GLOW Camp stands for Girls Leading Our World and it is an amazing camp facilitated by Peace Corps Volunteers all over the world to promote gender equality, leadership, self-esteem, healthy practices, goal setting, and volunteerism. It was started in the 1990’s by volunteers serving in Romania and it is now an international Peace Corps endeavor. I really wanted the girls at My Refuge House to experience an aspect of the camp even though they are unable to attend public summer camps, so I decided to have a mini version of the camp at the shelter. The camp only involved our fifteen girls but I included our educators, social worker, and director to facilitate all the different lessons.
We went out and bought sketch pads and nice pens as our primary supplies, because as part of the camp we also incorporated an art journaling component, and also prizes and snacks. All activities, notes, and journaling took place in these sketch pads and they used colored pencils, crayons, and pastels to decorate and elaborate as they went along. Each session went really well and the facilitators did such a great job leading the different modules. Gender and Women’s Empowerment was a big topic for our girls, for all of our girls have experienced various forms of abuse, and their history of abuse could be seen when working through the module and answering/asking questions. The lessons and activities helped clarify concerns, correct stereotypes, and answer any questions. It was incredibly helpful!
For the art journaling aspect I created a simple module with four or five easy lessons based on an e-course featuring Brene Brown and her book The Gifts of Imperfections, along with Oprah. [The photos from one of these activities were posted on my blog here]. The topics included how our imperfections can be gifts, cultivating authenticity, sharing your story, and living with gratitude and joy. They had the freedom to draw, write, paint, or use whatever medium they wanted. They had a lot of fun with it and it was great to see them putting in a lot of effort and making it their own project. It was fantastic!
For thirty minutes each day we also had another session led by my friend who was visiting (several of her blog posts are also featured on this blog). She is a therapist in the U.S. and led simple activities for the girls such as personal support systems and who are you now/who do you want to be in the future. They were easy, strength-based activities which also incorporated art so our girls could express themselves however they wanted.
It was such a successful and fun-filled week led by the staff at My Refuge House. Everyone did such a great job and I am so thankful to work for an organization who takes these crazy ideas of mine and makes them into their own great projects!