Young people see justice in clearer terms than many adults. Something is fair or it’s not. Because of that, action seems more attainable, viable, and in fact mandated, than inaction. It takes a while for most of us to grow complacent and resigned…so reaching and inspiring youth to make a difference in the world can be everything to a budding young activist.
YEA Camp is a week-long program (YEA = Youth Empowered Action), and it gets kids ages 12-17 fired up about issues like the environment, equality, neighborhood violence, homelessness, animal cruelty, and more. Sometimes there is a burr under a teen’s saddle about an issue but not a full awareness of how many others share their passion, and how many resources are actually available to address a particular problem. That’s where a week at camp with other inspired teens stokes the fires. Camps take place in Oregon, California, and Massachusetts, and the team’s staff and counselors are activists and educators. Activities are diverse and forward motion is pretty much guaranteed–you don’t come home with a lanyard, you come home with an action plan and a team of supporters. After other camps, parents pick up their kids sunburned and scratching poison ivy rashes. After YEA Camp, those things may be in play, but so is an engaged and excited new way to create a workable world for all of us.
It is a program of the Earth Island Institute, so you know you can trust the experience and expertise of the folks turning teens into powerful leaders of our world. (If you are an adult, and jealous of this fantastic opportunity, volunteer!)