Final Notes from Climate Camp 2016
Indianapolis, Ind. (July 30, 2016) – Earth Charter Indiana and its youth program, Youth Power Indiana, along with partner Peace Learning Center and HEART, collaborated once again on their annual weeklong Climate Camp, July 25-29.
Youth are available for interviews upon request.
Highlights of the Week:
· Presentations by and on:
o #JustTrayNo youth, four 11-year-old students who convinced IPS officials to stop using polystyrene lunch trays starting this school year
o The Promise Project, Carmel-based Climate Campers working with elected officials on climate recovery
o Climate Recovery, Indy-based Climate Campers working with elected officials on climate recovery
o Youth action in the United States
· A public showing of Josh Fox’s (Gasland) new documentary, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change
· A nature hike around Eagle Creek Park
· A visit to the Nature Conservancy, Indy’s most sustainable building, where Climate Campers also learned all about The Children of Indiana Nature Park, recently launched in Centerville, Indiana
· A tour of IndyGo’s new Downtown Transit Center
· A Mock City County Council meeting, where Campers familiarized themselves with the city county council and how the public is engaged in impacting local policy
· A trip to Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, where youth leaders helped Climate Campers tune up their bikes, learning bike safety and maintenance in preparation for their afternoon ride
· Indy’s first-ever Tour de Hives. Starting in 2015, tanks to a grant by SustainIndy, Earth Charter Indiana teamed up with beekeeper Kate Franzman (Bee Public) to engage in pollinator education project that resulted in hives placed at Indianapolis schools. Franzman met with students to talk about bee health and Mayor Joe Hogsett’s recent signing of the Monarch Pledge.
· Several campers paused their bike ride to participate in a public ALEC protest in full swing in front of the Indiana Statehouse
· A group discussion on environmental racism, led by assistant director Tabitha Barbour.
· Campers learned that a story on Climate Camp was published in the Indianapolis Star: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2016/07/27/indiana-students-work-fight-climate-change/87382560/
· Climate Camp was also covered in the local media via WFYI’s live Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/WFYI.Indianapolis/videos/10154265427065874/
· The Climate Camp 2016 Showcase, “Speak Out for the Planet,” held from 5-8 p.m. at the Indianapolis State Museum
· Delicious vegan meals including lunches catered by 3 Carrots, Shepherd’s Pie made from produce donated by Indy Urban Acres and Pogue’s Run Grocer, and dinner from DUO’s Foodtruck
Kristina Hulvershorn, co-director of Climate Camp and Youth Program Director for the Peace Learning Center, stated this year’s camp to be “extraordinarily powerful, because we have so many campers invested in real life, change-making activities. It was an inspiring celebration of hope and opportunity.”
Many others were equally delighted with the experiences of the week. Counselor Cora Gordon, an incoming sophomore at North Central High School, is “constantly inspired by all the kids. They are so brilliant. They have such great ideas and I love them with all of my heart.” Videographer Ryan McCracken, who recorded the kids’ camp activities all week, thinks climate camp is “a great opportunity to get their mission out. It grows every year and gives kids a unique set of life skills, leadership roles, and opportunities that they couldn’t get anywhere else.” McCracken’s video of this year’s camp will be released on the Youth Power Indiana web site.
Lastly and most importantly, this summer’s climate camp was also termed successful by the campers themselves. Soon to be sixth grader Emily, a member of the #JustTrayNo group from Sidener, thought the best part of camp was “being able to be in an environment where everyone really cares about climate change and how bad it is for the earth.”
Ocean, eleven, most enjoyed experiencing “new thing you haven’t done before, like eating vegan,” while her friend Jasmine loved the “hiking. I had fun picking up trash for the community and the earth.” Fifteen-year-old Hillary declared that she will “keep coming back to climate camp because a lot of camps are just fun, but this camp also incorporates learning and environmental awareness.”
Climate Camp co-director Jim Poyser said, “I am blown away not only by brilliance and commitment of these kids, but our ongoing partnerships with organizations and entities like Indiana State Museum, Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, Indy Urban Acres, The Nature Conservancy, Bee Public and IndyGo. What I see is a community coming together in support of these kids’ futures.”
Earth Charter Indiana and Peace Learning Center held their first week long Climate Camp in 2014. Earth Charter Indiana’s support for its Youth Power Indiana program, including climate camps, comes from The McKinney Family Foundation, The Netherleigh Fund, The Herbert Simon Family Foundation and Lilly Endowment Inc.
For more on Climate Camp, go to the Youth Power Indiana website and eye this short video.