Being a little girl is exciting. The world is wide open. She is brave and confident. So full of life and love, compelled and curious. As much as it may break your heart, though, she risks losing some of that seemingly unshakable confidence as she learns and grows.
That is where you approach a parental dilemma. You want to shield your daughter from any toxicity within the culture that might rob her of joy. But you also want to cultivate in her a spirit of adventure, resilience, and compassion as you guide her journey towards young adulthood.
Which begs the question — what is the best way to empower your daughter to cope with the pressures, pitfall, and perils, of being, well, female?
That’s where Camp Waukeela comes in. There are MANY approaches to this challenge, but the camp experience at Waukeela prepares girls for life as independent, thoughtful and self-confident young women.
We build her confidence
Children are better equipped to handle the challenges they will brush up against if they have a strong sense of self and a framework for thinking critically.
Each and every girl at Waukeela can shine in her own way while at camp. Through a series of age-appropriate challenges and guidance from caring role models, we give each girl the opportunity to be her best self while she is here.
We provide healthy role models
A Yahoo Health survey indicated the average age teens had their first bout of body shame was nine or 10. Older respondents revealed that it was 13 or 14 for them. The shift may be due in part, to children consuming imagery they’re exposed to constantly on their digital devices.
Waukeela’s counselors and staff challenge those joy-robbing comparisons by modeling confidence and providing a caring and safe atmosphere to talk about and work through any issues or insecurities.
We teach her to lift up other girls
We live in an incredibly isolated culture sometimes. We make connections with others on social media, but we show only our best selves to avoid being gossiped over or ostracized. Somehow it seems harder today to build authentic friendships than it was in years past.
The Waukeela community is built on respect for each other. As girls come of age, no enterprise will be more influential than those friendships she forms with other girls at summer camp. She will need the occasional pause from media and cultural messaging to connect with her tribe.
She builds compassion and empathy when given a reprieve from the daily pressures of growing up. Then, a sisterhood forms when she accepts and brings other girls into the fold. After all, resilient women were once young girls that learned to trust one another and build each other up.