2011 Fall Activist Retreat

The Fall Project Planning Summit is an innovative youth training that inspires young people from diverse Alaskan communities to influence positive change. The Fall Summit empowers youth who care about our environment and future to make a difference by providing fundamental skills for effective activism. At the Fall Summit, teens will plan out local projects, build relationships with each other and AYEA staff as well as improve their advocacy and community organizing skills. We will also go on hikes, eat good food, and have lots of fun! As well as gaining useful knowledge, through Fall Summit participation, teens will become AYEA Youth Organizers.

What is a Youth Organizer?

Youth Organizers will be responsible for planning and leading a year long project within their communities relating to the theme of Wild Alaskan Salmon. Throughout the Fall Summit, teens will learn and further develop tools which will allow them to be successful in carrying out their projects. Organizers will also be responsible for attending the Civics & Conservation Summit OR nominating another teen to attend. Youth Organizers will support each other as well as remain in close communication with the AYEA staff throughout the year, documenting and evaluating their work. Finally, AYEA Youth Organizers will have amazing experiences, celebrating their successes and facilitating real change in their communities!

Read more about YOUTH ORGANIZERS.

Read more about ADULT MENTORS.

 2011 Report Back

PALMER – Last weekend, Aurora Hoefferle, 17, committed to film a documentary showing Dillingham’s cultural history and threats from the proposed Pebble Mine.

Fairbanks teens Alea Hale, 14, and April Norsby, 13, chose to partner with Calypso Farm and the Ester Library to create a home gardening “Seed Library”.

Ten far-flung Alaskan teens gave up their Labor Day weekends to gather in Palmer. Their mission: to defend wild Alaskan salmon and promote Real Food in their own communities. AYEA’s annual Fall Project Planning Summit brought together rural and urban teens to learn how to turn ideas into action.

Over three days, the youth gained skills in public speaking, storytelling, detail-oriented planning and direct action at Spring Creek Farm, an 800-acre hay farm at the foot of the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains. It was a serene, focused place to create community action project plans that the teens will accomplish during the 2011-2012 school year.
The atmosphere was like the formation of a new superhero league. Most of the teens had met at past AYEA summits, like Juneau’s Conservation & Civics Summit held every March. Some worked together on our last statewide campaign, Save Our Wild Alaskan Salmon.

Fall Report


“The thing I learned was how bad the samon are in trouble,”said Jaymes Kelly, 14, from Pilot Station.

Everybody felt that the group bonded unusually quickly. Good thing. These ten left the summit as AYEA’s first class of Youth Organizers. The title carries a responsibility to support each other through organizing highs and lows.

My favorite part was the people. They made me very happy,” said Alea Hale.

Follow these youth organizers’ projects at www.AYEA.org. Staff will be updating the site all year with stories, photos and videos from their lives across Alaska.



September 2-4, 2011


Spring Creek Farm in Palmer, AK

Read our 2010 Report:

AYEA Youth Activist Retreat 2010

Read our 2009 Report:
Statewide Leadership Retreat 2009

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