CEE Director Zora Rodgers reflects on YCAMP and reveals CEE’s winter plans

Story by Nehal Bajaj. Graphic by Irene Ko.

On Friday, Aug. 13, YCAT’s flagship Climate Extracurricular Education (CEE) Committee wrapped up YCAMP, its very first instructional summer initiative, after 5 weeks of fun-filled learning activities, games, and lessons. With over 20 sign-ups and numerous attendees consistently participating, YCAMP was hailed a success. When asked about her favorite aspect of YCAMP, CEE director Zora Rodgers said she loved interacting with the students and emphasized how their passion inspired her to continue creating interactive, student-based initiatives.

“You could tell they were really learning, and the positive impact that we were having on them was really gratifying. All the hard work that we put into the program was paying off, and these kids were leaving with newfound knowledge,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers also stated that the success of YCAMP has completely changed the way CEE is run, shifting from going to different schools to teach about climate activism to now bringing the students to YCAT to be taught.

CEE has since expanded its educational program to be available to both new and returning YCAMPers this winter but with an exciting new upgrade: Sustainabuddies! These animated cartoons, designed by YCAT creators, will be used to help educate children about climate change and environmental activism in a fun way. Sustainabuddies will be featured in multiple original YCAT video series that will be incorporated into the Winter YCAMP lesson plans.

In order to bring Sustainabuddies to life, Rodgers launched two new subcommittees to help develop and animate the cartoons: 1) Game Design and Programming and 2) Video Editing and Animation. Thus, CEE now consists of five subteams: Outreach, Development, Education, and the two listed above.

Rodgers has said that former students can expect to be taught new, advanced lessons and participate in more unique activities for exciting prizes. In addition, the new YCAMP session will run from December to March with a total of 12 lessons and will be held once a week on Sundays. Each lesson will focus solely on one topic instead of two and offer more in-depth activities and opportunities so that students have an opportunity to fully grasp the materials. As of now, CEE is in the development stage of creating lesson plans and planning out activities for students to have fun with.

When asked about the legacy she wants to leave behind in CEE, high school senior Rodgers said she’d like to be remembered for her determination.

“Know that it’s okay to not take everything seriously all the time, and I think that especially with YCAMP, it’s okay to go off-script a little and just do what’s in the best interest of the kids. I also want CEE to have these new prospering subcommittees. It’s pretty cool to see where it started and where it is now and how many people and how many lives it has impacted,” Rodgers said.

501(c)4 youth movement bridging the gap between non-climate groups & intersectional climate action. https://linktr.ee/officialycatinc