AMHERST – This summer, the award-winning self esteem camps for girls will be welcoming eight-year-olds for the first time.
Girls World (the 2014 name for the Go Girl Self Esteem Workouts summer program) is now open to eight to 13-year-olds throughout Cumberland County.
“We’re happy to have funding from Community Health Boards to make revisions to include eight year old girls while continuing to ensure that the program is a valuable experience for all participants,” said Ruthie Patriquin, executive director of the Sexual Health Centre for Cumberland County, which has been offering this program since 1997.
Girls World provides a safe space for girls to build confidence, find mentors and have fun.
While changes have been made, the basic themes are the same: helping girls feel good about being girls and being themselves, building self confidence, encouraging healthy body image, building problem-solving and coping skills, and encouraging healthy lifestyles.
The four-day Girls World camps are in Parrsboro, Oxford, Pugwash, and Amherst.
Two-day programs take place in River Hebert and Advocate.
Girls attend from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day (no overnights). All programs are in July, except in Oxford where Girls World is in August.
Girls must be registered by June 23, and seating is limited. One Amherst program is already full. Registration forms have been distributed through schools and are available at libraries, at www.forgirls.ca, and from the Sexual Health Centre for Cumb. Co. (667-7500), www.amherstsexualhealth.ca).
Parents may drop in at 11 Elmwood Dr., Amherst, or email the Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact the Centre on Facebook.
There is no Girls World camp in Springhill this year since registration for the summer program has been very low in Springhill the past two years. Instead, a very successful after-school program was held with over 20 girls participating.
This was possible through collaboration between the schools, Public Health, and the Sexual Health Centre. Community Health Boards also provided some funding that assisted the Sexual Health Centre with this initiative.
Girls-only programs are important. They tend to provide participants with the maximum benefit because girls feel free to open up, express themselves, and ask any questions. Older participants may also learn leadership skills that will help them mentor and be role models for younger girls in their lives.
Patriquin said good self-esteem is having confidence in your talents, skills, and abilities, even if it means you’re different than most others. It’s feeling secure about yourself and confident to stand up for yourself. A person with good self-esteem makes healthy choices, cares for themselves and others, and respects themselves and others. Every girl can benefit from participating in Girls World.