Camp Wellstone

Practical skills for progressive political action

Camp Wellstone is our flagship training program. Started in early 2003, Camp Wellstone (CW) is open to anyone interested in gaining practical skills in progressive political action. We train candidates, campaign workers, and organizers how to win progressive change. Camp Wellstones have been held in several states across the country and there are over 80,000 Camp Wellstone alumni in all 50 states!

During CW, we provide focus areas based on your role in progressive organizing, each with a distinctive curriculum taught by some of the nation's leading experts in grassroots politics and organizing. We draw from Paul and Sheila Wellstone's innovative approach to politics - something we call the Wellstone Triangle. The three elements of the triangle are: progressive public policy, which lays out an agenda for action; grassroots community organizing, which builds a constituency to fight for change; and grassroots electoral politics, which provides tools for changing what leadership looks like and how to influence policymakers.

Candidate Track: Are you currently running for public office or interested in running in the future?

We teach candidates the nuts and bolts of running—and winning—a progressive campaign. Topics of focus include: Message; budgeting and fundraising; writing and delivering a stump speech; fundraising; and canvassing. 

Campaign Track: Are you managing, working on, or volunteering for an electoral campaign?

We teach campaign workers and staff the skills it takes to manage a successful progressive campaign. Topics of focus include: message development and delivery; earned and paid media; targeting; and direct voter contact.  

Grassroots Organizing Track: Are you organizing within your community, coalition, or nonprofit? Are you working on a ballot initiative?

We teach organizers the nuts and bolts of winning progressive change on community-based issues. We believe that the only way to build power is in partnership with others—not by ourselves. If you are connected to a group or organization that wants to make real change on a particular issue in your community, this is the right place for you. 

Intro to Movement Technology Track 

*This track will be piloted at 2 camps in 2017 and may be added permanently in 2018
In the era of hashtags, member databases, and email list-building, the possibilities are growing for organizations, both large and small, to use technology to boost the capacity of their campaign work and community organizing. This track introduces the fundamentals of data, digital organizing and analytics to support base-building and policy organizing campaigns. It does not require previous experience or skills in movement tech and is for anyone who wants to get started or expand their skillset. 


Not sure which one is for you?

Read about the sessions offered in each track.

What does it cost to attend Camp Wellstone?

The cost to attend is $450 per person. This fee pays for three days of training, all your training materials, plus three meals (dinner Friday, and lunch on Saturday and Sunday). We believe in training everyone, regardless of income – so while the true cost of Camp Wellstone is actually greater than $450 per person, we strive to keep our training affordable for progressive leaders at all income levels.  We also offer a limited number of scholarship spots at each camp for a reduced cost of either $250 or $150. A scholarship application will be available once registration opens for a camp. 

Where will Camp Wellstone be held this year?

We hold six Camp Wellstones each year, in different parts of the country. Each CW begins on a Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday afternoon. 

Click here to visit our training calendar to see currently scheduled camps.

Dates and locations for Camp Wellstone 2017 will be confirmed and added to our training calendar on a rolling basis. Registration will be open for camps at least 60 days before. Other tentative locations for 2017 are Texas, Missouri and North Carolina.

Make sure you're on our email list, because we'll send out an announcement for each CW as soon as registration opens. Click here to sign up!

Traveling to attend Camp Wellstone?

Each Camp Wellstone is open to anyone who wants to attend, regardless of where you live, but please note that if you choose to travel from out of the area to attend this training you are responsible for ALL of your own travel, lodging and transportation plans. Wellstone Action is legally unable to assist, recommend or coordinate travel or lodging for participants. We'll tell you where to be and when, and provide you with the materials you'll need to get the most out of our training, but the rest is up to you!

Questions? Talk to us.

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