Summer campers join Wendy’s Boycott, gather 100+ signatures to send to fast food hold-out!

The CIW Team at Camp Kinderland’s Peace Olympics carries their mural in advance of the camp’s summer games.

Camp Kinderland — “Summer camp with a conscience”! — takes on Wendy’s with letter, petition to CEO Todd Penegor…

Yesterday afternoon, we were surprised and thrilled to open a very special note at the CIW Community Center here in Immokalee.  The letter inside began thusly:


We are writing from Camp Kinderland, a children’s camp in Massachusetts.  Each year, our children participate in a Peace Olympics, in which they learn about the issues of social justice in the United States and around the world.  This year, our theme was “My country is the Earth and I am a citizen of the world.”  One of our topics was labor rights, and we were excited to name one of our teams The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, so the children would learn about your struggle to improve salaries and working conditions for farmworkers.

After learning about your history, the children of our camp wrote a petition to Wendy’s to show our support for your efforts, and to try to help you affect change.  The enclosed are copies of the petitions, filled with signatures from parents, staff and campers;  we have sent the original and the attached letter to Todd Penegor to support your struggle…

Indeed, the impressive young campers from Western Massachusetts spent their three days of Peace Olympics learning not only about human rights for farmworkers, but about the struggles of indigenous communities in the Amazon, school teachers in Zimbabwe, and victims of war-related violence in Japan — all while competing in ultimate frisbee, soccer, races, dance, and more!  And when the games were done, the campers turned their reflection into serious action, taking concrete measures to show Camp Kinderland’s support for social justice.

Our envelope was filled with no less than 120 petition signatures from the camp’s children, parents and staff, with a short, powerful message to Wendy’s CEO, Todd Penegor:


Does cost override human rights?  Is it more important to spend a little less money on tomatoes than to care for the wellbeing of workers? … We, the campers, staff and families of Camp Kinderland, stand with the demands of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to urge Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program…

The decision of these awesome kids to dedicate their precious summer days to educating themselves about movements for social change — and, moreover, to taking meaningful action to support those movements — is truly impressive.  But the even better news is that the kids of Camp Kinderland are hardly alone.  Young people of all ages across the country have been an integral part of the movement for Fair Food since its inception, and at this very moment tens of thousands of young people are learning about the latest chapter in the movement, the Wendy’s boycott, through the petition (which, at just over one week old, has over 26,000 signatures and counting!).  

We want to send our warmest thanks to the young people and counselors of Camp Kinderland, and welcome them to the Fair Food Nation!  In the meantime, we’ll just say this to Wendy’s: Let this late summer story of a heartfelt invitation from Camp Kinderland to do the right thing serve as a cautionary tale before the fall season really starts to heat up…