A session at a 2008 Camp Wellstone
A session at a 2008 Camp Wellstone

Camp Well­stone — the sig­na­ture train­ing offered by the orga­niz­ing genius­es at Well­stone Action — will be return­ing to Seat­tle for the twelfth con­sec­u­tive year, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Edith Sar­gon tells us.

The 2017 camp has been sched­uled for May 19th-21st, coin­cid­ing with the end of Fil­ing Week here in Wash­ing­ton State. It will take place in Seat­tle at a venue to be announced. As in the past, there will be three main tracks:

  • Being a Can­di­date: How to Run and Win a Pro­gres­sive Campaign
  • Elec­toral Cam­paigns: Tools and Tac­tics for Success
  • Cit­i­zen Activism: Grass­roots Advo­ca­cy and Organizing

All the tracks are excel­lent – they’re just a bit dif­fer­ent in what they cov­er. The first track is ide­al for any activist plan­ning to work on a cam­paign in the near future. The sec­ond is ide­al for activists who are engaged in work­ing on issues long-term. And the third is per­fect for any pro­gres­sive plan­ning to run for office.

Here is a longer descrip­tion of each:

Candidate Track: Are you currently running for public office or interested in running in the future?

We teach can­di­dates the nuts and bolts of running—and winning—a pro­gres­sive cam­paign. Top­ics of focus include: Mes­sage; bud­get­ing and fundrais­ing; writ­ing and deliv­er­ing a stump speech; fundrais­ing; and canvassing.

Campaign Track: Are you managing, working on, or volunteering for an electoral campaign?

We teach cam­paign work­ers and staff the skills it takes to man­age a suc­cess­ful pro­gres­sive cam­paign. Top­ics of focus include: mes­sage devel­op­ment and deliv­ery; earned and paid media; tar­get­ing; and direct vot­er con­tact.  

Grassroots Organizing Track: Are you organizing within your community, coalition, or nonprofit? Are you working on a ballot initiative?

We teach orga­niz­ers the nuts and bolts of win­ning pro­gres­sive change on com­mu­ni­ty-based issues. We believe that the only way to build pow­er is in part­ner­ship with others—not by our­selves. If you are con­nect­ed to a group or orga­ni­za­tion that wants to make real change on a par­tic­u­lar issue in your com­mu­ni­ty, this is the right place for you.

Well­stone will also be exper­i­ment­ing with a fourth track this year, which is very excit­ing. It’s called Intro to Move­ment Tech­nol­o­gy. This track will only be avail­able at two camps, and it looks like Seat­tle will be one of them. The synopsis:

In the era of hash­tags, mem­ber data­bas­es, and email list-build­ing, the pos­si­bil­i­ties are grow­ing for orga­ni­za­tions, both large and small, to use tech­nol­o­gy to boost the capac­i­ty of their cam­paign work and com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing. This track intro­duces the fun­da­men­tals of data, dig­i­tal orga­niz­ing and ana­lyt­ics to sup­port base-build­ing and pol­i­cy orga­niz­ing cam­paigns. It does not require pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence or skills in move­ment tech and is for any­one who wants to get start­ed or expand their skillset.

Most of NPI’s staff and board have been to a Camp Well­stone, whether in Seat­tle or anoth­er city. With­out a doubt, it is the best train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty a pro­gres­sive activist can take advan­tage of. It is incred­i­bly empow­er­ing and rewarding.

We sim­ply can’t rec­om­mend it enough.

If you’re not already a Camp Well­stone alum­ni, you need to become one. Reg­is­tra­tion is not yet open for this camp, but we advise putting a “Save the Date” notice on your cal­en­dar so you can be ready to reg­is­ter when the time comes.

Reg­is­tra­tion costs $450, which is a frac­tion of the true cost of putting on camp. Schol­ar­ships are avail­able at reduced prices for activists on lim­it­ed incomes.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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One reply on “Camp Wellstone returns to Seattle this May — don’t miss this premiere training opportunity!”

  1. Hel­lo-
    I am the Chair of the Board of Direc­tors for Indige­nous Learn­ing 360, a non­prof­it advo­cat­ing for improved edu­ca­tion for Native Amer­i­can stu­dents in pub­lic schools. Cur­rent­ly, the Seat­tle Pub­lic Schools dropout rate for Native stu­dents is 64% with many of those stu­dents drop­ping out in mid­dle school.
    I am inter­est­ed in a schol­ar­ship for your May Camp Well­stone training.
    Could you please let me know how I might ini­ti­ate this?

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