In August 2022, 350 Sacramento held our second ever Youth Camp for Climate Action (YCCA). YCCA, which was first hosted in 2019, is a weekend summer camp built around an activist training curriculum and community-building exercises. Designed to provide regional youth with the tools to make change, YCCA helps sustain the youth climate activism community and build momentum for future campaigns. With lots of consideration evaluating the scope of the camp, YCCA took place on the weekend of August 5-6 at Camp Pollock. A total of 12 attendees participated in Day 1, and 13 on Day 2.
On the first day of camp, attendees participated in lessons on climate change, leadership, and storytelling pulled from our SEAT (Student Environmental Activist Training) program curriculum. The SEAT program, created by our very own Moiz Mir, is a 10-unit curriculum that had been previously held and piloted as virtual, afterschool and summer programs in 2021. Beyond the SEAT lessons, Day One of this year’s Youth Camp was grounded by reflective exercises and journaling prompts.
The second day of camp included lessons on the theory of change, giving public comment, power mapping, and direct action training. Campers also participated in a campaign brainstorming session, in which they were presented with existing advocacy campaigns and collaborated on strategies together. There were additional camper-led modules throughout the day. We even had international participants from Fridays For Future Lisbon, Portugal on a US visit to talk about direct action strategies and a new global campaign being launched, End Fossil: Occupy.
Campers kept cool throughout the sweltering weather by taking breaks at the river and participating in water balloon fights. Food and supplies were provided to campers free of cost, and our wonderful 350 Sac volunteers helped to make sure all meals and activities ran smoothly.
While this year’s camp was smaller and shorter than 2019’s, it was nevertheless a rewarding event for those who attended! Supriya Patel, a youth activist with Fridays for Future Sacramento and a peer leader at YCCA, says, “My experience at 350’s [YCCA] was invaluable. As California faces another round of devastating heatwaves, it’s more important than ever that we equip young people with the tools that they need to defeat the climate crisis.” Another camp leader, Sneha Namboodiri, spoke of the usefulness of the content and community-building activities. She says, “I got to meet other organizers from all over and it was so great to be able to hear about how others are taking action. I also learned a lot on how to improve my organizing and leadership[;] I am excited to be able to share that with my groups as well!” To get a sense of the camp experience, content, and activities, check out our full “Camper Binder”. Check out this interview with Sneha!
Thank you to everyone who attended and supported the 2022 YCCA! We look forward to continuing the youth camp in the years to come.