Camp Wellstone > Camp Grassroots

June 19, 2013
Camp Wellstone > Camp Grassroots

Have you seen this?

“Camp Grassroots” that’s what the media is dubbing the conservative movement’s attempt to use conferences across the country to train volunteers to effectively work on campaigns and win. As one article noted about a training conference attendee from North Carolina, “Stewart said he has done phone banking in past elections and hoped to get additional training while in Washington to bring back home, particularly ahead of the state’s high-profile Senate race next year.”  

They say that imitation is the finest form of flattery, right?

After ten years of Wellstone Action training progressives to win the Wellstone Way, I’m proud that we’ve helped propel over 55,000 alumni to become leaders in our movement. But I also know that conservatives aren’t going to let up and so neither can we. As conservatives take a page from our playbook, it’s just another reminder that at we must keep innovating, keep working, and keep growing to make sure we’re always a few steps ahead.

Let’s be clear, there are some big differences between Camp Wellstone, our premier training program at Wellstone Action, and these conservative training conferences. For one thing, people often pay over $1,000 to attend these conservative meetings.  At Wellstone Action, no one pays over $300 to attend Camp Wellstone and, thanks to the generous support of thousands of donors, most campers pay far less than that. In fact, no camper has ever, or will ever, be turned away because of their ability to pay. I suppose it’s fair to say that they have a different definition of “grassroots” than we do.

Here’s what I know for sure: no one does a better job of taking the most recent best practices from campaigns of all sizes, and offers progressives from across the country the training they’ll need to become changemakers their communities.

So while conservatives might try to mimic our efforts, they’ve got a long way to go before their training program comes close to competing with what we do.

Often imitated. Never duplicated. Wellstone Action.