Base Camp amplifies youth voice and the power of collaboration

Colorado Young Leaders strives to inspire youth to do big things in and around their community. As an organization, CYL empowers students by instilling the confidence to harness their power through purpose to change their communities for the better. 

CYL’s Base Camp is one of the most anticipated events of the year. This is an opportunity for our Colorado Young Leaders to explore their passions in leadership and service. CYL’s Youth Advisory Board creates, plans, and orchestrates the event from start to finish – created by and for teens. By commissioning students to take initiative, Base Camp allows students to learn leadership skills through hands-on experience while giving them a chance to explore their passions in areas of service. The focus for Base Camp and overall community impact this year centers around youth mental health and well-being through education, immigrant and refugee rights, and climate action. 

This year, CYL had 45 students participate in Base Camp. We were in gratitude for the support of several nonprofits that joined to share the impact of their work and how CYLers can get involved. These nonprofits included Apprentice of Peace Youth Organization, SCD Enrichment, 350 Colorado, World Denver, Young Invincibles, Project PAVE, and Tipi Raisers. We are incredibly thankful for our partnership with these nonprofits and cannot wait to watch our Young Leaders continue to grow in relationships with our partners. During Base Camp, Young Leaders had the opportunity to help package 400 pounds of bean soup kits for The Village Exchange Center, a community center that welcomes refugees and immigrants from all walks of life to build relationships through inclusivity in a safe environment. 

With insight from many of our students, the conversation of mental health has been crucial to CYL and the communities that we serve. Supporting mental health in any capacity is a continued discussion among students. This year at Base Camp, CYL Summit Guide Gabor Boczonadi led Young Leaders in mindfulness activities to encourage the integration of these practices into our daily lives. Youth were also given the opportunity to write letters to their future selves addressing their generation, the rise in mental illness, and their future dreams. This created a space for CYLers to be vulnerable with themselves and each other as they discover their purpose through leadership and service. Young Leaders have seen communities transcend all obstacles when they come together passionately and with a purpose. We are highly inspired by the influence our Young Leaders have on the community, and we are so excited to continue to reimagine a world that empowers and amplifies the power of youth.

November 18, 2021