What I learned at summer camp.
Camp GLOW (Girls Leading our World) was an amazing experience of not only educating and empowering girls in a culturally appropriate way, but getting to know individuals on a level that only intense settings can provide.
On the flip-side of writing about all the changes in the campers, which were abundant and heartwarming, I decided to consider the week of Camp GLOW’s impact on the staff/adults.
So here are the life lessons of Camp GLOW Grenada 2013:
- Have fun. This was a simple and fully embraced ideology. We were all playful and goofy, laughing often and without hesitation. A crash mat was dragged up to the staff room and one of the directors made a tent so we could all take naps under it. We taped up slightly inappropriate signs to make people smile in the moment when they wanted to cry out of frustration. Cuddling in the tent was encouraged for the sake of that benefit that can only come with kind human touch. This corner of fun was a highlight of the staff room.
- Eat well. The camp food was yummy but rich, and post-adolescent bodies can only take so much fried foods, chips, and cookies. So the directors made sure that fruits and veggies were in the menu daily. And they let us fit in healthy treats in the budget for staff meetings. They even let me help out on an impromptu taco night for the camp.
- Be flexible. This was the attribute that made the camp work fabulously overall. The directors modified things constantly to make the week run smoothly. They gave us breaks as we needed them, offered & took input with genuine attention, and rearranged schedules & activities to accommodate the inevitable last minute changes.
- Shake off the crap. Existing happily in a week long, 24-hour/day camp with 30 teenage girls and 25 adults who are all getting around 4 hours of sleep a night is a feat in and of itself. No one held grudges or stayed upset when the inevitable grumpiness or misunderstanding happened. People changed what they could and accepted what they couldn’t: being understanding and adapting in a positive direction.
Camp GLOW 2013 provided empowerment and skills to allow these teenage girls to be more successful in the future… and did the same for the adults thanks to the incredible coordination and hard work of the camp directors, and staff who followed their lead.