Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp, a summer camp for social change that has spent the past 6 years training young people to change the world, has decided to shut down.
This afternoon, April 1, 2015, YEA Camp held press conferences to packed audiences in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Austin, Omaha, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to announce that it has determined that one person cannot make a difference, and therefore YEA Camp is pointless.
“We thought about it long and hard,” said YEA Camp founder and director Nora Kramer, “and I’m sorry to say that we came to the conclusion that one person really can’t make a difference. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Gandhi, Julia Butterfly Hill, Van Jones, Elizabeth Warren, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Angelina Jolie, and all those celebrity do-gooders, the staff members and volunteers and donors of all of your favorite nonprofits, every student in an environmental, anti-bullying, or animal rights club, all of our campers and staff, the abolitionists, the suffragettes, civil rights activists, … and on and on. They are all just one person and therefore don’t make a difference.”
“And nothing ever really changes,” the director of YEA Camp continued. “Like what advances have we really seen in social justice or civil rights since the founding of our country? None. Therefore, YEA Camp’s goal of training teenagers to make a bigger difference on a cause they care about is a complete waste of time. We should all just give up and accept everything that is happening in our world that is unjust, unsustainable, or that we otherwise would like to see changed if only that were possible. It’s just too bad that nothing ever changes.”
It has truly been a joy to be at YEA Camp these past 6 years, to meet so many passionate young people who care about helping to address the environment, animals, bullying, gay rights, poverty, racism, and other important issues.
It has been incredibly inspiring to see so many of our campers start school clubs, launch anti-bullying initiatives, improve the recycling at their school, create fundraisers, testify at public hearings, and so much more.
It is amazing that so many of our campers have educated their school through powerful articles for their school newspaper, school projects or papers on important topics, and getting amazing guest speakers to present about critical social justice issues.
It is heartbreaking to come to the conclusion that nobody can really make a difference, especially because we have so much fun at YEA Camp and everyone has made so many wonderful friends! But now, what’s the point?
Unfortunately, the determination that nobody can make a difference is coming at an awkward time of year. YEA Camp has dozens of teenagers around the country who are already registered and made their plans to attend this summer. Sadly, it will just be too complicated to reimburse all of these people.
As a result, YEA Camp has decided to move forward with its already scheduled camps in California, Oregon, and New York this summer. Space is still available at each session. Any teenagers, parents, or potential staff members still under the impression that anyone can really make a difference are encouraged to visit www.YEACamp.org to get involved with this last-ditch effort to change the world. ;)