The first week of July marked the end of another successful year of summer camp. Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis understands the importance of keeping girls engaged when school is out of session. That’s why we provide strong, smart, and bold programming all year round. In fact, this year we were able to engage 81 girls at our summer camp!

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The last two weeks of camp were Bold and Inspired week. Bold week featured She Votes, Redefining Beauty, and Economic Literacy while Inspired week featured spoken word and word art programs. Bold week helped each girl find her voice while Inspired week helped each girl share her voice.

In Redefining beauty, the girls designed a book that helped them build self-esteem and confidence. One day the girls had to thank a part of their body that was crucial to participating in an activity they loved. One girl thanked her throat and vocal chords because she loves to sing. Another girl thanked her legs, feet, arms, mind, face, and hands because she loves to dance.

The camp counselor explained to them: “The body you’re born with is the body you’ll die with, so learn to love it and respect it.” Through these lessons, the girls learned that there should be no room for hate—only self-love.

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In order to explain why there are only men on U.S. currency, one portion of our Economic Literacy program focused on the history of women’s voting rights in the U.S. To wrap up that discussion, the girls had to answer this question: “Should women ever be unequal to men?” The girls responded with a hard, but thoughtful, no.

She Votes programming also focused on teaching girls about the importance of voting rights, civic-participation, suffrage, and the power of making a difference through government and exercising the right to vote.

In their final two weeks of camp, the girls went on field trips to the Indiana State Museum and RollerCave. They also attended the 2016 Touchstone Awards during the last week of camp.

The Touchstone Awards were fitting for Inspired week because the girls were able to see prominent Indianapolis women use their voices for empowerment. Unlike the lack of female representation on U.S. currency, the Touchstone Awards were an opportunity for our girls to see women in action.

After witnessing the women take the stage at Touchstone, the girls had the opportunity to take the stage themselves at the annual end of camp Talent Show. On stage, each summer camper had the opportunity to show off how they exemplify what it means to be strong, smart, and bold.

Camp is over, but we know our girls left feeling inspired, not only to learn from the successful women around them, but to become successful women in their own right.