Thursday, July 26, 2012

Part 2 of Sara's Disappearance: Camp GLOW

Following YMLP, I went straight to the other leadership camp PCVs help put on for the youth of Macedonia- Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World). As the name says, this is a leadership camp for high school girls from around the country. Like YMLP, this camp brings together youth from the many ethnic groups within the country to learn new skills, improve their English, and realize that they aren't that different from other girls, no matter what ethnic group they are a part of.

Camp GLOW has a large staff made up of PCVs and HCNs. There were close to 40 of us there to help make the 80 girls' week at camp the best week of their lives.
Staff waiting for the girls to arrive
Just days before, I had been told that my co-counselor would not be able to make it to camp, so I had no idea what I was in store for. However, after showing up at camp, I met my new co-counselor, Shqiponja, who was notified she was selected as a counselor that day! Shqiponja was a camper two years ago, a CIT (Counselor in Training) last year, and this year was my co-counselor.
Shqiponja and I were the leaders of Group F
Shqiponja and I had 10 girls from 14-17 from all over Macedonia. They were a fabulous group of girls- I know other counselors might argue, but they were the best! As a counselor, I was with the girls almost 24/7 (although because of the wonderfulness of Wilson School, we had our own room so we had a little break at night! I will admit, I was a little nervous before the girls came and the first day with them just as they were themselves, but by the end of the week, we were a happy little family.

The first day, we, as a group, had to come up with a team name, chant, and flag. My girls chose to be the Crazy Squirrels and designed a pretty awesome flag.
Designing our flag and writing our chant the first night.
The Crazy Squirrels and their flag
They also wrote a chant based off of a popular song (Sexy and You Know It by LMFAO). It went like this....
Open up your eyes, this is what you'll see
Crazy Squirrels are here, look how crazy we can be
We got something on our minds and we aren't afraid to show it, show it, show it
We are crazy and we know it, know it, know it
Nibble, nibble, nibble, nibble, nibble, YEAH!
During the week, the girls attended 8 hours of class a day, however the classes were all structured to be fun and not like school. They learned about project design, the environment, women's health, arts and crafts including tye dye and friendship bracelet making (which lead to lots of friendship bracelets by the end of the week), recreational and health activities like yoga, zumba, and ultimate Frisbee, stress management, and career choices and resumes. There were also fun electives each night including Chinese, Minute to Win It (I did it for the third time in 2 weeks!), Project Runway, School of Rock, Acting, and Karaoke. The busy week also included a team Field Day, an afternoon with the Red Cross learning some basic first aid and CPR, and a masquerade dance party. It all came to a close Friday night with group performances and a candlelight closing ceremony where each of the girls said something about camp, whether it was a memory, a thank you, or an idea of how they will take what they learned back to their hometowns (let me say, it takes a long time for 120 girls to share something about camp and lots of tears were shed and bugs burned with the candles (my girls got a little bored)). After Friday's closing ceremonies, we had one last community time with just our groups before packing, sleeping, and an early start in the morning for breakfast and good-byes.
American Line Dancing with Jori elective
Project Runway elective
For Field Day each group had to dress up like an animal- my group was, need-less-to-say, squirrels
The three tribal chiefs of Field Day.
I was Chief Minn-E-Sota
One Field Day activity was the Balloon Train
Team Building at its finest! Just how many girls can you fit onto 1/4 of a yoga mat?
The recyclable dress Michelle and Shqiponja made for me for Project Runway made a come back on Disco dance night.
Lori, Anna, Enid, and myself enjoying Disco dance night despite being very hot and sweaty.
Candlelight closing ceremonies
Almost all the way around the circle
Crazy Squirrels group picture the last morning.
Figured we may as well take a crazy picture too!
Camp GLOW 2012

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully written and a beautiful summary of Camp GLOW. Thanks for posting that for those of us who couldn't be there to enjoy and be more supportive.