Here is an article from our own Lady Christine Cressey, which appears in Parenting NH’s March edition –
Girls Camp is Great for Girls!
Summer camp is a place where kids come together to unplug and have fun. They experience and improve upon not only traditional summer activities such as swimming, tennis or water-skiing, but also communication, conflict resolution and accountability. However, an all-girl camp environment provides so much more.
Self-Awareness At camp, you get to find yourself and be yourself. You get to break out of the hostile stereotypes from home. You are no longer the nerd, jock, popular, or mean girl. You are you! You meet new friends you might not otherwise have had the confidence to befriend.
Self-esteem Girls build self-esteem at camp they take home with them. The girls typically wear anything and worry about nothing. They gain so much confidence from being themselves in a safe, non-judgmental environment, that their self-esteem increases tremendously.
Sisters Some campers do not have sisters and all-girl camps provide opportunities for strong, sister-like bonds. Other campers attend with their sisters and find their relationships throughout life are closer because of what they share together at camp.
Equal opportunities In an all-girl camp environment, it’s unlikely there is a “man” around to do the “man” tasks. Everyone works together to get things done, and with only girls and women around, the buck can’t be passed to the guys. Campers might see counselors hauling heavy objects like trunks, boats or firewood.
Conflict resolution In an all-girl camp, girls learn and gain the ability to work with females and navigate conflict at an early age.
Empowerment Girls have the opportunity to exercise assertiveness in collective decision-making, think positively about themselves and others, and grow their skill sets, all in a supportive environment.
Trust Trust is learned through activities and group events, with their tent mates, in multi-age teams, or their entire unit.
In July 2014, my daughter was the fourth generation in my family to attend the same overnight camp for girls. My grandmother attended in the 1930s and 40s, my mom in the 1960s, and I attended in the 1990s. Each of us can tell you that it is the greatest gift we’ve received. It ties us all closer together and we have drawn on our all-girl camp experiences many times in our lives. We would not be who we are without the empowerment, confidence, and self-awareness gained in this environment.
Even at my daughter’s young age, all I hear about is who “likes” who, so and so is “my boyfriend,” who has what, who wears what clothes, etc. When she came home from her first year at an all-girl camp, I heard about how much fun it was, about the games they played, the laughter in the cabin, mail call, and how she had to write her friend a letter right away. An all-girls camp enables your daughter to step out of the stresses of childhood and just be a girl.
Christine Cressey is an alumna of Fleur de Lis Camp in Fitzwilliam.
– Lady Sarena