WHAT PEOPLE SAY
ABOUT THE YES
— 2023 Participant
On top of the internal growth through reflections, we played improv games, had dance parties, went paddle boarding and bonded during campfire. I love being at YES. It makes me so excited for the future because I know I’ll be moving forward with these beautiful people. I feel ready for life’s peaks and valleys after spending this week discovering who I am and how I want to be to others. Life holds the most potential when I’m sitting under the big oak tree at camp listening to the quiet chatter of people I love.
— Anna, Volunteer YES Staff Member,
The YES was the best thing that has happened to my daughter and I have no doubt that the skills she has learned there will continue to help foster her into a pretty terrific human being for a long time to come... So, from the bottom of my heart...thank you to The YES!
— Heather, YES Camp Parent
My favourite part about The YES Camp is the environment and community that’s created by the staff, participants and site. The YES Camp is such a positive place that I was able to unapologetically be myself and know that people would accept me for me.
— Marcus, YES Camp Participant, Roots 2022
Each year of going [to YES Camp] I feel like I keep growing and expanding as a person. This year
I truly found a new confidence
in my self-expression and with
all of the new friendships I have made that will hopefully last for a lifetime. Everyone here is so amazing and powerful in their
own way. I love this place and I want other people to have the same experiences as me.
I love being a part of a community that values personal and collective growth and love. I love even more the beautiful things this community does for the larger communities that it touches. Working with The YES helps me remember that education (in its broadest sense) can be transformative and inspiring.
— Lindsey, Volunteer YES Staff Member
— Will, YES Camp Participant, Pathways 2019
The YES Camp creates a beautiful community that fosters friendship, creativity, and vulnerability. With each passing year I attend, I find myself growing more confident in expressing who I am and in taking risks. This camp has truly changed me as a person and helped me create friends from all over British Columbia that I continue to communicate with today. I cannot imagine a world where I had not attended The YES Camp. I will carry these experiences with me for the rest of my life.
— Gabe, YES Camp Participant, Pathways 2019
I can't believe the person who came home from camp after only 6 days! After much persuasion by me, he reluctantly agreed to go but did so with an "I'm too cool for this" attitude. He returned home as a new person with such an amazing outlook on life and towards everyone he encounters. He says it changed his life and that it was the best thing he's ever done! I was so happy but I didn't really expect this great attitude to last long but to my amazement it did! He has been a role model even to me!
— "A Grateful Parent", YES Camp Parent
Even though it's been years since my last time, Camp has remained an incredibly formative space for me, and I'm so, so glad people still have the opportunity to experience the love, the joy, the openness. To see that the small and overcrowded lives we lead in our teenage years are not all that lies ahead, and to learn what it means to share in a community of absolute love and radical acceptance, a space of self-creation and self-becoming. So much of what I cherish about myself was born there; and so many of my fondest memories from my teenage years took place among those weeks. So with all the heart I’ve ever had, thank you.
— Gerhardt, YES Camp Alumni, 2022
My son last year at almost 15 was needing to get into a program to help him realize that his life did have meaning. "YES" had me in tears, from the day I found out they would be able to help us financially, to the day I convinced my son to go, to the day I dropped him off, to the day he told me "Mom, I didn't know I could be so happy! I was happy from the minute I woke up, until the minute I woke up again the next day." This coming from a young teen who had forgotten how to smile. He used to say camp was “for goofs and geeks ". The day I picked him up he said "Mom, can you please make sure I can come back again." I can't put into words the difference The YES made in his life. A heartfelt thank you to all who are involved with The YES on every level.
— "A West Coast BC Mom", YES Camp Parent
I came out of camp with a completely different mindset on how I viewed myself and how I viewed others, for the first time in a very long time I was finally happy. Happy with myself and who I was as an individual. This camp promoted inclusion, community and equality more than any other place I had ever experienced. The biggest impact the YES has made on my life is their ability to stretch my world view more than ever before, I understand so much more about people and the world we live in. My ability to recognize people and their different views is so much stronger and more appreciative. I have learned so much more about how to treat others and how to treat myself. On my ride home from camp I remember my dad looking at me and starting to cry. I asked him why he was crying and his response was...”I don’t know what that camp did to you, I don’t know what they found in you but I have never seen you so free”, this has been one of the most memorable moments of my whole life.
— Emmy, YES Camp Participant, Pathways 2019
Two and a half years ago, we realized that our 15 year old, after months of lockdown and online school, was withdrawn, sullen and felt out of place in the world. Being unique is not easy in this world, and confidence, self esteem can be eroded in the formative years. Wanting them to have a positive summer, we began looking for summer camps and found YES Camp. It sounded perfect. But we had to insist and almost drag [our child]. That was one of the best parent moves we’ve ever made. It sparked a growth trajectory we could only have hoped for. The last words before going to camp was “I don’t wanna go”. The first words we heard when we picked them up was “thank you for sending me! Can I go next year?” Fast forward to the third time going to camp at 18 and it feels like a new kid. One who is more confident, ongoing, appreciates their talents and has rekindled their social spirit. I would urge all parents to send their teenagers to YES camp to become more socially responsible, confident, authentic leaders.
— Kristin, YES Camp Parent, 2023
Camp has helped me grow more than words can explain. The friendship connections, leadership, and personal awareness are only some of the words to explain a place where I learn that I can be "me". I have attended camp for 3 years now and I will continue to encourage everyone to attend. My mom and aunties all attended camp over 25 years ago, and still remember it as some of the best times, they still have friendship connections to this day. I would recommend camp over and over for everyone to attend. Camp has helped me grow as a young man and a great leader in my community. I have memories that will stay forever.
— Ben, YES Camp Participant, Pathways 2023
[My child] came back as a changed child, saying that the camp experience was one of the best experiences she ever had in her life, and that it made an important and profound impact on her. She was telling me all about it, and I listened in awe trying to imagine what it was like being there in person. [She] said that everyone she met at the camp was absolutely amazing, but she had special words of admiration and love for all of you who make this happen! In this day and age when more and more kids feel utterly disconnected from their peers, lonely, and/or lost in the virtual world, you offer them something so incredibly precious - a chance to reconnect, to discover who they really are, to let go of worries and truly enjoy the moment, to share, to feel vulnerable, to laugh, dance, and to simply enjoy themselves. [She] can't wait for the reunion, and she is already looking forward to joining the camp next year. For all of this I want to say a BIG and heartfelt THANK YOU to each one of you!
This week I had the amazing opportunity to attend The YES Camp. I was able to learn about communication and leadership, as well as make new friends and try new activities. I had lots of fun swimming and listening to songs sung by the incredible staff. They create such a wonderful environment where everyone feels safe and included. I practiced taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone. I am so grateful to have been able to attend and highly look forward to returning. I really hope so many other youth get granted this opportunity and get to experience The YES.
— Daphne, YES Camp Participant, Roots 2022
— Tanja, YES Camp Parent, 2023
The environment the YES Camp Staff create is welcoming and kind, making everyone feel comfortable, safe and loved. Everything we do at this camp surrounds the idea of inclusivity and positivity, teaching young people how to be responsible leaders, and meeting new people to grow and connect with. I’m proud of the growth I’ve made from this camp and the relationships I’ve made.
— Zoe, YES Camp Participant, Pathways 2023
Thank you to all those who have shared their experiences of The YES summer camp.