Caption: Unladylike at Girls' Camp
Is your worldview down in the dumps? (Ours, too!) Do you question your faith in humanity more often than you'd prefer? (Us, too!) Fortunately, there's a magical place you can go where everybody knows your name and Christie Allie's raging body insecurity is nowhere to be found. It's called summer camp.
Granted, our sample size is one, but Vermont's Camp Farwell is the oldest girls' camp in the U.S., which has to count at least double. Founded in 1879, it's a woodsy haven for bold and brainy girls who are also cool with a couple of 30-some feminists rolling up for a couple days and indoctrinating them about feminism and sometimes mixing up Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez in fumbling attempts to connect with the youthz.
Last week, we made our third annual trek up there to talk with girls between six and 16 years old about activism, body image and anxiety, but this was no lecture series. Hyper aware of the Trumptastrophe, well-versed in the links between media and body confidence, and fresh from being taught about power posing, these girls were active and enthusiastic participants in our workshops and hungry to talk about sexism, empowerment and friendship.
- How Girls Change the World: Since more than half of Farwell campers' hands shot up when we asked how many had gone to a Women's March, they were primed to learn about their shared legacy of young girls leveraging their everyday boldness, skills and smarts to speak truth to power. [insert emoji fist]
- Body Image Makeover: In 2017, you'd be hard-pressed to find a body-positive platitude that a 12-year-old girl hasn't heard before. So instead of joining in with the chorus of well-meaning adults telling them how they should feel, we open up a safe discussion about why girls encounter this prettiness pressure, regardless of what they look like.
- Dare to Self-Care: Girls are six times likelier to be diagnosed with clinical anxiety and depression than boys, and as most of them readily acknowledge, social media only compounds the angst. We aim to arm girls with an accessible set of tools and techniques to manage it in their overexposed Gen Z lives.
Watching their eyes light up with each bit of new info, witnessing their empathetic and trusting approach to their fellow campers, and, of course, watching them march across an open field chanting "GIRLS ARE STRONG" and "UP UP EDUCATION, DOWN DOWN DEPORTATION" made our feminist hearts swell with pride. And we're already cookin' up some feminism-at-camp goodness for 2018.
Interested in bringing our Unladylike Girls programming to where you are? We are, too!