2023 Encampment applicants are ready to have a life-changing experience and put their passion for justice to work.Supporting their development is an investment in a more just and equitable future for us all.

For a limited time, we have a match — an anonymous donor is investing in these young people. Now through May 15, they will match all donations up to $10.000. 

2023 applicants tell us why they want to participate in the Encampment:

Many of my friends, although well-meaning, are not politically engaged, much less interested in community organizing. At the Encampment, I would meet other like-minded individuals who have the same passion for community organizing as me. I also hope to learn from other people’s life experiences and compare notes with them, synthesizing strategies and learning from each other what goes well and what went wrong. At the Encampment, I hope to learn first-hand from indigenous folks and turn theory into practice and praxis. I also have little experience in creative forms of advocacy and activism, so I am ecstatic to learn about those as well. — J.

Learning to advocate is a skill I have struggled with for the longest time. In the past two years, I have attempted to push myself to take risks and become comfortable voicing my opinions. I am interested in pursuing a career in law, and my dream job is to work as an employment lawyer for an organization that fights for agricultural workers’ rights. This job requires that I be comfortable communicating with people; I feel the Encampment would provide the environment where I can continue improving my communication skills and learn to advocate not just for myself, but for issues I care about. — Y.


Click here to hear Aydin tell us about his 2022 Encampment experience.

What will youth activists learn at the 2023 Encampment?

This summer, Encampers will work with and learn from grassroots organizers in Ventura County. This is key to the EFC’s educational approach: exploring the community and meeting with activists who are working for change. In addition, we find ways to contribute to community projects that promote justice. For instance, this summer, we will work at a local community garden that grows and distributes organic produce. This addresses both environmental and food justice. By using organic methods, they address the issue that pesticides are harmful to farmworkers and their families, and the surrounding community, through drift. Our year-round project, the Pesticide-Free Soil Project, is working on this issue, particularly for schools and parks. The garden also addresses food justice by distributing produce to local food pantries and shelters.

A highlight of last summer will continue this summer as we learn from indigenous elders from the Central Coast about their culture and our connection to the natural world in multiple ways. The Encampers will do another tomol (indigenous canoe) paddle and may be able to join a work day on Limuw Island, removing non-native plants. This will be combined with learning about current Chumash Tribe justice issues.

Our core Arts as Activism component helps youth activists ignite the power of their imaginations to make change.“When it comes to activism, being true to yourself is super-important, and the best way to truly understand a topic is to express it through art. Art can challenge someone to think differently, or could educate people in a single glance. Art is a tool that should be mastered, and allowing a space for that is crucial.” — Ariella, 2022 Encamper

It’s been so important for me to meet people from across the country because I’ve been able to make connections with people who I probably wouldn’t have been friends with at home. I am grateful to have met people from the South, SoCal, Mexico, and New England, because they have all changed my perspective of people from those places and helped me understand the issues in those areas.” — Maribel, 2022 Encamper

Give to our Spring Sponsorship Fund today to make a difference for the newest Encampers whose families cannot afford the full program fee. The cost for this year’s program is $3,500 per person (includes room and board, staff, field trips, materials), but every donation helps. Give by May 15 and your donation will be doubled up to $10,000.

Invest in young people who want to use their skills to address climate change, economic inequality and violence against people of color/women/LGBTQIA+, among other concerns. Working with them is our best hope for democracy and justice.

Inspired? Click here to help sponsor 2023 Encampers.

Or send a check to EFC, P.O. Box 1210, Aptos, CA 95001

All donations are tax-deductible. Our federal EIN is 30-0694938.

What is the Encampment?

  • Young people ages 15–18, from the U.S. and beyond, living and learning together for three-plus weeks in a summer program focused on experiential learning, critical thinking, community, and social justice in action
  • A follow-up program that supports them to take action when they go home
  • A nationwide network of committed alums and partner organizations, working for social justice in their home communities.
  • An option for local Ventura County alums to intern with our year-round  Pesticide-Free Soil Project

The EFC in Action – 2022 Encampers are back in their communities and working on:

  • Alvin is organizing a Cultural Awareness Day at his school featuring artifacts, foods and fashions.
  • Melanie is co-leading a Social Justice Dialogue Club and contributed a Caribbean dance to her school’s international program.
  • Jason helped organize his school community to raise $6,000 for Hurricane Fiona aid. His action plan is to organize for more garbage cans in Harlem.
  • Piper, a Pesticide-Free Pesticide Program (PFSP) intern, is part of the social media team sharing PFSP’s work with the community.
  • PFSP intern Joaquin helped harvest cempasúchil (traditional Dia de Los Muertos marigolds) at the Community Roots Garden.
  • Basil and Aydin are co-leading the students of color group at their school.
  • Maribel ran for first-year rep of La Voz Latina.
  • Jaden successfully advocated with his principal to see that school lunches were  provided consistently.
  • Imani is creating a film and literature analysis club.
  • Zora iniitiated a Black Student Alliance at her school.


Have questions? Ask us at Contact EFC.