Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Jamaica, in partnership with Young Women of Purpose, will invite female teenagers from rural and low-income communities around Jamaica to participate in the fourth annual four-day, three-night camp. The camp goals are for participants to develop leadership skills, improve self-esteem and healthy living habits, and gain knowledge of women’s health, as well as challenging traditional gender roles by increasing self-awareness and Jamaican cultural understanding.
Young Women of Purpose provides moral support, mentorship, and career guidance to young women and actively contributes to the growth and development of young adults through various self-esteem and self-development workshops. Young Women of Purpose will present some of their workshops and lead discussions at Camp GLOW. At the camp’s conclusion, each GLOW camper will be assigned a female mentor through Young Women of Purpose. Mentors and mentees will communicate monthly via telephone or through face to face meet-ups. These relationships are designed to create a sustainable impact in the lives of the GLOW campers so that participants will receive continued support while demonstrating their new leadership skills back in their communities.
Other activities at the camp will include conflict resolution, team building, healthy relationship discussions, and goal setting. Camp GLOW alumni who have graduated from high school will be invited back to serve as camp counselors and role models this summer. This year Camp GLOW hopes to have 45 campers ages 13 to 18, and 8 camp counselors ages 19 to 24.
Young Women of Purpose strives to provide efficient and effective mentorship and guidance to young women by allowing them to achieve success and rising above all challenges. The organization set a goal to include an overnight camp in its programming in 2019, and was thrilled to partner with Peace Corps in order to get some guidance and structure for their first year working on Camp GLOW. The project partner has helped choose the venue of the camp, has partnered with Peace Corps to write the grant, and has been extremely involved in the planning of the camp.
GLOW campers and camp counselors from previous years will be invited back to attend camp this year. Inviting girls and young women from previous years will allow them to build on the skills that they gained from previous summers. They will also be able to encourage the younger girls and serve as leaders within the camp setting.
The camp venue is local, and the organization who owns the venue is excited to work with Peace Corps and Young Women of Purpose in order to impact the lives of the campers.
Young Women of Purpose has agreed to enroll all participants of Camp GLOW in its mentorship program free of charge following camp. Each camper will be matched with a female professional who can advise the girls on career and personal goals. Campers/mentees will be contacted by their assigned mentor monthly or more frequently for six months to a year after camp is over.
In order to achieve a high level of sustainability, the project partner will eventually lead the planning and organizing of the camp with the support of Peace Corps Volunteers. Young Women of Purpose has already demonstrated their commitment in the initial planning of Camp GLOW and has the capacity and desire to support the program for years to come.
Camp GLOW will be inviting previous counselors and campers to return to the program. We will be keeping in touch with this summer’s participants and keep them engaged with the program. It is our hope that they will continue to demonstrate leadership in their home communities and return excited each summer to continue to empower and be empowered.
In order to create sustainability from year to year, Camp GLOW policies and procedures and lessons learned will be compiled into a document that will be shared with project partners and camp counselors.