Camp Wellstone is our flagship training program. Begun 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 30,000 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 influencing policymakers and holding them accountable.
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: campaign planning and budgeting; writing and delivering a stump speech; fundraising; and canvassing.
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.
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 who wants to make real change on a particular issue in your community, this is the right place for you.
We typically hold about 10 Camp Wellstones each year, all across the country. Each CW begins on a Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday afternoon. The cost of participating is based on a sliding-scale fee and our desire to make the training as affordable and accessible as possible.
Want to know more about what we teach? Read about the sessions offered in each track.
Questions? Talk to us.