This post on CollabCamp was originally written by our friends Jonsaba Jabbi and Cody Escuyos, and has been cross-posted from the newsletter of SKETCH Working Arts. For a full recap of the event outcomes, check out our CollabCamp report-back.
In late November 2014, 60 youth organizers and adult allies gathered at YSI's Collaboration Camp from all over Ontario to recharge, get inspired, and keep building a community of changemakers across the province. The end result? Three days of co-created sessions and workshops that left participants with a renewed spirit and new insights that will help increase the impact of their work as youth organizers, allies and arts educators.
Cody, one of SKETCH's Community Artists who attended, shared his thoughts on their experience at CollabCamp:
"CollabCamp was a surprising experience for me. I know that I and all the other CA's were simply excited to get out of the city, but I know that the experience transcended a simple vacation away from the hub-bub of Metropolis living for all of us. For me, my time there grounded me deep in my being, reminding me of a closeness to others and to nature that I had previously forgotten. As valuable and fun as it was getting together during the day, I feel that the deepest and most valuable connections we made was at night around the campfire, during meals or, for myself, during a group hike. Unforgettable."
For YSI, 2015 will mark another year of growing and enhancing youth-led organizing and networks across the province. Recently, along with SKETCH, YSI was one of 15 recipients of the Inspirit Foundation's Pluralism Grant totalling $25,000. They will be creating a new initiative called Young Spirits Circle which will help youth organizers from diverse communities build inclusive relationships.