Sure cure for election burnout? Watch this video of activist kids summer camp

Sleepaway to change the world.

So what if the most popular adjective to describe this week's election was "adorable"? By all accounts, we have a generation on the up with the vigor and verve to right all the atrocities ours has committed in regards to social justice, sustainable food systems, fossil fuel dependence, etc. At least, such is the impression given by the promo video sent to us by Youth Empowered Action Camps, a project started by activist Nora Kramer in the hopes of providing a safe, fun place for kids to find their cause. Wanna see hope, encapsulated? Keep going for the video and more info on raddest summer camp ever.

Last year, we interviewed Kramer about her motivation for starting the YEA camps, which will take place this summer in Portland, Northern California and -- new for 2012! -- New Jersey. Said Kramer:

Sometimes kids who care or speak up about environmental or other issues are made fun of or criticized and get discouraged. I feel like our world is facing so many challenges, and we need to bring youth together with like-minded peers and adults to support them in taking action so they can bring about the world they want to see. If there can be successful summer camps for kids who like volleyball or theater or play the violin, why not for youth who want to make the world a better place?

YEA kids get to hang out with other conscientious young ones (ages 12 to 17), snack on delicious vegan foods, and develop action plans to take into the school year. What kind of action plans, you ask? Past campers have created anti-bullying and recycling programs in their schools, held birthday fundraisers for Planned Parenthood -- even started a bakery that sells animal product-free wedding cakes

Scholarships are available for low-income youth. Spaces are still open for summer 2012, so grab the nearest rad teenager and sign them up.

Youth Empowered Action Camp (Northern California)

July 21-28, $950

Venture Retreat Center

Pescadero, Calif.


I've gone to YEA camp for two years, though unfortunately I won't be able to this year. The first year I started a letter-writing campaign to get the Girl Scouts to stop using palm oil in Girl Scout Cookies, and the second year I improved an organization I cofounded a while ago, to save endangered animals that don't get as much attention as other species, simply because they aren't considered cute (eg: bats, sharks). This camp has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and I could relate to the people there in a way that I can't to most people at my school.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

There's always money to be made off indoctrination.

Posted by Chromefields on Jun. 11, 2012 @ 11:58 am

"Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive" --Harold Thurman Whitman

YEA Camp helps kids come alive, by filling their need for purpose and meaning with tools and support to manifest the world they one day hope to live in. It turns kids from wishing things were different then they are into people that are willing to do something about it. What the world needs to an educational system based on this approach. If that were to happen, in just a couple of generations, I can only imagine how socially just, environmentally sustainable and spiritually fulfilling our human presence on the planet would be.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

This camp is incredible. My friend's kid can't wait to go back. Cool to see it in the SFBG.

Posted by Adri on Jun. 10, 2012 @ 11:08 am

These kids are awesome.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2012 @ 9:51 am

America's youth need more guidance like that provided in these YEA camps.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2012 @ 8:16 am

Love that kids can come together in an environment where the "peer pressure" motivates them towards positive outlets instead of all of the many challenges kids face in school these days. Great work.

Posted by Gary on Jun. 10, 2012 @ 7:21 am

Spots still available? Parents would be doing themselves a disservice not checking in to YEA Camp for a productive summer alternative!

Posted by Janet on Jun. 10, 2012 @ 7:09 am

I wish I was younger so I could go to YEA Camp!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2012 @ 6:54 am

Thanks for the shout out, Bay Guardian! You guys rock!

YEA Camp still has a few spots available for campers this summer at each of our sessions, and we are hiring for a couple of final positions, so check out and spread the word to folks who might be interested.

Thanks again!

Posted by Nora on Jun. 10, 2012 @ 6:43 am

The compassionate and encouraging campers and counselors at YEA Camp reminded me that I have a voice and gave me the courage to use it! YEA Camp was an amazing experience that I will treasure the memory of for the rest of my life!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 09, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

YEA Camp OR last year united a spark within our daughter to better achieve results as a teen speaking up in an adult world with a positively charged means for expressing her ideas into articulately finished goals. These ideas were presented and practiced with peers and she left camp with an approachable mentor to further her endeavors through the following year. All while having a dream vegan kitchen and fun camp experience. One week at YEA Camp? Priceless!

Posted by Janet on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

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