Friday, April 29, 2011
Camp GLOW Ha'apai
Campers at last year's Camp GLOW Ha'apai
My friend Juleigh and I are planning Camp GLOW in our island group, Ha’apai. Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) is a week-long sleep-away camp for girls and young women that empowers its participants by:
- advocating a healthy lifestyle,
- providing vital information on sensitive topics,
- teaching leadership and team-building skills,
- encouraging critical thinking and logical decision-making,
- building a network of motivated girls and women,
- and fostering self-confidence and creative expression in a fun, safe, judgment-free environment.
Last year’s Ha’apai camp was a success with 15 campers, and this year we’re expanding to 25 campers. Campers will participate in sessions and classes about everything from money management, goal-setting, and sexual health to tie-dying, healthy cooking, and aerobics.
In Tonga, Camp GLOW is a unique experience. Especially in Ha’apai, there is nothing else like Camp GLOW for girls to participate in. Rarely, if ever, are girls from different schools and churches joined in a fun, community-building environment that encourages and motivates girls specifically. With all-Tongan camp counselors and Tongan-led sessions, the girls get a new perspective and way of decision-making in the Tongan culture.
Juleigh and I are currently working with a Tongan counterpart at the Ha’apai Youth Congress to arrange speakers, camp counselors, catering, and venues. We’re lucky to have these dedicated counterparts to help make this year’s camp a success, and also, hopefully, carry on Camp GLOW after we leave.
And now that you know how great Camp GLOW is, I’ll ask for money.
Though the Tongan community is supporting Camp GLOW through free lodging and community fundraisers, we still need help from our family, friends, and Camp GLOW supporters. To donate to Camp GLOW, please...
Paste the following URL in your browser and click “Donate”
1. Go to http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?
2. Click "Donate to Volunteer Projects" on the left side of the page
3. Type "Burke" into the search field and click "Search"
Note: J. Burke is my co-director for Camp GLOW Ha’apai. There are several camps in Tonga, so please be sure to find ours!
Malo 'aupito for supporting Camp GLOW and all the girls of Tonga!