About Encampment for Citizenship

Who We Are

The Encampment for Citizenship (EFC) is a non-profit organization that conducts residential summer programs with year-round follow-up for young people of widely diverse backgrounds and nations.


The Encampment prepares young people to be informed, responsible and effective global citizens working for social justice through experiential learning and through living in a diverse, democratic community.

It provides youth with a compelling experience in democratic living, with emphasis on critical thinking and social justice in action.

Our Why

Young people teach us so much, when we make space to listen. Encampers have shown us that they have a fire in their bellies to fix the broken systems in our world. Rather than putting off leadership, they understand that leaders stand with their communities to amplify the voices of all the people. When young people bring their voices, their culture, their strengths and their convictions together, the possibilities for transformation are endless.

The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others have awakened a consciousness in our youth that has compelled them to action.

Children in cages at our country’s border, and the seizure of Latinx Americans because of hate and fear rhetoric deepened young people’s motivation to mobilize and organize.

The appropriation of Native American lands to benefit the fossil fuel industry and the escalating teen suicide rates on reservations have moved young people to ask the critical questions.

“How did we get here, and what can I do to change it?”

What We Do

Our work with young people has shown us that they want to lead, they believe in fighting for justice, and that they require tangible resources to engage in social justice work in their own communities.

The summer intensive provides an experience of a multicultural democratic community and a grounding in basic skills for being an informed and responsible activist. We augment this with ongoing training programs and experiences that allow young people to blossom into activists over time. We provide young people with access to local and national resources to support them wherever their journey for justice leads.

How We Do It

The EFC is committed to the development of young leaders for justice. We believe community is at the heart of all social justice movements and the vehicle by which we access our common humanity. We know that the work for justice takes on many forms and we expose young people to many ways one can work for justice. Our approach to engaging young people includes:

  1. Surfacing what young people know and believe to give young people a sense of agency
  2. Facilitating inquiry-based exploration of social justice issues, modeling how to look at the world through the lens of curiosity and questioning
  3.  Building a sense of community as community is the root of participatory democracy and makes inclusion real
  4. Encouraging young people to think creatively and critically about their own communities and the world around them so that they are not rigid in their approaches, and so they dare to imagine a different world
  5. Using the lens of the arts to analyze, dig more deeply for the truth, and to seek for the meaning in all of their experiences.
  6. Exploring the art of storytelling, and the value of listening to others’ stories to learn more about each other and one another’s communities
  7. Introducing young people to a variety of strategies and approaches to working for justice, so that they know it is possible and that change takes many forms
  8. Inspiring young people to move into action


2020 Online Encampment

Encampers with Cici Battle of Young People For, after her workshop outlining voting challenges and strategies at the 2018 Encampment.

The Encampment is important because youth have so many ideas —

the potential to be the great change that our society needs and the whole world needs. It’s is a place where young people can come to develop their ideas, connect with people who can help them, hear from peers and lift each other up to be that change.


2017 Encamper, Princeton, NJ

We are strengthening democracy by creating community.