Tag: go girls camp

11 Amazing Reasons Why You Should Work for Go Girls! Camp

By now you might already know how amazing Go Girls! Camp is for the girls who join us each summer. Maybe your daughter continues to join us year after year. Or maybe you’ve attended one of our free webinars. Maybe you’re across the country, or the world, and while the Go Girls! in your life might not be able to attend camp, maybe you want to keep up with us anyway.

But what you might not already know is that working at Go Girls! Camp is just as fun as attending!

 

Help prepare girls to lead a Compassion Revolution

This one is a no brainer. Every day at Go Girls! Camp we use our own methodology to inspire and reinforce social/emotional skills in our campers. We do this in a variety of fun ways, and we break down what seems complicated into bite-sized pieces in our Culture Code.

 

Wear cool Go Girls! gear

Lets face it: Who doesn’t want to wear one of our amazing logos on every piece of clothing possible?! Our staff gets access to new designs, colors, and styles as well as an excuse to wear their gear as much as possible!

 

Make a play and change the world

Can a play really change the world? We definitely think so. Seeing the transformation many of our campers experience from the first day of camp to the moment they take their final bow is a pretty transformative experience for our staff members, too.

 

Gain amazing professional and personal development at staff training

We want our staff to feel empowered by their work at Go Girls! Camp, so our training is a lot more than camp policy and powerpoint presentations. You’ll immerse yourself in our program, Culture Code, and methodology as you make new friends and prepare your own play, just like our Go Girls! do.

 

Free massages mid-summer

At Go Girls! Camp we know that doing amazing, life-changing work is part of why our staff joins us and keeps returning for more. But we also know that work like that is HARD. So every summer our staff comes together for a little R-and-R, Go Girls! style.

 

Learn Kidpower

Go Girls! Camp works closely with Kidpower, an international leader in teaching positive, practical personal safety skills to protect people of all ages and abilities, both in our camps (during Kidpower sessions) and in our overall methodology. This partnership is great for our girls and staff members—we even find ourselves using Trash Can Power once in a while!

 

Work with an amazing team of artists

We think our staff members are the best of the best: inspiring leaders, compassionate teachers, and phenomenal artists. And you could join the ranks! Besides being talented in their respective disciplines, our expressive artists are generous teachers to campers and other staff.

 

End every day of camp with a dance party

Our camp days are pretty long and while they’re filled to the brim with fun activities, free play, and time to chill, we think the best way to end the day and prepare to start fresh in the morning is to have a camp-wide dance party! Now tell us, how many other jobs can offer that as a perk?

 

Practice mindfulness each day of camp

We love approaching all of our work from a place of mindfulness, but sometimes the day-to-day gets in the way. At Go Girls! Camp we not only emphasize this practice, we make special time for it. We think it’s a great way to reconnect, recharge, and avoid burnout.

 

Learn from Lynn and Allison

Our co-founders are amazing leaders and some of the most inspiring women we know. Working with Go Girls! Camp means working directly with and learning from Lynn and Allison. They’re always popping into camp, leading Kidpower workshops, and working with staff to make sure everyone is getting the most from their Go Girls! Camp experience.

 

Be celebrated for exactly who you are!

Our two-week camp leads up to the “big show” at each location, where Go Girls! not only create the story but also get to be who—or what—ever they want to be. Robot Monkey? Check. The President?  Duh. Robot Monkey President?  Why not? All we’re asking this summer is that they aim to #BeAmazing. And that goes for our staff members, too!

Are you sold? Check out our job openings here!

Ranging and Roaming

two young boys walking together down a path towards the setting sunOne of my favorite Facebook friends is a guy I went to grammar school with. Favorite because he’s a kind and sensitive soul, and favorite because he is one of the best “post-ers” I know. This is what caught my eye today:

“I shudder to think of what I would have missed were I not told to ‘go out and play’ and be back for dinner. How many fewer friends, interesting and caring adults, and even the random ‘job.’ I also learned how to read and handle people…It’s a sad thing to go through a residential neighborhood these days, with tricycles in the driveways but not a single kid in the street.”

Some parents have recently been arrested for letting their kids roam freely, or be “free-range,” as it has been termed. The only sort-of equivalent I can think of from my own childhood was being a latchkey kid. That meant I wore a key around my neck on a string. Both my parents worked, and I would be able to let myself into our apartment when they weren’t there. But that was not separate from roaming the neighborhood and the city. Roaming was a given. In fact, most of us felt a little sorry for the kids who were kept at home “for safety.” As if they were in prison, and missing out on all the life that was to be had outside: fort-building, hide-and-seek, riding the bus to see a double feature, roller-skating to a friends house, hiking to the creek, walking to buy an ice cream cone or check out books from the library.

We didn’t feel afraid, and the things we felt afraid about we knew how to handle, such as strangers offering candy or rides and crossing streets at crosswalks and with traffic signals. And we knew we could ask people for help if we needed. Doug is so right. Being out in the world taught us how to read people, it made us part of a wide community filled with all different kinds of people, it required that we learn first-hand how to navigate streets and situations. It was better than being coddled like infants, protected like precious objects. Being a citizen is what it meant, with agency and standing, and the means to travel.

Statistics seem to bear out that our communities are no more dangerous than they were 20, 30, or 40 years ago. And yet parents’ concern for their children’s safety has increased, along with a sense that children need scheduled, organized enrichment, in order to get ahead and experience a fulfilling childhood. Yet I wouldn’t trade my ability to walk by myself to Doug’s house for anything, when we were both 9 years old. The enrichment discovered in those several blocks was limitless, and I feel it still.

The Magical, Post-iPhone World

teens-on-cell-phones-300x225
So much fun to be had on those newfangled touchy blocks (my impression of someone who has never seen and iPhone before).

Interning with Go Girls! has been a blessing for me in a number of ways (working with an amazing company with a mission I stand behind firmly, endlessly supportive staff, being able to watch with company as it grows organically). But one benefit I overlooked was that it offered me a semester free of commuting into and out of Manhattan two or three days a week.

But this past weekend I decided to make use of public transportation to get from my university in Long Island to my house near Albany, NY. And while on trains and buses, I got to engage (a tiny bit) in the public transportation experience I used to love so much.

The best part, I think, is being able to watch families, couples, friends, and strangers interact. A person’s true colors are really exposed when they miss their connecting train or can’t get a seat next to a power outlet. But it makes you think about what things were like when we weren’t all connected to our phones and tablets. We couldn’t make quick business calls much to the despair of mothers with sleeping babies sitting two rows over. Our parents couldn’t check in every half hour to make sure things were going okay. Travel just happened, disjointed from the rest of the world, until you made it home and could get on your landline to check back in.

Last year at about this time, I had my phone stolen while eating at a cafe in Italy. I had never felt so panicked and violated in my life. I had to disconnect my cell service, and remotely lock phone, and I didn’t even know what to do after that. How would I begin to tell my parents that my passwords, my photos, and my main connection to the world at home were all in the hands of a toothless man trying to sell me a pair of pants?

The first "real" cell phone I ever had. I'm not even kidding.
The first “real” cell phone I ever had. I’m not even kidding.

But then being phone-less started to be kind of fun. I could still text my parents and friends from my computer if I needed to, and the world starts to look more beautiful when you don’t have a camera with you, but the disconnect from Facebook pings and Snapchat’s and the ability to mindlessly scroll through Twitter before class started to feel really freeing.

And I wish I could say that my experience changed everything about me and that I never use my phone anymore and that I replaced it with some old cell phone with a qwerty keyboard, but I am weak to innovation and things that allow me to pass the time while traveling.

But just remember that once, none of these apps existed. None of these websites existed. You called your friends on the phone, and sometimes left a message because your friend was not home and you couldn’t just check Find My Friends to see where they were. We’re living in the Wild West of technology development, so find a trusty steed, play it safe, and look up from your phone once in a while. It’s worth it.

 

Go Girls! Camp Testimonials: Azzia Walker

This guest post is written by Azzia Walker, a Go Girls! Advocate and Parent!

Group Shot March 2015 TestsI am a children’s aikido instructor at Aikido Shusekai in Berkeley. We train kids ages seven and up to be empowered, empathic, loving, disciplined warriors of peace. A special joy that we focus on is helping girls and women find their power and helping people in general transcend gender roles to find new creativity and ways of being and moving. As students deepen their practice , we work with them to set effective boundaries while maintaining their own sense of calm and center.

I first became aware of Go Girls! two years ago, as their Berkeley camp at JCC is only a few blocks from our home. My daughter was six that year, and it quickly became apparent that we were in the right place. Even at that young age, she was spirited, creative, loving, empathic, and empowered. We wanted a camp that would support and nurture these qualities, while giving her a chance to explore creative outlets, learn new skills, and make friends.

We got so much more than that. What particularly impressed me is how organized, competent, and loving the staff are. When emotional issues come up between campers, there is a process of working through it with a staff-member’s help. It includes art, talking, and resolution. That sort of work, turning conflict into grace through creativity and collaboration, is much like aikido. It is beautiful, sacred work.

The camp is full of good role models for our daughter, from the managers to the staff to the teens who assist. We would love for her to become a teen staffer, if she so chooses, down the line. Between summers we have a great time hearing our kid talk about “the media,” body image, and being strong and healthy. Looking forward to our third summer with Go Girls – this was the first and most important camp we booked!

Children Caring for Animals

unnamedI have almost always lived with animals—primarily cats, but dogs, too, and hamsters, gerbils, fish, birds, and a most social tortoise named Miss Speedy. During those times in my life when I didn’t live with an animal I was always planning about how I would get one. Early diagnoses of asthma and allergies were no deterrent. There is no question that I am a far happier person and a far better person loving and caring for an animal than I would be otherwise.

There is tons of evidence that children benefit from interacting with animals. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology writes on its website, “Positive relationships with pets can aid in the development of trusting relationships with others. A good relationship with a pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication, compassion, and empathy.”

A recent One Green Planet article focuses on some powerful women doing extraordinary work in the U.S. animal rescue and sanctuary movement. Ellie Laks, the founder of The Gentle Barn in Tarzana, CA, makes it part of her mission to teach children from all walks of life, socio-economic backgrounds, and children with differing physical abilities.

Hundreds of children have learned kindness and compassion through interacting with the animals there. To this end, she and her team have developed amazing programs to give these children opportunities to spend time with and care for a variety of animals at the Gentle Barn. This nurturing haven is the result of a dream Laks herself dreamed when she was just 7 years old.unnamed-3

Even if your family can’t house an animal in your home, your community provides many ways for children to care for, educate themselves about, and become empowered for our fellow creatures. Check out these tips from Natural Resources Defense Council. Call your local animal shelter and ask how kids can help the rescued animals there. Help your children learn how to responsibly pet-sit for neighbors. Google the day and summer camps offered by your local zoo. Check out books from the library on a wide variety of animals and their habitats. Make a point to research the particular wildlife living in the region where your family likes to camp or hike. The more children are offered such opportunities, the more their hearts expand. The knowledge they gain will keep them curious about, and invested in, the lives and environments of all of us who call this sweet old world Home.

Summer Camp is For Memories

IMG_1821Summer camp is a coming of age experience for kids all over the world. It’s in camp that many children have their first opportunity to discover their true identities outside of the expectations of their parents or teachers. Although I didn’t attend many camps when I was young, I did work in many programs for over a decade. The most satisfying part of my work was observing the transformation of the campers from their first nerve-filled day all the way through to the end of the summer where they’re exhibiting confidence that only comes from a deep level of comfort and relationship building.

As we inch closer to our summer season, and the start of Go Girls! Camp, I asked a few of my friends to share their favorite camp memories with me.

“When I was in a Girl Scout camp and we all got to stargaze with telescopes. So much fun! Also – another is when we created banners for each group with paint etc. and then we shared them together and voted for the best one.” –Tazim Damji   Being Tazim

“I remember shooting my very first arrow at summer camp. When we had the option to learn archery, I was so excited! It was something that I’d never thought I would learn, and at the ripe old age of 10, I ended up excelling at it! I’ll never forget that summer.” –Amiyrah Martin   4 Hats and Frugal

“My favorite camp memory is that we went to vacation Bible School each summer and made really cool arts and crafts projects.” –Janeane Davis   Janeane’s World

My mom forced me to go to camp one summer. I made up my mind to hate it. A group of girls I didn’t know, no electricity, food I wouldn’t like, OUTDOOR activities, the list could go on. I spent the first day ignoring everyone and pouting. One of the returning campers refused to let me be miserable. She made it her point to include me and make conversation even though I was being a brat. I broke at dinner when she made the most horrible joke you couldn’t help but laugh at. The rest is history – we became “camp sisters” and she remains one of my best friends to this day. Those two weeks ended up being the absolute best time ever and we cried like babies when it was time to go home.” –Michelle Garrett  Divas With A Purpose

I remember the summer between 8th grade and high school where I got to play a wicked step sister in an original Cinderella type story called “The Prince & I” It was awesome.” –Lynn Johnson Go Girls! Camp (Co-Founder) and Raising A Go Girl

I went to an outdoor sleep away camp for four years in a row. It was awesome! We would do arts and crafts out of natural materials, learn about the flora and fauna, hike, swim, play games and best of all… share skits around the campfire. I was known for my impressions. I loved performing with and for a close knit group of girls (you became bffs at camp), making them laugh, and feeling supported.” –Julie Douglas Go Girls! Camp (Teaching Artist)

What is your favorite summer camp memory? Share below in the comments!

When I Was a Boy

I hurt my knees three weeks ago doing something in a movement class I knew I shouldn’t. I’ve never had any trouble with my knees, even after years of running, dancing, and tumbling. So I’m icing them like a fiend, popping ibuprofen at regular intervals, and switching over to swimming.

Sitting with ice packs a few nights ago, I had a good look at my knees. I noticed a scar on my left one I got while riding a bike down Oriole Street. I was five and didn’t yet have a two-wheeler of my own. I didn’t know the bike couldn’t brake and, trying to stop, I flew over the handlebars. The bloody knee hurt like anything, but I was okay. I think I got back on the bike. I also have a faint white scar on the top of one of my ankles. It’s from when I lay stomach-down on the seat of a swing, twisted myself up as tight as I could and let go. I spun at light speed, only stopping when my ankles skidded across the concrete gouge where sand should’ve been. The instep of my left foot bears a purple mark I got from a piece of glass. Nobody ever wore shoes during the summer. We were tanned on top and callused on the bottom. All the boys and girls were a fierce and merry little band of men, raising polliwogs, visiting the bulldog family in the alley, checking on the decay of a dead black cat.

We were girls and we were boys and we were the same.Rachel Brown, age 4

When I was a boy I seldom had long hair, and a new set of sneakers could set me running faster than anybody.

When I was a boy I rode my Big Wheels tricycle all the way to Richard’s house, before I turned 6 and got my yellow Schwinn Fair Lady. Then I was flying to 7-11 for Big Daddy bubble gum and Tootsie Rolls.

When I was a boy I painted masterpieces at a huge easel, and dug for gold with my sister in our sliver of a backyard, next to the sunflowers. When I was a boy I wore Toughskins jeans, and played with a Tonka jeep and a Fischer-Price airport. I piloted a jetliner! I could climb to the top of the hanging ropes faster than the twins, Kyle and Carl, when I was a boy…

…Except I was a girl, and didn’t have to pretend, then, that all of it belonged to me. It just did. When did we all have to begin to choose a side? Maybe at 12 when my light had to be refracted through separate lenses, and only select rays could fall. Resisting this half-life, I brushed my hair down over my eyes, covered my body in shapeless clothes, wore my eyeglasses like a disguise. The boy and the girl partially smothered, partially tapping out an S-O-S in Morse code: Save Our Self! we said. We’re saying it still, pulsing the message into the palm of each other’s hand…

Princess Awesome Redefines What it Means to “Dress Like a Girl”

pa_logo_20141029_1414630274__78282If you click over to Princess-Awesome.com you won’t be able to purchase any of the clothing items the company sells. This is because it has completely sold out of all of its merchandise. In fact, it’s launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to get the funds to create more of its product.

And what is the product? Girly dresses. We all know what those are, right? Dresses that are cute and feminine, made of soft, pliable fabrics, in almost exclusively pastel or hot colors, and decorated with, you know, girly things: flowers, ribbons, sparkles, hearts, unicorns, ponies, rainbows, kittens… need I say more?

However, the question this company asks, among other questions, is, “What exactly is a girly dress?” And the answer Rebecca Melsky and Eva St. Clair, the Princess Awesome founders, give is that they’re interested in,

“…making clothes for girls that really reflect the range of interests that girls have, and the range of interests that parents want to encourage and support for their girls. We know that girls like lots of things—they like dresses and trucks—and they should have clothes that reflect that. …We feel strongly that girls should not have to decide between wearing girly things and wearing math-y things, or pirate-y things, or dinosaur-y things.”

dfff6b8740528be04cfe956852d72edc_originalThis means that the rainbow graphic on one dress is the jumbled repetition of the mathematical symbol “π.” It means one circle-skirted frock is printed with a train track at the waist and a train circling the skirt’s hem. It means that when you are four years old and want to dress up for a special occasion, the thing that makes your dress fancy is Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” image illuminating its fabric, or the vibration of Monet’s “Water Lilies.” All done in durable, play-resistant fabrics.

I spent my young childhood in the ‘70s. It is safe to say that clothes for both kids and adults existed on a slippery slope of weirdness, sliding into itchiness, sliding into ugliness. And I mean that in a good way. That is, there was a new fluidity in what we deemed an acceptable children’s wardrobe. And the boundaries of what constituted dressy clothes or casual clothes or play clothes often blurred. The sixties were right behind us, and the hippies were still with us. Back-to-nature-let-your-hair-down allowed for greater degrees of choice, messiness, earthiness. The Women’s Movement liberated children, too. Free to Be You and Me was the anthem of a generation. It was ok to wear clothes that could get dirty—and it was ok for girls to get dirty! Not all girls, of course. But I think more than before. My rainbow-checked, bell-bottomed, frayed-at-the-hem pants, coupled with my Welcome Back Kotter t-shirt was the height of chic, in my book. Girly colors, Television shows, T-shirts, all one big prét-a-porter of personal fabulousness. I could be all these parts of me at the same time. All of my selves did not have to be divvied up and limited to certain discreet occasions.

Ms. Melman and Ms. St. Clair trust they are creating the same kind of multiplicity, “…girls are awesome and girls decide what it means to be girly.” As more parents buy these clothes for their kids I will be curious to read whether the children have a different experience wearing them, a richer experience, than they might have limited to the hearts and flowers variety. In the theatre, when an actor finally dons her completed costume, the costume acts a mask of revelation, yet another way for character to reveal itself, express itself. Does the substitution of a daisy for a dinosaur have the same effect? Does the hat indeed make the man or, in this case, the robot dress makes the girl?…

 

 

We Are From…A poetic reflection from Go Girls! Camp 2014

WE ARE FROM
by Go Girls! Camp Co-Founder/Director, Allison Kenny

Go Girls! Camp 2014 Session 3 collage 1

We are from 300 Go Girls!
11 plays in 5 cities
hundreds of rounds of applause

Ancient Egypt, a space hotel, Times Square, Berkeley High
The Go Girls! School is where we’re from

wishing trees, arcade games, a giant cell phone prop
homemade leg warmers, time machines, peace flags, jelly bracelets
masks and clouds, flower power purses,
watercolor portraits and a moving Eiffel Tower set piece- that’s where we’re from

” I was always told women should be seen and not heard”
“I protest this protest!”
“I wonder if Hollywood would be interested in a movie about ice powers?”
“My husband says that hippies are annoying…BUT my husband’s annoying too”
“I want my MTV!”
“The smart girls! They are people too!”
“I’m a Go Girl! So check, check me out…so check check her out”

The Go Girls! song, Heavy D, Working 9 to 5, Happiness Runs, Can’t Touch This, Celia’s protest song, We Are the World, Erica’s french dance, Julie’s dramatic death sequence, Sending out an SOS, Lucky Star, Aerobics class
The sloth song is where we’re from

We are from “My Favorite Sugar” cupcakes, the hamster & the squid, hula hoop choreography, journals, purple shirts, The Go Girls! Jar and Cookie Face
Tears
Cheers
Thank you’s
Hugs
Kiona’s first Kidpower
Lots and lots of love
“We are from Hoopa!”

We Are From Go Girls!
Go Girls! is where we’re from

Come See a Go Girls! Camp Show this Summer

Go Girls! create and perform their very own peaceful and powerful plays that we believe will change the world.

On June 27, 64 Go Girls! performed for packed houses of family and friends in Oakland and Berkeley.  Maybe you were there to experience the magic.  If you weren’t no problem.  You have plenty of chances before the summer is over.

2014 Show dates image

 

LOCATIONS

OAKLAND: College Avenue Presbyterian Church, 5951 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618 (in the Sanctuary)

BERKELEY: JCC of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA, 94709 (in the Theater)

SAN FRANCISCO: Children’s Creativity Museum, 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 (in the Theater)

ALAMEDA: Lincoln Middle School, 1250 Fernside Blvd, Alameda CA, 94501 (in the Auditorium)

HOOPA*: Hoopa Valley High School, 5 Loop Road Hoopa, CA 95546 (in the Auditorium)

*Go Girls! Camp Hoopa was funded by the generous donations of folks just like you as part of our successful “Start Some Good” Campaign in 2013.