Are you a prisoner of your phone?

After spending 2 of the last 3 weeks at our camp, I’m reminded of the benefits of unplugging from cell phones and social media, and especially for adolescent girls. Many girls truly are prisoners of their devices, tethered to them 24/7 with the incessant noise and information that buzzes from them. When they hand over their phones at our check-in table, many girls are a little jittery, not certain … [Read more...]

College: Is it necessary for a successful life?

“I could pressure my son, but the skill of reacting to pressure I put on him is not the skill I want him to have.” Sebastion Thrun- cofounder/CEO Udacity Asking Julia, 18, what she was planning on doing after graduating from high school elicited a look of disbelief. Her answer of, “College”, omitted the unsaid, “Duh!” When I asked her why she wanted to go to college, she was stumped. She … [Read more...]

How Amy lost her light

Amy’s dad passed away when she was 12 years old, but the biggest harm to her occurred before his death. After her parents divorced when she was 7, her dad had intermittently been in and out of her life. He had some addiction issues, so even when she spent weekends with him, he was often numbed out and not present. She learned to take care of herself and him in those times, and it forced her to … [Read more...]

How adolescent girls can find happiness

In light of 2 weeks of summer camp recently spent with middle and high school girls, I can once again state with certainty that the widely reported low self-esteem and overall demise of adolescent girls has been greatly exaggerated. It’s time to shift our beliefs about girls and support them differently. When the girls arrived at my camp, they were feeling the typical mild anxiety inherent in … [Read more...]

Every Girl Is Meant to Shine

The nail that stands up gets hammered down. Unknown The most common reason girls don’t speak their minds, handle conflicts directly, and ask for what they want is their fear of making other people mad and losing friendships. And because of the way society is wired today, there is a lot of validity for these worries. If a girl decides she is going to be honest and speak her mind, especially if … [Read more...]

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

When I told people I was about to embark on a one week all girls camp for grade school and middle school girls, I heard the usual litany of dire predictions about overwhelming amounts of emotions and hormones and drama.  As it turned out, it was nothing of the sort. We assembled 48 female campers, 20 in grade school and 28 in middle school, along with 16 women staff and 4 guys, me included.  Our … [Read more...]