Victoria, BC –90 middle and high school students will join 11 teachers and 9 police officers at this year’s Youth for Change and Inclusion (YCI). The camp, which takes place at Camp Pringle on the shores of Shawnigan Lake from May 4th through May 7th will introduce youth from Victoria, Saanich, Vancouver, Ladysmith and Nanaimo to local, national and global issues. This year marks the 13th year that YCI has taken place.
The first YCI camp was run in 2003 with the financial support of Canadian Heritage and Coast Capital Savings. Subsequent camps have been run with the financial support of the Victoria Police Department, Coast Capital Savings and Victoria School District 61. Many of the schools have paid for partial teacher release costs and the police departments have supported YCI by allowing their employees to attend on work time. Many volunteers attend on their own time.
This year’s speakers include Holocaust survivor Peter Gary, Order of Canada awardee Judy Tethong, Calgary Police Service’s Tad Milmine, Member of Parliament Randall Garrison, Residential Schools survivor Anne Tenning along with members of the Coalition to End Homelessness, Ivan Coyote and a group working with Syrian refugees will introduce youth to issues of poverty, homelessness, racism, anti-semitism, hate, bullying, sexism, homophobia, the plight of refugees and more with a focus on building resilience within each participant to empower youth to make positive changes in the world.
“YCI is run by youth, for youth,” VicPD Sgt. and YCI co-founder Paul Brookes said. “Our job as facilitators is to help support their vision and bring them together with experts from around the world who can speak with them about the issues that face us all.”
VicPD spokesperson Cst. Matt Rutherford will be attending YCI this year and sharing his experiences live through Twitter using the #YCI2016 hashtag. Media are also invited to attend portions of the camp.