For Families

“We are teens who care about our futures.”

– 1991 Encamper

In 2021, the Encampment will bring together young people from all over the country who are passionate about social justice — virtually.

A lot of the information below refers to our residential program that we expect will resume in 2022. In the meantime, please contact the office if you would like more information about what to expect.

A Different Kind of Learning

The Encampment is not “summer school.”

But Encampers will learn

  • About democracy by living democratically and reflecting on their lived experience.
  • About different cultures by living with peers from different backgrounds; Encampers grow by sharing their lives with others.
  • About leadership by working on projects with fellow Encampers.
  • About themselves by expanding their views of what they can accomplish in the world.

And each youth will learn by teaching others through sharing experiences, talents and friendship.

The Workshop Tradition

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., greeting Encampers.
2013 Encampment discussion
The Encampment has a long tradition of inspiring young people to become informed, active participants in their communities.

The heart of this tradition is the workshop. Encampers choose their workshops from a variety of topics. In their workshops, Encampers work closely with experienced, knowledgeable staff to investigate important issues. Then they share what they’ve learned with the larger Encampment community. Past workshop topics have included:

  • human rights and civil rights
  • racial, ethnic, and cultural identity
  • health and poverty and
  • environmental issues.

A Variety of Activities

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., greeting Encampers.
Maggie, Kendra, Madison and Kristin with Get Out The Vote materials at the 2018 InterGenerational Weekend.
Speakers, films, discussions, community service and activities ...

… planned by the Encampers themselves are all part of the Encampment experience. Social and recreational activities are also important components of the program.

Program FAQs

Where will my young person live during the Encampment?

Encampers are housed in a secure living space.

Rooms are shared by 3-6 youth and are often clustered in “pods.” Staff are housed alongside the youth in the same secure space. Encampers live in rooms and pods with other Encampers and staff of the same sex.

What are the dining arrangements?

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided, along with snacks.

Dining is typically cafeteria-style. Please tell us about any special dietary needs so we can make sure they are accommodated.

How can I contact my young person during the Encampment?

We encourage youth to stay in touch with their families via email or regular mail.

A mailing address will be provided to families. Phone calling is for emergencies only; a number will be provided to families.

Who will be at the Encampment?

The Encampment will bring together 30 young people and approximately five full-time staff.

Young people come to the Encampment from all over the United States and often from other nations as well. We aim for true diversity: racial/ethnic, geographic (all regions and a mix of rural, suburban, and urban environments), economic/class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. The experience of living, learning, and working together teaches valuable lessons that last a lifetime. Staff members come from a wide variety of backgrounds as well. We choose staff for their skill and experience working with teens, and for depth of knowledge about societal issues and active community involvement.

What are the behavioral expectations?

Encampers must agree to abide by certain basic rules of behavior.

Encampers are expected to treat other Encampers, staff, and guests with respect, and to participate fully in Encampment activities. Because this program involves living and working with people from very different backgrounds and confronting issues that can be challenging, Encampers must have the desire and capacity to embrace these situations and to grow and learn from them.   

What should my young person bring to the Encampment?

A packing list is provided upon acceptance into the program.

Basically, Encampers should bring casual clothing and footwear for the 3-week program, and one “business attire” outfit. Athletic and swimming attire are encouraged. Laundry facilities will be available. Encampers should bring appropriate toiletries. Basic linens are typically provided. Encampers may bring musical instruments, water bottle, camera, cell phone (specific policies TBD), recorded music (iPod, etc.), books.

Are there any items my young person should not bring?

Please do not bring items such as computers, tablets (iPads), etc.

These will be available at the Encampment site. Dangerous items such as knives or other weapons are not allowed. Illegal items are – of course – not allowed.


Eleanor Roosevelt with 1946 Encampers

2018 InterGen-Encampers and parents in a breakout group.

The actual experience of the Encampment was above and beyond …

… what I had originally anticipated. I knew that we would be focusing on the core subjects of immigration, climate change and labor, but what I didn’t know was that we would be literally getting out into the community and attempting to make meaningful change (through service learning).


2019 Encamper, MA

We are strengthening democracy by creating community.