Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Glowing Girls

Camp Glow is a USPC Leadership camp that is offered to young people in countries where PCV serve.  It was actually started by a group of PCV's and teachers in Romania in 1995 to encourage young women to become active citizens by building their self-esteem and confidence, and developing skills in goal setting, assertiveness, and life planning. It soon became a world wide PC initiative, and by 2000, about 21 camps took place around the world.  GLOW stands for Girls Leading Our World, and camps are organized by PCV's.  Camp Glow provides young people with an opportunity to come together for 4 days, and 50 kids in our case, and attend sessions on gender awareness, promotion of self esteem, nutrition, development of life skills, and fighting the HIV pandemic to name a few.  My favorite session in our camp was led by Yami, who did "Women Around the World."  It was simply beautiful!

Much goes into putting on an event like this, and the girls had a grand time, not only with discussing new things, learning new things, but making new friends, and expanding their worlds in a way they've never done before,---hopefully seeing that there is more than what is seen outside their backyards. Fun was had by learning how to make paper necklaces, ty-dying shirts, making piggy banks, watching movies, learning how to make the American infamous s'mores, and getting served an American dinner by the PCV's.  

Surprisingly, being around Fifty teenagers for 4 full days wasn't my worst nightmare. It actually turned out to be amazing in so many ways.  Watching many of these campers transform from shy and unconfident girls, to seeing the possibilities of being strong, energetic, and wonderful leaders of the world.  Of course there were one or two snags, but for the most part, the girls put aside their differences, and embraced the beauty in each other and new situations.  This past 4 days made my PC service, not only because of the success seen through the campers, but also of the amazing work and heart and soul of my fellow PCV's who just ROCK!  We sacrificed sleep, nice beds, private showers, and free time to help make a difference in the lives of 50 strangers.  This is what Peace Corps Service is all about!

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