| The Texas GSA Network held our first Youth Activist Camp in the summer of 2008, at Alma De Mujer Retreat Center in Central Texas. The Network was just starting out as a program then, and facilitators from the National GSA Network in California came to lead the camp. The first group of campers experienced a weekend filled with insight, excitement, and activist spirit. A few of those first campers joined the Networks first youth intern team following camp, and our youth leadership model was born.
In 2009, Texas was on its own at our second Youth Activist Camp at Alma de Mujer. Youth who had attended camp in 2008 were now facilitators and leaders of the 2009 camp! Campers came from GSAs and schools in the Austin area, Houston, Dallas, and El Paso, ready to meet new people and learn skills to be leaders in their schools and communities. By the summer of 2009, the Texas GSA Network had also grown so much that it was able to serve as a host for the National GSA Network’s conference in Austin, at the University of Texas.
Campers from the 2009 camp joined a youth council and the Network’s intern team, and propelled forward, using their new knowledge to build a strong statewide Network and active safe spaces in schools and communities across the State. In the summer of 2010, the Network held two camps, one at Texas State University in San Marcos, and the other in North Texas.
Our last camp was held in 2011 at Texas State in San Marcos. 40 people attended, including 14 facilitators -- youth who had attended camp in 2009, and joined our year-long youth councils. Campers came from Corpus Christi, Houston, El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, and San Marcos. Today we have a community of over 90 youth activists who have been transformed by our camps. Will you be next??