Budding Roses is a volunteer-run collective of educators, students, and activists who provide free social justice summer camps and year-round workshops for Portland-area youth in 4th-8th grade.
Our goal is to provide a free, safe and encouraging space for youth to learn, express themselves, and engage critically with the issues they encounter individuals and as a group. We strive to help them cultivate the necessary tools to be active members of our communities through experiences of collective decision-making and democratic education. At camp, youth of all ages play a leadership role alongside adult counselors and make collective decisions about the activities and format of the day. Each day opening and closing assemblies provide a space for youth and counselors to democratically plan activities for the day, resolve conflicts, and build interpersonal leadership skills.
Include a combination of community-building activities, discussions on social justice topics, interactive workshops, movies, arts, games, and free time. Workshops and discussions are often held in collaboration with local activists and community organizations. In the past two summers, we have worked with the Burgerville Workers Union, Critical Resistance PDX, the Transformative Lenses Collective, and DUG (Deep Underground)!
In our work we strive to be a resource for both the campers, their families, and the broader community. With funding from the Black Rose Anarchist Federation, an online fundraising campaign, and in-kind donations of space, supplies, and services we were able to offer two hot meals a day, school supplies, and a back-to-school haircut for youth last summer. In addition to this we hope that with the skills, ideas and support found at Budding Roses, each camper is empowered to make a lasting positive change in their community.