Girl Group | Summer Camp | Wk 1
As our first week of Girl Group Summer Camp comes to an end, we turn to our closing ritual questions: “What do you Remember?” and “How do you feel?”
We remember our guests: Myndy from Moms Demand Gun Safety and Sandy Hook Promise who led a powerful discussion focused on connecting and building friendships; Becca Gordon, who taught us to create an intention setting ritual, and Amanda from ResisterhoodLA, who shared her own experience with community building and outreach and fired up the spirit of volunteerism. Crystal used Pilates to connect us to the strength of our bodies and, on Friday, our teen guides, Erin, Ashley and Lauren, offered support and guidance for making friends, managing the expectations of teachers and parents and navigating the transition from elementary to middle school, high school and beyond.
We remember how our littlest camper has become our biggest in spirit. We remember how building “Silent Pyramids” provided a living metaphor for support. Following the exercise, the girls talked about how they did and didn’t feel supported. They practiced asking for help and offering assistance. One girl said, “I’m shaky, however I’m strong,” articulating our near constant balance between opposing emotions and sensations. The word “however” is an important tool for communicating these feelings without judgment.
We remember the poems and the way they provide a point of entry for each day. In “Some Advice for Clearing Brush,” Jeff Coomer prompted a discussion of intention. The second to last line of the poem resonated with the girls: “Never begin when you’re angry/or you might not stop/until there’s nothing left/ to hold the soil.” On day two, Jane Hirshfield’s poem “As A Hammer Speaks to a Nail,” opened our work on flexibility and forward motion. Her lines are a mantra for action and perseverance: “Say one./If two does not follow,/Say three, if that fails, say life,/Say future.” Wendell Berry, in “The Real Work” continued our discussion of obstacles and intention. “The impeded stream is the one that sings,” the poet writes. In “Sunday Morning Early,” David Romtvedt describes a morning with his daughter. “I want to say something truer/than I love you,” he says. He finds it difficult to resist the impulse to narrate his feelings, but eventually realizes that in shared silence there can be deep communication. This poem jumpstarted a conversation about our relationship with our parents, which culminated in “Be your Mom” lunch. On Friday, we began with “For N & K” by Gina Myers. The poem is a mediation on friendship and an apt way to end a week spent with old and new friends. “Not every day/can be a good day/but this is one/of them, one/of the best days.”
We remember tracing our bodies on newsprint and writing letters to our younger selves. We remember funneling our anger into the action of tearing up phone books and finding our calming breath. We remember how we are experts and how being curious and asking questions helps us appreciate all that we don’t know. We remember decorating our “Tool Box” totes and learning how to eat and walk mindfully.
We feel so grateful to have spent the week with your Girls.
Registration is open for our Fall Girl Group Series (details below) and we'd love to extend a special 20% discount to our campers for either of our 2 Fall series - Signs & Signals or Brain Power. Just use your discount code GGCAMPISOVER at checkout!
Wes and Tanya
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