Camp was the place for him. A few days into our California camp, he asked if he could volunteer at our upcoming Oregon camp. When we happily accepted this offer, he got himself to Oregon. Halfway through that camp, we joked that he should come to the Massachusetts camp — and he said he wanted to! Next thing we knew, another wonderful staffer, Brian, donated frequent flyer miles to fly Mike to Boston. Mike has pledged his next 5 summers to working at YEA Camp, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

5. So Many Transformational Experiences1071666_10152095180494698_145061699_o (1)
There are so many inspiring transformational stories from our camps, and you can read several in our CA, OR, and MA blogs. One special one we haven’t shared took place after a workshop on bullying. At the end of an emotionally challenging activity, we had each camper make a list of wonderful things about themselves –  accomplishments, compliments they’ve received, and things they like about themselves — and we went around in a circle where each person shared one. When one boy (who is extremely wonderful) passed, so many people let him know how amazing he is — funny, a great dancer, smart, etc. We were all blown away, especially him. By the end of YEA Camp, people realize they are way more awesome than they realized.

6. Bright and Courageous Arts 999857_10152131253719698_1471949418_n (2)
One of the many great projects our campers have already launched is called Bright and Courageous Arts, launched by Rylee and Phoebe, two 14-year-olds who became fast friends at our Oregon camp. Matching their talent for making crafts with their passion for animal protection and gay rights, they launched their new Etsy store a few short weeks after camp ended. Proceeds go to a different nonprofit each month, with September’s recipient being Mercy For Animals.

7. Taking Over the Quaker Center1039595_10152095034194698_327784679_o (1)
When we held our first session of YEA Camp in 2009, we held it at the gorgeous Quaker Center just outside of Santa Cruz, CA. Last year was our first year where we did not have camp there as we had outgrown the space, but this year we actually reserved both lodges at the Quaker Center, taking over their whole property and doubling the number of campers that we reached. We love being back at this beautiful space!

8. YEA in Schools!549044_511910938887689_552417959_n
We are thrilled that for the first time some of the curriculum and spirit of YEA Camp is making its way into public schools during the school year– so far in two states. Two YEA staffers who live in Denver pitched Green Valley Ranch High school on us teaching a YEA elective course there, and they said yes! Thirty high-schoolers are meeting with longtime YEA staffer Leanne 3 times a week for 3 months to make a difference in their community! And in Sacramento, one of our amazing campers Lacey has launched the first ever YEA school club! We are working with her as she holds weekly meetings to encourage other students to get active on social justice issues that they care about. We are so proud! These are pilot programs that we are excited to learn from and build upon, so let us know if you’re interested in bringing YEA to your school!

9. Andrew
We were beyond thrilled when one of our campers, Andrew — already an experienced and accomplished activist — let us know a few days into the Massachusetts camp that he wants to be deeply involved in YEA Camp’s growth to impact even more youth. He has already begun to intern with us so that we can do even more to support our campers and expand our programs. We feel like we hit the jackpot. Check out his blog post about his camp experience!

10. Post-camp Camper Accomplishments
Our campers make it clear how impactful YEA Camp is, and of course we get testimonials, have them fill out formal evaluations, and get quantitative and qualitative feedback from parents, but ultimately the way we measure the effectiveness of our programs is by the activism our campers do after camp. And they have done so much! Some have already made significant changes in their school — like transforming their cafeteria to offer veggie burgers, to compost, and to use reusable trays instead of styrofoam. Others have started school clubs, created online petitions, and personally met with their state legislators. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post highlighting some amazing camper projects.

We couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments this summer, and we are so grateful for all of the campers, staff, donors, interns, volunteers, and supporters who helped to make it such a success.

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