Labour Youth Camp:
Learning about worker’s rights and how workers can bring about positive societal change
For Immediate Release – August 13, 2013
(MONCTON) Last week, from August 5 to 9th, the New Brunswick Federation of Labour (NBFL) hosted its 13th annual Blair Doucet youth summer camp. Similar to past years, the youth put into practice some of the things they learned throughout the week. The camp finished on Friday morning with campers negotiating the Collective Agreement of next year’s camp with their counsellors. The youth successfully negotiated changes to conditions such as gender parity of their elected officers and an improved list of the material needed to bring to camp.
On Tuesday August 6, campers elected executive officers to represent them during negotiations with their camp counsellors. Laura Sehl was elected as their President, Alexander Lundbohm as the Vice President, Owen Vose as Secretary, Valérie Lagacé as Shop Steward and Luke Durham as Occupational Health and Safety Representative.
Throughout the week, as the youth learned about their rights as workers, the history of the labour movement and the role that the labour movement plays in the broader society, camp participants also planned their negotiating strategy.
“This year campers seemed to bond together as a group from day one. At the end of the day Monday, it was hard to tell who was a returning camper and for whom it was their first year at camp,” says Paula Doucet-Jones, Second Vice-President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, and daughter of Blair Doucet, the founder of the summer camp, as she handed out certificates to each participant.
This year’s camp saw 23 campers come together from across the province, 11 returning and 12 new campers. For the past thirteen years, New Brunswick youth in high school, from grades 9 to 12, have been coming together to learn, have fun and make friends. As in past years, the camp focuses on being inclusive. It is completely bilingual, with simultaneous translation offered throughout the week. It also focuses on being gender balanced. This year, 11 boys and 12 girls attended.
“Thank you to the parents who encourage their children to attend this camp. Learning about worker’s rights and how workers can bring about positive societal change is so important. It is something that is currently not taught to our youth. Workers can come together through organized labour to bring about positive societal change. That is what the Federation of Labour is all about,” says Patrick Colford, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour.
The camp is free of charge to campers and each receives a $250 scholarship for their participation when they graduate from high school. The Blair Doucet Youth Summer Camp is made possible by the financial contributions received from unions affiliated to the NBFL and by the camp counsellors who volunteer their time during the week.
The camp closed on an emotional note with participants, their parents and invited guests viewing a video prepared by Rebecca Churchill, who was returning to the camp for the last time, having attended the camp four years in a row.
For more information please contact:
President, NB Federation of Labour
(506) 857-2125 / (506) 381-8969(cell)
Second Vice-President, NB Federation of Labour