TAKE OUR QUIZ: Should You Work at Our Life-Changing Social Justice Camp for Teens Who Want to Change the World?

1557406_10152624735564698_107012194_o-300x199YEA CAMP IS HIRING FOR THE SUMMER!

Take our quiz to see if you should apply to work at our summer camp for social change!

1. Want to work with the best teenagers in the world and have a super inspiring experience with amazing staff in a beautiful location this summer?

2. Are you a dedicated progressive activist working in positive, thoughtful, strategic ways to make our world a better place? Do you have experience in lots of different types of activism and are you supportive of a variety of progressive issues, including animal rights, climate change, anti-racism, women’s rights/pro-choice, and gay rights?

3. Do you love working with teenagers and want to mentor and support young people who want to make a big difference in the world?

4. Are you willing to be silly enough to lead goofy name games, play “Big Booty,” and get down at the dance party, and are you also open-hearted enough to really share yourself in our community in a way that makes it safe for campers to be themselves and feel accepted?

5. Are you comfortable as a teacher, facilitator, or public speaker to be in front of the room, direct a group of people in a loud enough voice, and lead activities in an engaging way?

6. Are you self aware, having overcome challenges and done work on yourself, and  willing to go out of your comfort zone to be a role model for campers to overcome their own obstacles and move beyond their fears?

7. Do you have great judgment to ensure safety such that parents would be thrilled to have you look after their kids?

8. Are you a good communicator, don’t create or encourage drama, and committed to being a team player – even if someone else is stressed or not behaving exactly as you’d like – to help ensure a great experience for the group?

9. Does eating kid-friendly mostly organic, vegan meals prepared with love by amazing chefs (which we are now hiring for! Maybe this is you?!) sound delicious to you? (Gluten- and allergy-free, etc., available as needed.)

10. Are you available this summer to work at one or more of our 8 day camps, as well as attend a 4-day staff training immediately before, in California, Oregon, or New York on these dates?

IF YOU ANSWERED YES TO ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS, YOU ARE OFFICIALLY HIRED! COME WORK AT YEA CAMP IMMEDIATELY!

Er, actually, we got ahead of ourselves. We mean you should apply right away to work at YEA Camp this summer! :)

We are hiring counselors, chefs, and a health supervisor for each of our sessions. We are also looking for a photographer and videographer for one session.

Take a look at our detailed job descriptions here.

Just some of our amazing returning staff!

For more information about our program, visit www.yeacamp.org.

To apply, submit resume, references, and cover letter explaining your interest in working for YEA Camp, and which session(s) you’re interested in working at to info@yeacamp.org.

And please also spread the word to others who might be a great fit, or to potential campers aged 12-17.

Thanks so much for your interest in YEA Camp! We hope to hear from you soon!

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What Difference Does YEA Camp Make? Take a Look!

When we asked our campers what difference YEA Camp made for them, we got so many amazing, inspiring answers! We turned some of them into blog posts for our 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes campaign, and we made some visuals to tell the story quickly. Take a look! We hope you’re as inspired as we are – and if you are, please send the 12-17 year-old change-makers in your life to YEACamp.org to get signed up for the summer!

Maddie (Colorado) Joyce (New Jersey)3-updated Shelby(no-guitar)2 Sage(2) Leah(2) Roberto (North Carolina) (1)ClaireJia Hui (California)

Read even more testimonials from campers, parents, staff, and community leaders about YEA Camp, and then register here to join us for camp this summer or to apply as a staff member.

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YEA Camp Hero Day 12: Claire – An Activist Role Model

Happy New Year! We’ve reached the final day, Day 12, of our 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes series! We are so inspired by ALL of our amazing YEA Campers — and there are so many campers doing great things who we will continue to feature throughout the year.

As a reminder, 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes  is part of our year-end fundraising camp-aign. Your tax-deductible donation helps us train and support more young leaders to make a difference on an important social issue.

Today’s YEA Camp Hero is Claire, 16-year-old activist superstar who came all the way from Michigan to attend our Massachusetts camp last summer.

10536818_10203707040451513_7411826565970753363_o (1)Claire was already very dedicated and involved with animal rights causes before attending YEA Camp but wanted to take her efforts to the next level. On her application, Claire wrote “I would like to attend YEA Camp to meet other people with the same ideals I have as well as to learn how to spread awareness about animal rights in my town. I would like to learn how to properly communicate with people about issues and make a change in my
community.”

We are so inspired by all that she has done since YEA Camp! She has been on fire and done so much since YEA Camp, we truly cannot keep track of it all or remotely cover everything in the scope of this short post.

10686851_789229701115680_782154477610850338_nClaire has organized and attended rallies at the State Capitol to advocate for wolves – which made the news – as well as to protest the circus, to raise awareness and funds for farmed animals, and so much more.  She volunteers at an animal shelter, has attended local hearings about animal issues, spoke out about a hunting contest taking place at her school, and about a hundred other things – at least!

Just this week Claire launched Charity Fizz, where she sells bath fizz balls that she hand-makes to raise money for charity. While Claire devotes most of her efforts to helping animals, her first nonprofit is called Well House, a local homeless shelter in Grand Rapids because seeing people who are homeless”has always affected me. I just can’t imagine not having a place to call home, not knowing were my next meal would come from.” People are animals too!

We know Claire would be doing amazing things with or without YEA Camp, but we asked the question: what difference did YEA Camp make?

We were inspired that Claire said that if not for YEA Camp… “I would not have taken so many opportunities to help animals or tried so hard to get to animal rights events. I wouldn’t have known what to say to my classmates who came to me for help transitioning to veganism. I also would have wasted energy trying to reason with 0% people at the Ringling Circus protest.” We love that Claire came to YEA Camp to improve her communication skills and she has! And we especially love that last piece, which references something we talk about in our communication workshop – that it’s sometimes not worthwhile to argue or spend time talking about an issue with someone who completely disagrees with you (“o% people”).

As we wrap up our 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes series, we are just so proud of Claire and all of our campers for everything that they’ve accomplished to make a difference in our world. We are thrilled to play a part in that!

Just some of our amazing returning staff!

Just some of our amazing returning staff!

Your donation to YEA Camp enable youth like Claire to take their passions to the next level of effectiveness and action to change the world. You can donate here.

We hope you’ve enjoyed 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes, and we appreciate your continued support now and always.

If you missed the other YEA Camp Hero stories check them out and be inspired! There was Day 1 about Megan in Massachusetts raising money for the homeless, Day 2 showcasing Joyce in New Jersey speaking out about bullying, Day 3 highlighting Maddie in Colorado advocating for animals, Day 4 about Lia from Washington state working to address the stigma of mental illness and reducing teen suicide, Day 5 about Roberto from North Carolina speaking more confidently about progressive causes, Day 6 about Ana from California advocating for women, workers, animals, and more, Day 7 about Jia Hui’s animal advocacy, Day 8 about Shelby’s advocacy for gay and transgender rights, and Day 9 about Leah from Connecticut helping animals at her local shelter, Day 10 about Sage from California who is trying to educate his peers on current events, and Day 11 about Bernie and his efforts to help the environment. Wow, that’s a lot of heros! And we’ll be honoring 1 more tomorrow as we wrap up this series. We hope you are inspired as we are by these stories that our supporters have helped make possible.

If YEA Camp sounds like the perfect place for you or a change-making 12-17 year old you know, send them to YEACamp.org and hopefully we’ll see you or them this summer!

Happy new year!

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YEA Camp Hero Day 11 Bernie: Stepping Up to Make a Difference

Welcome to Day 11(!) of our 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes campaign – our way of showing off how amazing our campers are and reflecting on how, according to them, YEA Camp has helped them make a difference.
1560767_10153066874034698_2222574637238270452_nToday’s YEA Camp Hero is 15-year-old Bernie from Oregon, who has been with us the past two summers. Bernie is passionate about a lot of things – music, especially! Here he is performing the whole camp at the YEA Show! – but also human rights, bullying, gay rights, the environment, animals, and more. When he first came to YEA Camp, he says he “was kind of lost in the activist regard, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do or focus on,” which is how a lot of campers are — and how a lot of people are — when you recognize how many challenges there are in our world. Ultimately, though, YEA Camp is about stepping up to make a difference, learning skills, seeing and emulating examples of things that others are doing that are working, and channeling your passion into action.

10628686_10153385076384698_5419096048098897042_oWhen we asked Bernie how YEA Camp made a difference for him he said it “helped me center on what I really care about. This year when I went I wanted to focus on human trafficking but I realized that I’m really passionate about the environment, and YEA Camp helped me do so much. I started a compost program at my school (here he is, on the right, with members of his school club at the waste audit they did that showed the school how much food waste could be diverted from the trash by composting!), 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.”

He also told us last month that, if not for YEA Camp, “I would have been eating turkey for
Thanksgiving, and burgers and hot dogs every single day, I swear. If not for YEA, I wouldn’t be willingly learning about cruelty in the world. If not for YEA, I wouldn’t be as kind and accepting as I hope I am.”

10557232_10153066827744698_1786504347836216207_nWe are so grateful to know Bernie and so many others like him who know that they want to make a difference and just need a little support to channel their passions into action.

As we wrap up 2014, we say thank you to all of you who have supported YEA Camp along its path to reach more young people like Bernie. We are continuing our year-end fundraising drive until tomorrow, when our matching gift expires, and we would so appreciate your support to help us reach even more campers to make an even bigger difference in 2015.

If you were inspired by Bernie, we hope you will check out some of the previous posts about YEA Camp Heroes that you may have missed. There was Day 1 about Megan in Massachusetts raising money for the homeless, Day 2 showcasing Joyce in New Jersey speaking out about bullying, Day 3 highlighting Maddie in Colorado advocating for animals, Day 4 about Lia from Washington state working to address the stigma of mental illness and reducing teen suicide, Day 5 about Roberto from North Carolina speaking more confidently about progressive causes, Day 6 about Ana from California advocating for women, workers, animals, and more, Day 7 about Jia Hui’s animal advocacy, Day 8 about Shelby’s advocacy for gay and transgender rights, and Day 9 about Leah from Connecticut helping animals at her local shelter, and Day 10 about Sage from California who is trying to educate his peers on current events. Wow, that’s a lot of heros! And we’ll be honoring 1 more tomorrow as we wrap up this series. We hope you are inspired as we are by these stories that our supporters have helped make possible.

If YEA Camp sounds like the perfect place for you or a change-making 12-17 year old you know, send them to YEACamp.org and hopefully we’ll see you or them this summer!

Happy new year!

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YEA Camp Hero Day 10 Sage: Teaching Students About Current Events

Welcome to Day 10 of our 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes campaign – our way of highlighting the difference our campers are making and how, according to them, YEA Camp has helped.

10547626_10153066886244698_488404055169693032_nAt YEA Camp, 14-year-old Sage from California shared that he was frustrated at how unaware some of his classmates are about things that are happening in the world, and that he felt his classes should teach more about important social justice and current events topics. Sage is super smart, knowledgeable and passionate about so many causes from the death penalty to climate change, gerrymandering political districts to the drug war. He wants other students to learn and care about these causes too.

Since camp, Sage has started an activist school club! It’s a way to connect and work with others who care about different causes too. There are 10-15 people at the average meeting, and because they are interested in different topics, they work in small groups on the issues that they are most passionate about. Sage says, “I have tried to get people focused on what activism people are individually interested in and then helping and supporting them while they create their own plan.”

One group recently wrote a letter to the chef trying to get Meatless Mondays in the school cafeteria. Another group is working on reducing what they feel is censorship at school. Students are not allowed to do their own research on the computers, which they feel puts lower-income students without computers at home at an unfair disadvantage.

Sage advocated to the administration for creating an editorial board for the newspaper, including getting other students to sign petitions for it, but was told that the school doesn’t want “kids getting their feelings hurt by others’ opinions.” He’s still working on that, but the club did successfully advocated for the school newspaper to add a current events section that addresses world issues. Sage also convinced his history teacher to start including current events and world issues in class, and he is planning on talking to other teachers about this as well.

YEA definitely empowered me to take action at school. Before YEA Camp I had a very cynical outlook on school policies and thought it was impossible to make any social change. I was wrong and YEA Camp taught me to be determined and motivated against all odds. … If not for YEA Camp I wouldn’t have been as confident or able to write or speak as persuasively as I did to authority. YEA Camp also taught me how to start a functional school club. If not for YEA Camp I would have given up the first time someone said ‘no’ to my activism plan.

We are so proud of what Sage is accomplishing, and we love that he is finding ways to pursue different causes that are important to him while helping others to do the same. This is exactly what YEA Camp is about.

As we approach the end of the year and prep for 2015, your donation can help us strengthen our ability to serve even more young people who want to make a difference. We so appreciate your support!

If you enjoyed reading about Sage’s activism, check out some of the previous posts about YEA Camp Heroes that you may have missed. There was Day 1 about Megan in Massachusetts raising money for the homeless, Day 2 showcasing Joyce in New Jersey speaking out about bullying, Day 3 highlighting Maddie in Colorado advocating for animals, Day 4 about Lia from Washington state working to address the stigma of mental illness and reducing teen suicide, Day 5 about Roberto from North Carolina speaking more confidently about progressive causes, Day 6 about Ana from California advocating for women, workers, animals, and more, Day 7 about Jia Hui’s animal advocacy, Day 8 about Shelby’s advocacy for gay and transgender rights, and Day 9 about Leah from Connecticut helping animals at her local shelter. Wow, that’s a lot of heros! And we’ll be honoring 2 more in the next 2 days!

If YEA Camp sounds like the perfect place for you or a change-making 12-17 year old you know, send them to YEACamp.org and hopefully we’ll see you or them this summer!

 

 

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YEA Camp Hero Day 9: Leah CAREs About Animals!

10641035_1532318603648177_6894226417044774836_nHappy Day 9 of our 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes campaign!

If you haven’t heard, 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes is part of our end-of-year fundraising campaign, If Not for YEA Camp… to look at how our campers are making a difference that, according to them, they would not have done if they hadn’t attended.

Today’s featured camper, 16-year-0ld Leah (left) from Connecticut, is dedicated to helping animals, and we are so proud that she has put her huge passion into so much action since camp!

10877830_384825185017951_586361799_nLeah started the CARE Club at her school this year, and it has already been very successful. The club has 20 active members and many more supporters, and is working on several important projects. So far they set up a collection drive at school for the local Humane Society, held a screening of the great film “Blackfish” about the abuse of orcas at SeaWorld, and set up a table in the cafeteria to inform students about animal cruelty issues.

10904079_384820875018382_143389571_n

Check out Leah with the packed car of donated items the club collected for the local shelter!

We have been asking campers about the difference YEA Camp has made in their activism, and were so inspired by Leah’s answer to our “If Not for YEA Camp…” question.

Leah says, “If not for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t have known how to start my animal rights club. I wouldn’t have known how to recruit members, plan club activities, or known how to fundraise or campaign for my club properly. I wouldn’t have understood the importance of using good communication skills to get my message across or how to find the right people to support me in my efforts. I’m very thankful that I now have these skills. I always had the passion and the ability to come up with ideas to help the animals I care so deeply about, but it wasn’t until YEA Camp that I was able to fully harness that passion and put together my ideas to make an action plan worth completing.”

10893694_384820965018373_2026657000_nWe are so proud of all Leah has accomplished — and she is just getting started! She’s got a lot more planned out in this awesome notebook of hers! :)

Your donation to YEA Camp helps young people like Leah to develop the skills to run school clubs and campaigns of their choosing, to build confidence to speak up for what’s important to them, and to have a community to support them along the way.

A generous supporter is matching all donations up to $2500 until the end of the year, making your donation go twice as far! Will you make a donation to help us grow? You can do so here. We so appreciate your continued support!

Tune in tomorrow for Day 9 of 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes!

Missed previous days of YEA Camp Heroes? Get caught up on these inspiring stories! Here’s Day 1 about Megan in Massachusetts raising money for the homeless, Day 2 showcasing Joyce in New Jersey speaking out about bullying, Day 3 highlighting Maddie in Colorado advocating for animals, Day 4 about Lia from Washington state working to address the stigma of mental illness and reducing teen suicide, Day 5 about Roberto from North Carolina speaking more confidently about progressive causes, Day 6 about Ana from California advocating for women, workers, animals, and more, Day 7 about Jia Hui’s animal advocacy, and  Day 8 about Shelby’s advocacy for gay and transgender rights.

Know a 12-17 year-old who would love YEA Camp? We’ve got an early bird discount until the end of the year so send them to YEACamp.org for more info!

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YEA Camp Hero Day 8: Shelby Does It All

Welcome to Day 8 of our 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes series to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our campers and the ways YEA Camp has helped them to make an even bigger difference! You can help us reach even more campers through supporting our year-end fundraising campaign here.

10551075_10153066822044698_6120873967941536995_nWe love that YEA Campers have a wide range of activist experience before YEA Camp — from knowing they want to get involved but not knowing how, to having already accomplished a lot. Wherever they start from, our goal is to help campers make an even bigger difference than they have in the past or would have made without us.

There are few YEA Campers who have been more active or dedicated before coming to YEA Camp than Shelby from Los Angeles. Shelby was already active in her school’s Gay Straight Alliance and Animal Allies club for which she had done several fundraisers and outreach activities. We were blown away reading her application at how much she was already doing.

In it, Shelby wrote she wanted to come to YEA Camp because it would be “incredible to spend a week living in a community with people who are supportive and passionate about activism, because I feel like there are so few people I can relate to
in that way.”

shelby

Photo credit: Carolyn Brown c/o Buzzfeed

Since YEA Camp, Shelby has done so many amazing things, and has kept us so updated, it’s hard to even list all the things she has done. As a leader in her school’s GSA, she organized Pride Week at her high school, spoke about diversity at a local middle school assembly and to elementary school teachers, organized fundraisers, and even organized with other LA school GSAs in putting on “Gay Prom” and other dances that were safe spaces for all. She also advocated for composting and veg school lunches, volunteering with different organizations, and this year has been advocating for transgender rights at her college, participated in rallies about climate change and police brutality in the #BlackLivesMatter rallies, and the list just goes on and on.

10577091_10153065549169698_6046970671759809732_nThis summer Shelby came back to YEA Camp to be on staff as a counselor in training, where she led workshops (like this one on school clubs) and supported younger activists in their own development as changemakers.

It has been amazing to see all the ways Shelby is growing as an activist, and we are so proud of all she has accomplished. We asked her what difference YEA Camp made since she had already done so much, and we were so inspired when she told us.

  • “I felt confident enough to commit to so many different projects and be such a leader! YEA Camp helped give me more confidence for speaking in front of groups. I pretty much was not nervous at all.
  • If not for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t have had the idea for composting in the first place or the idea to work with the elementary school.
  • I wouldn’t have been so confident when talking/questioning about
    veganism. I wouldn’t have been so willing to jump on all these environmental protests, and I wouldn’t have been as organized with it all. I wouldn’t have been so confident going back to school, being a leader.”

Here is a short video Shelby made (that we love!) to share her experiences. (She wanted to make sure we noticed her YEA Camp appreciation poster and completion certificate on her college dorm walls in the background too! :) )

YEA Camp is thrilled to be able to support amazing youth activists like Shelby making an even bigger difference, and as a nonprofit we count on your support to keep growing. We appreciate your contributions to our work!

Tune in tomorrow for Day 9 of 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes!

Missed previous days of YEA Camp Heroes? We don’t blame you for wanting to catch up! Here’s Day 1 about Megan in Massachusetts raising money for the homeless, Day 2 showcasing Joyce in New Jersey speaking about about bullying, Day 3 highlighting Maddie in Colorado advocating for animals, Day 4 about Lia from Washington state working to address the stigma of mental illness and reducing teen suicide, Day 5 about Roberto from North Carolina speaking more confidently about progressive causes, Day 6 about Ana from California advocating for women, workers, animals, and more, and Day 7 about Jia Hui’s animal advocacy!

Does YEA Camp sound perfect for a 12-17 year-old you know (perhaps YOU)? Join us or send them our way this summer for the best week of their life!

 

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