THE PIECE wrote -
The NEW Camp Odyssey is about to return for its 4th year! We need your support to continue changing the lives of youth, one honest conversation at a time.
What it is: Camp Odyssey is an experiential journey where 14-18 year olds engage openly and honestly to address topics around oppression, and face personal & societal views on issues ranging from race, culture and immigration to orientation, gender, ableism, power and class. For 6 nights & 7 challenging days they'll reflect and interact with people vastly different from themselves, and gain the understanding, skills & resources needed to work against discrimination and create social change and this is just the beginning! Back in their communities, the Odyssey Program works to continue skill development and help youth connect to or create leadership opportunities of their interest.
What our youth say:
“Who knew that after one week we would be as close as family? I did not expect that, for example, at all. I remember sitting on the bus the very first day fighting back tears because I did not know anyone. A week later, I was fighting back tears to leave these new but incredible faces that I have come to love.”
“Camp Odyssey really helped me. It showed me that saying you aren’t a part of the problem gets you nowhere. Instead of looking for ways to fix what was around me, I started with me and how I could change…to become someone better. Someone that my community would benefit from.”
“This week’s activities were harder than most things that I have done in my life. I really had to look at myself and the things that I have ignored.”
“I learned that I can be open to people no matter what. I can relate to them in some way. Whether that be race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or feeling something they have felt before.”
From the Board of Directors of THE PIECE, the home of Camp Odyssey:
Camp Odyssey changed our lives whether as teens in the 90's or in its revival last year. We continue to offer this program as FREE to attend because we believe ALL youth should have equal access to this powerful experience. However, "free" starts to become very expensive as we fundraise--it costs us about $1,500 per camper to provide this year-round experience. During the weeklong camp, Campers participate in a hefty 87 hours of exercises, games & dialogues (NOT counting the un-official hours they'll spend gabbing with roommates), even $11.49 gets a camper 1 hour of cutting edge curriculum designed to ultimately help youth change their world.
Your money goes directly to the youths' experiences!
Thank you so much for joining us in creating a just and equitable society, where individuals are respected as human beings, and where we can all live without fear. Your contribution sends a message of peace & inclusion, and you stand in good company alongside allies such as:
- Oregon Solutions (OS) - Camp Odyssey was designated an OS project by Governors Ted Kulongoski and John Kitzhaber
- Margaret Carter, former Oregon State Senator and Director of Community Engagement, OR Department of Human Services
- American Leadership Forum, Oregon Chapter
- Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution, University of Oregon
- Equity Foundation
- Oregon GEAR UP
- The Inn Home
- Janus Youth Programs
- Latino Network
- Maslow Project
- Medford School District 549C
- Multicultural Center, Portland State University
- Namaste: Organization Transformation
- Northwest Health Foundation
- NW Natural
- Oregon Leadership Institute, Rogue Community College
- Oregon Mentors
- Oregon Youth Authority
- Pacific Power
- Portland General Electric
- The Standard
- United Way of the Columbia-Willamette
* If you don't believe that the team that makes Camp Odyssey happen put in 3,892 volunteer hours, just ask our moms, our bosses (just kidding, we never worked on Odyssey while we were at our day-jobs), our significant others (or sometimes our LACK of significant others), and our Internet service providers! Camp Odyssey and THE PIECE is our labor of love, and is entirely run off the blood, sweat and tears of many individuals committed to the bright futures our youth wish to create. And remember ... that week of Camp is run entirely by volunteers.