Girls' Leadership Blog 2011

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Saturday, August 13th, 2011
The campers are gone.  The campus seems empty.  The only reminisce of GLC is the glitter, gimp, room keys, sidewalk chalk, and fruit snack wrappers that are strewn about Mikula dorm and my office!  We miss them already. 
This morning the girls had their final yoga class with Alex, and then had to clean up their rooms. It is amazing how “at home” they became in only one week!  Clean up/Pack up time took much longer than anticipated! 
At 10am the parents all attended a workshop with Shanterra on adolescent development and meeting the needs of youth.  It sounded like a very interesting discussion.  Following the workshop the parents walked from Miller to the dining hall, but on their way they were absolutely attacked by their daughters on the quad!!  Hugs, kisses, greetings, and laughter filled the KUA campus. It was a beautiful sight! 
This emotional and exciting reunion was followed by our final presentation for parents.  The counselors gave our top 11 moments at camp, we watched a picture slideshow that Alex put together, we handed out certificates and pictures, each girl read her Leadership Creed, and we ended with a play that Christina helped the girls to develop about their experience at camp.  INCREDIBLE!!  There was applause, tears, smiles, and some very proud parents in the audience.  After the presentation we all got to enjoy a BBQ lunch together, and the campers had the chance to introduce their parents to all of their new friends.
What an AMAZING week!  Thank you first of all to the girls for jumping whole-heartedly into GLC and being the best group of kids I have ever worked with, secondly a big thank you to the parents for trusting us with your children for the week, and lastly to the counselors (Sarah, Christina, Alex, and Shanterra) and the KUA staff for everything you did to make this week successful!
Keep checking the blog, as we will update it throughout the year with GLC information, as well as what our campers are up to! 
All the best from GLC,
Bubbly Brook

Friday, August 12th, 2011
Today was the first day we did not board a KUA bus and take off on an adventure. Instead, adventure found us here!  Shanterra McBride arrived on campus to host 2 workshops with the girls.  The first was on Self-Image, and the second discussed Digital Citizenship and what Shanterra calls “Facebook High”.  The girls attended these workshops in Maher Auditorium in a newly renovated KUA building called Miller.  They looked like they were attending a presidential conference or something of the like, as they sat in seminar seating with all of their hands up in the air.  Shanterra raved about their intellectual comments, thoughtful questions, and meaningful discussion throughout both of the workshops.
In between workshops the campers continued rehearsing their play, participated in another yoga class, and completed more sections of their Leader Logs.
Circle talk tonight was very lively, as it was the last one!  Many girls asked if they could trade in their “thorn” for another “rose”, which granted them 3 highlights of the day instead of 2, and then they still couldn’t narrow down all of their roses!   The night was wrapped up with Alex reading a “goodnight” story to the girls.  She read “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Zeuss.  It seemed like the perfect ending for our last Circle Talk. 

Alex read the final lines of the book as follows:
“Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Kelsie, or Bria, Esme or Leah, Jordan, Lily, Becca, or Layla, Stephanie, Nicole or Gray…
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”
We can’t believe this is our last night together! The week absolutely flew by. See you tomorrow parents!
All the best from GLC,

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Another successful day at Girls’ Leadership Camp has us all covered in dirt from head to toe and very very tired!  Today our focus was service.  Christina spoke to the group about what it means to be a part of a community, and what the many definitions of service are.  There was incredible discussion about whether or not service means anything if you never meet the people you have helped, and the difference between giving your money versus giving your time and efforts. It was a great conversation!  After breakfast we boarded the KUA bus and headed to a Pathways home in Charlestown, NH.  Pathways is a non-profit organization committed to helping those with mental and physical disabilities.  Pathways asked the Girls’ Leadership Camp if we would be willing to sweep, shovel, bucket, and dump sand that had accumulated in the driveway/parking lot of their building.  It was not easy work, but the girls did it with a smile on their face the whole time.  It was a hot day, but the singing while sweeping seemed to help us keep cool!  We had our lunch in a Pathways conference room, and their area director, Paul, gave us a presentation on what Pathways is all about.  All in all it was a great experience, and the girls did fantastic work!
Upon return to campus we tie-dyed t-shirts, took a much needed shower, and then headed off to the Lebanon Farmer’s Market.  The girls enjoyed buying a few snacks, trying on some jewelry and dancing in front of the live band.  At one point there was a GLC Conga line skipping through the Farmer’s Market – don’t worry, we have footage to prove it!
They are in a workshop with Christina now, and tonight is their Costume/Dance Party! They could not be more excited to show us their outfits and their dance moves.  Just wait until they see ours!!
We are so grateful to have these girls at KUA and completely unplugged for the week.  No facebook, no ipods, and no cell phones has left them fully engaged and completely plugged into what GLC is all about – forming relationships that will last a lifetime!  Today we were asked if they could apply for a “camp extension”. They wanted me to call their parents and ask them to come pick them up next Saturday!  They are enjoying every minute spent with each other, and we are enjoying every minute spent with them. 
All the best from GLC,

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Where do I even begin?!  What an AMAZING 4 days we have had at the Girls’ Leadership Camp!  The counselors and I all agree that we could not have hand-picked a better group of 11-13 year old girls. They are engaged, enthusiastic, thoughtful, and inspiring!  Already we have formed a group of friends, a team, and a GLC family!
Sunday was an incredible day full of get to know you games and teambuilding activities. We got to know so much about the girls when we played the “What would you change about the world?" game.  Their answers blew us away!  Everything from world hunger and education access to a cure for cancer and animal cruelty.  We knew from this moment on that they were a mature group of girls who were going to make the week as stimulating for us as it was sure to be for them!
They were introduced to the KUA campus through a picture scavenger hunt.  They were very creative in their approach, and worked together as a team to accomplish the task. Unfortunately for them they did not know that the prize for completing the task was that they had to put all 11 GLC campers in the WORLD’S LARGEST PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!! (see pictures!).
The night ended with a GLC ritual – “Circle Talk”.  At Circle Talk the girls all put on their pajamas, grab a healthy snack, and sit in a circle in our dorm lounge.  We then do an exercise called “2 roses and a thorn”.  Each girl gets to tell us two highlights of her day, and one moment that wasn’t so great.  The highlights ranged from the picture scavenger hunt to a game called “Tanks”, and many of the thorns were saying goodbye to their parents after registration.  The good news is that there was not a tear shed!  Although they miss their parents…I am happy to report that we have no homesick campers!  This is good news as this is many of the girls’ first time away from home.
Monday we had morning yoga with Alex, breakfast, and then we packed up for our camping trip. The girls were each assigned to a crew – Dinner crew, Tent Crew, and Group Supplies Crew.  They did such a great job packing everything up, and boy did we luck out with the weather!  We left in the rain, and returned in the rain, but all the time spent at the camp site and on the hike was sunny and beautiful!! 
Tuesday was the infamous White Mountain hike.  Let’s just say that Tuesday night many of the “thorns” were hiking up the steepest part of the mountain, but many of the “roses” were eating their lunch at the top of the mountain overlooking the “most beautiful view they had ever seen!”.  It was a very successful trip, and many thanks to Sarah our GLC counselor who facilitated it.  They learned many outdoor skills, and had a great time!  My favorite part of the trip was the talent show around the camp fire, which eventually turned into a sing-a-long.  We found out that we have some incredibly talented girls at camp!
Today we headed out early to the Dartmouth Ropes Course at Storr’s pond in Hanover, NH.  The girls worked together as a team to complete a variety of challenges, and proved what an incredible group of leaders they are.  The finale of the ropes course adventure was when they got to zip line across a gully while trying to drop a ball into a bucket below.  Each of them overcame their fear, and made the leap! They are a brave bunch!  The ropes course was followed by a much needed swim at the pool to cool off.  After returning to campus they continued work on their theater production that they can’t wait to show their parents on Saturday. Right now they are participating in a Conflict Resolution workshop with Christina – I am overhearing the role playing, laughter, and intense conversation from my office!
I better sign off. It’s almost time for Circle Talk. Then it will be time to put Brilliant Bria, Kangarooey Kelsie, Jazzy Jordan, Likable Leah, Smiley Stephanie, Gorgeous Gray, Exciting Esme, Brainy Becca, Loud Layla, Nice Nicole, and Lengthy Lily to bed!
All the best from GLC!

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