THUNDER BAY – The Regional Multicultural Youth Council (RMYC) are running Girl Power Summer Camps (GPSC) for young women 7 to 17 years old in July and August. The Youth Council introduced the first GPSC in Thunder Bay in 1998 to bring young women together to learn, share experiences and socialize while having fun. This year’s camps are held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School.
This year, Stephanie Kawei, the RMYC Revolution Girl Style/Girl Power Program Co-ordinator, is working with a group of students hired under the Summer Experience Program through YES Employment Services to organize the camps. The team was training the first week of July, and activities planned include workshops, presentations, demonstrations, sports and games.
Popular topics covered are: self-esteem, body image, self-confidence, self-control, peer pressure, healthy lifestyles, and feminism. Other issues such as internet safety, bullying, discrimination, alcohol, drug and substance abuse, violence, teen sexuality, relationships, education, careers, the environment and so forth are discussed based on interest by the participants. The camps are youth-run, but professionals, social service workers and other resource people are invited as needed. The girls prepare their own lunch and snacks as part of learning how to prepare healthy meals. They use the school grounds or the gym (depending on the weather) for physical exercise to encourage fitness.
The summer camps also serve as training for the team leaders so that they can organize Girl Power chapters when schools reopen. The RMYC started Girl Power Groups in schools in 2006. However, a lack of trained peer leaders to replace students who graduate disrupted the continuity of the program.
The RYMC offers a special thanks to our sponsors: YES Employment Services, Urban Aboriginal Strategy, Indian Youth Friendship Society, Ontario Native Women’s Association, NetNewsledger.com, Mandarin Restaurant, Take a Hike, and Sharon Wingfield. Their contributions are helping us to provide snacks, refreshments and transportation for the girls.
Anyone interested to learn more about the Revolution Girl Style Program or Girl Power Summer Camps can call the RMYC at 622-4666, contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop by the Multicultural Youth Centre at 511 E. Victoria Avenue, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Not to be left out, a group of young males at the RMYC have started BROTHERS (Boys Rights Of Themed Habits Encouraging Right Skills). There are plans to organize some activities for boys 7 to 14 years old. Young men interested to participate should call Quinn Spyrka or Jeremy Kakegamic at 622-4666 or drop by the Youth Centre for more information.