see caption

2019 Encampers and staff.

see caption

Pesticide-free School Project at the 2019 Encampment.

see caption

2018 Encampers share strategies for getting out the vote.

see caption

2019 Encampers canvassing on housing issues with CAUSE.

The Encampment is ...

... a summer experience to live what you learn, make friends from across the nation, and expand your worldview.

... year-round opportunities for leadership development, building community, and learning.

... a nationwide network of committed alumni and partners, working for positive change in their home communities.

Read on!


2018 Encampment

Visits to Montgomery and Selma

Encampers were exposed to the victories and hope in the struggle for justice, and encouraged to embrace the ongoing work for a better world.More »

Alum Stories

The Encampment has changed me

Deanna Marie Mousseau explains how the Encampment has influenced her life. Check out her alum story and others.

An early encampment

From the beginning, youth from

“many religious, racial, social, and national backgrounds” came to the Encampment to “make democracy work” by living it. Read more »

EFC videos

Each year, the Encampment for Citizenship (EFC) runs a summer program that empowers young people aged 15–18 to tackle social injustice and make a positive difference in their communities and the world.

Nothing Can Stop Me Now song recorded at 2018 EFC InterGen(erational) Weekend (by Eagle Eye Imaging Solutions).

Created in the 2017 Encampment Digital Stories workshop. View all »

Hampshire College -- Encampment 2016, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Jon Kerner, Ph.D, (EFC 1965 CA) describes his Encampment experience.

See all videos »

EFC photos

See all photos »


Ed Peeples Memorial Celebration

Summer Encampment 2019 group photo

If you are able to attend the memorial celebration for Ed Peeples on Saturday, Nov 2 in Richmond, Virginia, read more on his website.

Also read more about this social justice advocate in the VCU News.

Memories of Ed Peeples

Alum Carol Ahlum (1966, Kentucky) sent us her memories of Ed Peeples. Check them out »

Summer Encampment 2019 group photo

Carol (far left) at the 1966 Kentucky Encampment.

Read Miles Rapoport's Reflections on One Example of Ed Peeples's Impact »

Ed Peeples was a good man. He lived a life for justice and standing up for others. We should all live that way. – Danny Fetonte, 1966 Kentucky

We want to hear from you — share your EFC memories here or send to

Ed Peeples, beloved human rights activist, April 20,1935 – September 7, 2019

We are saddened to report that Dr. Edward Harden Peeples, Jr. died recently. He was surrounded by his loving family. He was an EFC alum (1957); director of the first Southern Encampment in 1966 in Barbourville, Kentucky (both experiences are detailed in his memoir, Scalawag); and key to the re-establishment of the Encampment in 2013 at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond. Ed also preserved the legacy of the Encampment by finding a home for the EFC archives at the VCU library. Ed embodied the mission and vision of the EFC through his warmth, dedication to truth-seeking, and unique ability to connect with others on a human level. He was also courageous, enduring physical threats and assaults in his fight against white supremacy.

His own words help explain both why he was such well-loved, successful activist and why the Encampment is important: “… real change, the kind that occurs over time, like desegregation, is not solely dependent on iconic figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr.  Yes, they inspired us but the people who desegregated the South were ordinary, usually unnamed, people (often women) who stood up for what was right day after day, got beaten up and disparaged, for years until it was done. I’m talking about segregation here, not racism. Often a historical account of a social movement focuses on iconic figures but I am talking about a culture of activism that anyone can embrace and participate in right now in their home community. The EFC prepared us and charged us to 'Go forth and right the world!'”

The family will hold a celebration of Ed’s life and we will keep you posted as to the time/place. If you would like to read Ed’s EFC alum bio, click here. If you would like to share your memories of Ed, e-mail them to us and we will share on our website and in our Facebook group.

Summer Encampment 2019 group photo

Summer Encampment 2019 group photo

Photos: (top) Ed (center) at the 1966 Kentucky Encampment and (bottom, far right) at the 2013 Encampment in Richmond, Virginia.

The 2019 Summer Program Wraps Up

Summer Encampment 2019 group photo

The 2019 Encampment just concluded in Camarillo, California. Look for updates in the fall.

In the meantime, we asked the Encampers, “Would you recommend the Encampment to a friend?” The answer is a resounding “yes!” Here are several of the replies.

I can see my friends really thriving in this program, and then I can help them with their great ideas as well. This camp provided me with tools and empowerment I didn’t know I had in me. I want to share that.” — Petua, MA

Going to the Encampment challenged my way of thinking and broadened my horizon. I was asked to provide proof and not make assumptions. In addition, the opportunity to meet other people from different places is worth more than gold.” — David, MS

I strongly believe that it is an impactful experience culturally and intellectually. Students get the opportunity to interact with many others their age and come up with answers to questions that weren’t deeply looked at before, such as, ‘What is freedom?’ It was also a great way for us to network with adults.” — Adriana, CA

My experience this summer had me thinking about how I could start changing my community. I have learned a lot more about immigration, and people in the fields and how they live. I met many new people and learned how they want to change their communities.” — Darrien, SD

“… this program helped me grow a lot as a person and I want that for my friends as well. I learned to be more open-minded and obtained a different perspective on life.” — Leah, Greece

“… it is a great opportunity to be challenged by other young minds and to get active in communities [near the summer program site] while learning how to be active in your own.” — Elijah, NY

Take a brief look back the 2019 Encampment: Working Toward True Democracy.

Also check out the Facebook and Instagram updates.

Looking for a way to invest in social justice?

see headline below

The Encampment prepares young people to put their passion for justice to work. Give to EFC to invest in social justice leaders.

Ayana had a life-changing experience -- not just by learning history and meeting organizers working toward equity today--but being moved by her own cultural heritage and learning ways to work for justice in her community. Read more »

Arrow came to the Encampment to learn skills to strengthen his leadership in his tribal community. "Every day, the Encampment taught me more about Mississippi, and myself, and how I can make a difference in my community." Read more »

And, as part of the EFC’s Get-Out-the-Vote campaign, Encampers are taking action in different ways: Samara and her mother are helping to get out the vote in Springfield, Massachusetts; Isaiah registered to vote for the first time in Oakland, California; and Bernice and her mother are starting a nonprofit, Freedom 2.0, in New Jersey, to educate younger voters and encourage them to vote.

EFC can continue to prepare these young leaders to take thoughtful action for social justice. DONATE »

You Don’t Have to Give Up Your Sentiment-laden Treasures for Us to Get Out the Story of the Encampment for Citizenship to the World!

The VCU Archives have the latest state-of-the-art scanners, which can provide giant, high-resolution copies of your prized photos and other documents! It also has 3-D and other printers that can replicate some of your other cherished items for the Encampment archival collection.You don’t have to surrender your mementos. You simply loan them to us for just long enough for us to make high-tech copies and we send them right back to you. Read more »


news archive »