No one could ever accuse Nora Kramer of being a quitter. When she was laid off from her job last year, the longtime animal activist took advantage of the extra time she had to jump right in and start something new. The result is a summer program developed around young people who want to make a difference. Youth Empowered Action Camp (YEA) got off to a great start last summer, and this year promises to be even better.

“We will have camp in Oregon and two sessions in California, so we’ll reach three times as many kids,” explains Nora. “And we are clarifying our focus on four things that all of our core activities are geared around: building knowledge, skills, confidence and community to empower effective activism.” This year, campers will be asked to take on a project and spend at least an hour a week on it after camp.

Nora says there will also be more attention on animal rights issues. “We have gotten a lot of media recently from the AR/veg community, and as a result, we have more youth who are choosing that issue this year than we did last year.” Other social justice issues covered at YEA Camp will include racism, gay rights and poverty, with each camper choosing his or her area of interest.

The California camp will be located at the Quaker Center in Ben Lomond and will be divided into two sessions. Session I is July 25 through July 30, and Session II is July 31 through August 5. The Oregon camp will be August 14 through August 21 at Camp Onahlee in Molalla, 25 miles from Portland.

YEA Camp costs $800 for the full program. The price includes comfortable cabin lodging, nutritious vegan food, all activities and workshops, a highly experienced adult staff and inclusion in the post-camp mentoring program, through which campers will apply what they learn to real-world activism opportunities. Nora says that scholarships are available for those who might need financial assistance.