Backbone camp teaches political activism skills

While Vashon children spend the summer learning outdoor skills, soccer and sailing at various Island camps, adults who attend a camp hosted by the Backbone Campaign in August will learn skills for nonviolent political action.

Localize This! Artful Action Camp, headed by Backbone Campaign Executive Director Bill Moyer, will be a training ground for political activists — and would-be activists — to hone their skills, learn new tactics and network with others promoting various causes across the country.

“The camp is designed to give concerned citizens an expanded tool kit for engaging in their democracy,” Moyer said.

In addition to teaching general nonviolent action tactics, the camp will focus on using art as a tool for change, offering workshops on creating banners, T-shirts and large puppets. Attendees will also learn kayaking

and rappelling skills and how to incorporate those activities into their actions.

Last summer Localize This! had more than 75 attendees, from Vashon and from over the West Coast.

“There’s a lot of hangout at night,” Moyer said. “It’s a great opportunity for folks to meet other activists and learn from their experiences.”

This year’s camp will focus on promoting the transition off of fossil fuels, said Moyer, who believes the issue is important to many at this time.

“We work to give people the tools to stand up for their aspirations, and help them compel their elected officials to do the same,” Moyer said.

The camp will run from Saturday, Aug. 8, to Saturday, Aug. 14, on a private farm on the Island, with workshops being held Monday, Aug. 9 through Friday, Aug. 13. The cost for the week follows a sliding scale from $100 to $300 based on ability to pay, but Moyer said no one is turned away due to lack of funds. Attendees can either camp out there or come back each day. Moyer also encourages those who are interested to drop by for a day. The suggested donation for one day is $25. For more information or to register, visit

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