News from POH Camp | March 2022

It is hard to believe that it has already been two and a half years since we last came together for the Power of Hope Camp on Whidbey Island. Since moving to an online world, not only have we been offering online trainings for adults, but two years ago we held an online version of the POH camp, and this past summer we led a global project for youth called the Power of Dialogue.

Although these online programs have been powerful learning experiences for all, they are not, and cannot be, a substitute for the magic that happens in-person at the Whidbey POH camp. Upon reflecting about what we have learned and how it makes sense for us to proceed, we have decided to put off our return to the Power of Hope camp at Whidbey Island for one more year. Our choice to postpone does not come lightly. We miss our time together on Whidbey Island and long to bring youth and adults together for creative magic and empowerment on the land. This summer, we encourage you to join one of our partner camps in Canada, Oregon, and California who will be offering in person camps this year.

Power of Hope at Commonweal | July 7-13 | Bolinas, CA, USA
Power of Hope Canada – Light the Fire | July 19-28 | Cortes Island BC, Canada
Culture Jam | July 29-August 5 | Eugene, OR, USA
Power of Hope Canada – Light the Fire | August 2-11 | Cortes Island BC, Canada

If you have had the chance to read our recent newsletter, you will have noticed that many different and exciting events have been taking place at Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE) over the last year. Shifting the delivery to our programs online has led us through a phase filled with experiments and creative challenges. We are committed to learning from these experiments, harvesting insights about what is possible and pivoting as necessary. What remains true throughout is our belief in the power of creative community to lift up young people’s voices as they navigate, survive, and help heal the world they are inheriting.

For this summer, we have joined a global initiative called Rise as implementation partners. Rise is the brainchild of Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google. The Rise program will provide a global cohort of 100 young people ages 15-17 a lifetime of support including scholarships, mentorship and access to career development and funding for their social enterprises. We at PYE are honored to design and facilitate their three-week residential leadership program that will spark the creative potential of these young leaders as they work toward solving humanity’s most pressing problems. We’ll be sharing more updates as this program develops, but for now you can read about this summer’s cohort of 100 global youth here.

Later this year, we hope to share news of a program for camp facilitators and staff who are gearing up to offer in-person youth camps. Thank you for your patience with us as we navigate the changes in our world. We hope to see you at our next Power of Hope camp back on Whidbey Island. In the meantime, we wish you much peace and beauty.


The PYE Directors

Larisa Benson

Andrew Nalani

Claudia Pineda Reyes