Connection and Safety
I had the privilege to serve the girls at one of the summer camps. When I arrived, I was immediately moved by their sense of connection and safety in the container of this powerful circle that had been created by Kristen, the girls, and many volunteers and guest speakers. My intention was to support their heart connection. I was astounded to witness the magnitude of their capacity, amplified by the safety and flexibility of this circle.
I first invited them to experience self-love by saying "I Love You," to themselves. Then I asked them to find a body area (physical, mental or emotional) that could use more love, perhaps it was hurting, perhaps it was a part that just wanted more attention, that was sad, wherever they were drawn. I invited them to place their hands there and with their loving attention continue to repeat "I Love You," to this area. Well, can you guess what happened? The girls sat up after a few minutes and to their delight and surprise, the majority experienced a change of the areas in a way that felt supportive, or overall, they spoke to feeling altered in a life-affirming direction by giving themselves this love. And they all got it!
We continued with a circle practice where one person was the focus of the group. This opportunity allowed them to experience how when they offer love to themselves and simultaneously focused on another, the benefits of their love overflows and becomes a blessing for that person as well.
The girls were so vulnerable as they spoke about the loss of grandparents, pets, places that were hurting and were able to see the connection to a place on their body and experience that shift in the presence of this group field of love.
Some girls also shared that even when they weren’t the focus of the group, things shifted in them as well as, similar situations that they had endured arose and they felt them soften too, simply by being in this field of love.
The part that brings me to tears is that a week or two after, one of the mama’s of the girls shared with me that her daughter had gotten hurt and was really upset, and by the time the mama got to her, she was much calmer, and the little girl had her hands on the area and was loving the part that was hurt. She had calmed down and the pain was much better.
What kind of a world do we walk in when humanity knows how to offer this self-soothing to themselves, and unquestionably know and embody the power of their own love?
How do we relate to each other when we are all self-empowered to meet the parts of us that are hurting with love rather than perceive ourselves as broken, project blame or give our power away to another to fix us or make us whole?
This is the world that Kristen Rubis and Empowerment 4 Girls is helping to create. And I am deeply honored to be a part of it.
Learn More About Summer Camps
AUGUST 20-24, 2018 SUMMER CAMP
A Huge Success at Our New Future Location
Our August Week-Long Empowerment Camp was the first at our new future location, The Coach House—next to the Historical Lord Mansion. The Coach House comes with breath-taking beauty and grounds, where the girls enjoyed playing outside when we could—due to smoke from the summer forest fires. We also enjoyed a priceless walk through the Native Plant Garden Trail with a local herbalist helping identify plants along the way. 20 girls attended camp in August and we were grateful to be able to provide 8 scholarships through our generous community donations.
One of the highlights of our August camp was on Friday, the last day. Sofie's Scoops, our local gelato shop, came and offered a Gelato Party in the Garden! FUN, FUN, FUN—the girls were so happy and grateful. Our Board Members also made food for the camp, and I'm happy to report that by the end of the week, we filled our 5 gallon bucket 3 times with compost!
A shout out to our 16 volunteers! Our August camp was effortless because of all of the support from local womxn in our community, teen support, as well as our board members.
Monday, August 20
1:30 — 2:45 pm
Guest Speaker, Cecily Schmidt
The girls will have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on the qualities that make them each unique. They will be guided through a short yoga practice and then write poems that express these unique characteristics that make them who they are. We will close by sharing parts or all of our poems with each other.
Tuesday, August 21
10:30 am — 11:30 am
Guest Yoga Instructor, Aly Long
“Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of Love” — We will practice asana, breath and meditation to focus on how we see ourselves. The practice will focus on loving ourselves right where we are in this moment and in every moment. Practice will include some partner and group poses.
1:30 — 2:45 pm
Guest Speaker, Elizabeth Swanson
“Body Image” — From my experience and as the mother of two girls, body image is an important topic to me. It’s impact on girls’ identity and confidence can’t be underestimated. I will talk about body image and the relationship we have with how our bodies look and how we feel others perceive us. We’ll also make an art project using self pictures and strong words of identity and confidence.
Wednesday, August 22
1:30 — 2:45 pm
Guest Speaker, Emily McMason
“Living in a Social Media World” — It can be a great way to connect. It can also disconnect us from what’s important. We’ll talk about some cool research—the bathing suit test and the kitchen table test. We’ll look at some not-so-little laws—how old do you actually have to be to have a Snapchat account? We’ll dive into brain-behavior—what happens inside your head when your device buzzes at you? And talk about how to decide what to share on social media and with whom.
Thursday, August 23
10:30 — 11:30 am
Guest Yoga Teacher, Kelli Mae Willis
“Powerful Partnership” — We find our strength when we lift each other up. We will use the principles of partner yoga, circus, and acrobatics to embody the power of community. Participants will learn to find body shapes strong enough to hold the weight of a partner, while developing trust and courage to allow themselves to be supported. We will go upside down, laugh a lot, and hopefully everyone will experience something brand new!
1:30 — 2:45 pm
Guest Speaker, Kimberly Mueller
“The Power of Being a Female Engineer” — Sometimes it isn’t easy to feel like yourself when you are surrounded by people who seem different. I will talk about being a female engineer in a male dominated field. I will share a bit about what engineers do and will then focus on why staying true to yourself creates more fulfilling experiences at work. We will also do a fun engineering type activity.
Friday, August 24
1:15 — 2:30 pm
Guest Speaker, Jennifer Johnson
“Get Out of My Hair, Toxins in Personal Care” — Teens are a primary target for sale of personal care products – yet some ingredients used to make cosmetics, lotion, deodorant, shampoo, and hair dye have been linked to cancer and may cause reproductive and environmental harm. We will discuss toxins in personal care products and alternatives teens can choose to protect themselves. We’ll learn about health concerns, how to read labels, helpful websites, and safer alternatives. The girls will make an all-natural lip balm to take home, to remind them they can keep looking and smelling good without toxic products!
July Summer Camp at The Abigail Stuart House
We were pleased to host our July Camp at a new location, The Abigail Stuart House. We loved having our own space and we particularly loved having lunch on the big, beautiful porch. 16 girls joined us for camp. Through our generous community donations, we were grateful to be able to provide scholarships to 3 of the girls.
One of the camp highlights was walking through the lovely flower gardens at Fertile Ground, a guesthouse in downtown Olympia, after our lunch. Our board members made food for our lunches and we received lots of compliments from the girls.
A shout out to our 9 volunteers! Our July camp was effortless because of all of the support from local womxn in our community, teen support, as well as our board members.
Monday, July 9
1:30 — 2:45 pm
Guest Speaker, Sarah Meyer
Building a growth mindset helps us build our own awareness about what brings us joy. In our time together we will explore 6 big questions that will help us create a practice of gratitude and growth. We will play a couple games, create a gratitude journal and develop our “I am” statements.
Tuesday, July 10
11:00 am — 12:00 pm
Guest Yoga Instructor, Rebekah Brems
Connection to breath with Sun Salutations. Focusing on Heart strengthening and opening with asanas and mudras. Writing exercise to bring awareness to one thing you love about yourself. However, you move body and mind either with yoga, dance, walking, writing, reading, etc., it creates space.
Wednesday, July 11
1:30 — 2:45 pm
Guest Speaker, Emily McMason
“Living in a Social Media World”—It can be a great way to connect. It can also disconnect us from what’s important. We’ll talk about some cool research—the bathing suit test and the kitchen table test. We’ll look at some not-so-little laws—how old do you actually have to be to have a Snapchat account? We’ll dive into brain-behavior—what happens inside your head when your device buzzes at you? And talk about how to decide what to share on social media and with whom.
Thursday, July 12
Friday, July 13
1:30 — 2:30 pm
Guest Speaker, Kirstin Eventyr
“Making and using flower essence sprays” Learn how to use flower essence and essential oils sprays to support you in your life by helping you feel more confident, have better boundaries and let go of what doesn’t serve you. You will also get to make one of our own sprays.
August Summer Camp
Monday, August 21
Tuesday, August 22
10:30-11:30 am Guest Yoga Instructor: Kristi Lyons
Kristi Lyons is a form and flow Hatha yoga instructor who uses story telling as a tool for creativity and inspiration in her yoga classes. For the camp the girls learned to summon their inner strength through the story of the Goddess Durga. Durga is the warrior goddess of strength, protection, and courage. Her key teachings are to never doubt your own power, to stand firmly in your truth, anda to call forth your fearless heart.
1:45-2:45/3 pm Guest Speaker: Jennifer Johnson
Get Out of My Hair! Toxins in Personal Care – The girls learned how to read labels and choose personal care products that will keep them looking and smelling good while also protecting our water! They made an all-natural lip balm to take home and share resources to make buying decisions easier.
Wednesday, August 23
1:45-2:45/3 pm Guest Speaker: Jessica Hoene
Jessica spoke to the girls about self love cultivated from what they can do for others and what other people in their lives like about them. Her activity for them was a simple writing assignment focused on creating a positive mantra that they can say to themselves in the morning. Jessica's goal was to truly get the girls to explore all things positive and productive about them to not only avoid pitfalls, but to propel them in a positive direction.
Thursday, August 24
11:00 am -12:00 pm Guest Yoga Instructor: Aly Long
Aly is a mother and yoga teacher in Olympia. Aly offered brief discussion about self image/true self vs media image. Then they incorporated the use of intention setting, using mantra while holding poses and visualization for a complete yoga practice. The girls also practiced partner poses to remind them of the support we receive from other girls and community!
1:45-2:45/3 pm Guest Speaker: Dreamy and Tahnee from Psychic Sister
Dreamy and Tahnee lead a discussion on the connections between fashion, body positivity, energy fields, and intuition. How does our outer presentation align with our inner sense of self? They opened with an exercise on seeing with the heart to develop their skill in perceiving ourselves and others in a sacred mirror. They closed the session with a tutorial on re-designing an old t-shirt to fit YOU.
Friday, August 25
10:45-11:45 am Guest Teacher: Jessica Rose
Jessica, is a mother, Chiropractor, teacher of consciousness studies, and sacred musician. She has taught mindfulness practices to children and adults and was excited to bring her heart-centered approach to life, business, and teaching to the Empowerment 4 Girls Program. Jessica guided the girls on a journey into their hearts and then how to anchor the beauty that they find there through community song.
1:45-2:45/3 pm Guest Speaker: Katherine Marsh
Being human means feeling distress from time to time. Distress is any pesky, uncomfortable emotion that, just like a classmate whose company we may not enjoy, we must learn to put up with. This may be worry, sadness, or feeling overwhelmed. While it’s helpful to explore the causes of distress, sometimes we also just need a break from it. Rest from Distress offers several tools to help identify distress, take a break from it using distraction, mindfulness or our senses, and sometimes can even help change our mood. Participants created a Rest from Distress plan and take-anywhere tool kit.
Founder and Executive Director
Another Huge Success
Monday, July 17
1:30-2:30 pm Guest Speaker: Rachel Friedman
GYROKINESIS® is a dynamic yoga/dance-based full body workout designed to exercise the entire spine while restoring strength and fluidity to muscles and joints. It’s fully rotational exercises build core and lean muscle strength while nourishing the body with focused breath work. It is truly energizing. Accompanied with Sound Healing for deeper self care! (Motion in Balance Studio 1:15-2:15)
Tuesday, July 18
10:45-11:45 am Guest Yoga Instructor: Rebekah Brems
The importance of pranayama, asana, and mudras is lovingly weaved through this one hour yoga class for strengthening and opening the heart. Focusing on aspects of the heart for self-confidence, opening and letting go to make space for creativity and self-love. (Motion in Balance Studio or Heritage Park)
Wednesday, July 19
1:30-2:30 pm Guest Speaker: Lynn Corliss
Lynn will take you on a nature tour of capital Lake and introduce you to the wildlife in our area. Have you ever wondered why there is so much algae in the lake during Lake Fair? Do you want to know why invasive species cause such a problem for our area? Take a relaxing walk and learn something new! (Heritage Park and the Lake)
Thursday, July 20
Friday, July 21
Gratitude and Blessings
There are never enough words to express my deep, heart-felt gratitude for the girls who make the choice to come to camp, the parents who raise them and send them to camp, the community members who join to support them, and our generous donors who help support us on this journey.
Thank you for creating another successful Empowerment 4 Girls Camp!
Founder and Executive Director
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