Reflections on Climate Ground Zero

My name is Sam. I’m a fresh face to the activism scene. I’m a 21 year old from Portland Oregon and came to this camp for several reasons: travel, opportunity, networking, building a resume, and general life experience.

A year or two ago, I wouldn’t have been caught dead at something like this mainly because I was uninformed at a point in my life where I didn’t think there was really a point in being involved in any kind of group or getting behind any ideals.

Then I met my wife and really started to realize that there was good reason to care about things. I used to just be worried about partying etc… then I started working with my first non-profit. It was a great experience because it showed me that the only real way to get things done is to get out there and do them.

I came to this camp not really knowing what to expect and I’m really impressed with the atmosphere. The trainers are understanding and accommodating. Seeds of Peace have been offering amazing food. The young people here from all around the U.S. and Canada are passionate, educated, eager, and driven.

One of the main things about grassroots activism is that knowledge really IS power and that what you don’t know really can hurt you and the people, places, and things you care about.

I wasn’t aware of the Tarsands project in Alberta Canada before coming to this camp. I had no idea that something of that magnitude was being developed. It really shows how the media can pick and choose what shapes peoples lives and the fact the corporate media is often times in the pockets of the big oil companies.

Also, in my opinion, I feel that the majority of people in this country may in fact BE informed, but they feel powerless. I think people really need to be shown that THEY really can make a difference. Not just environmentally, but politically, socially, and economically.

People are what change things. We are the ones that elect officials and politicians, and those officials and politicians should be held accountable for the votes they make that don’t reflect the citizens they’re supposed to be representing.

This camp is really fun. It’s also important and serious. We’re all friendly and having a good time, but we all understand the implications of the work we’re striving to do.

This training is vital for developing the skills to deal with the media, how to climb buildings to drop banners, how to plan a campaign, and effectively use the internet. The action/and direct side of things as well as the work of connecting people and strategizing.

I will most certainly be looking forward to more opportunities to do this kind of thing, to meeting new people, to gaining more experiences for campaign work.