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Five radical camping experiences for your revolutionary teen

By Pieta Woolley

Most camps are — thankfully and radically in their own right — still about arts and crafts, archery, first crushes and campfires. But across Canada, some camps — particular those operated by the United Church — are helping to construct a better world through inspiring social change. Here are five:

Wampum right relations camp
Five Oaks, Brandford, Ont.
Aug. 5 to 9
Ages 12 to 14

Ten aboriginal and 10 non-aboriginal youth will gather for a week of getting to know each other, and learning about Iroquois history and culture. The week includes a trip to the Mohawk Institute, a former residential school. Click here for more.

Camp Suzuki
Camp Fircom, Gambier Island, B.C.
Aug. 9 to 14 (and months beyond through internships)
Ages 18 to 30


The renowned Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki chose this United Church camp to train a league of young climate volunteers. The experience involves a week at camp and a six-month placement with an environmental organization in Howe Sound, followed by a camp reunion. Click here for more.

Social Justice camp
Tatamagouche Centre, N.S.
August 24 to 28
Ages 15 to 18


How do you make a difference when it comes to social justice, gender and environmental issues? Find out at this camp, which has been running since 2003. Learn how to build communities and create alternative media, among other worthwhile things. Click here for more.

Welcome Friends camp for LGBTQ youth & allies
Northern Ontario (location not specified)
July 5 to 10
Ages 13 to 17


A group of United Church folks came together to create this camp — the only one of its kind in Northern Ontario. The “rainbow camp” offers a traditional camping experience and support. Plus, it’s “a fun place to come OUT and be yourself!” Click here for more.

Youth at General Council
Corner Brook, Nfld.
Aug. 8 to 15


Following a spring retreat and a summer “listening pilgrimage,” 39 young Canadians will gather for the United Church’s 42nd General Council. Input into the Comprehensive Review and resolutions to Council? Not everyone’s cup of tea, I’m sure, but good on these youth for taking it on! Click here for more.


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