GNP’s Lila Seidman recently wrote about our Camp Rosie program and how it empowers girls.
Camp Rosie teaches dating-violence prevention alongside arts and crafts
by Lila Siedman
At Camp Rosie, middle school-aged girls don’t just hit the trails and learn arts and crafts.
By the time they complete a two-week session, they’re also well-versed in teen dating violence.
It’s a new component of the no-cost camp named for Rosie the Riveter, according to Sylvia Chinn of Glendale’s YWCA, a nonprofit that, in addition to being a recreation center, is dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence.
“It’s framed as a girl’s empowerment camp. We promote healthier attitudes and beliefs that lead girls to make healthier decisions,” Chinn said.
That means making sure they have a support network and know what a healthy relationship looks like, she added.
According to Chinn, research has shown that violent behavior in relationships involving young women begins early, between the ages of 12 and 18.
Women between 16 and 24 years old experience the highest rate of intimate-partner violence according to that research, and “the severity of violence is often greater when a pattern of abuse is established early on,” she said.
That’s why the camp is geared toward sixth- to ninth-graders, who are at the age when they may begin to grapple with these issues, she added.
Several years ago, the YWCA was asked to take over the camp that was originally launched by the city of Glendale — and the organization made it its own, Chinn said.
Last year, the local nonprofit held its first incarnation of the camp, with two, two-week sessions. This year, the camp expanded to three sessions.
The camp maintains much of the original spirit, with a strong focus on exposing attendees to careers they’re often not encouraged to pursue.
Camp participants this summer learned basic coding and graphic design, dropped by City Hall, took a bike maintenance class, visited the forensics lab at the Glendale Police Department — and capped it all off by putting on a performance.
Female leaders and entrepreneurs — including Glendale City Councilwoman Paula Devine and Catherine Nguyen, laboratory director for the local police department — speak to girls about their careers and offer advice.
Many of the girls are from Glendale and Pasadena, but some come from parts of Los Angeles.
“We’re really trying hard to reach under-served communities,” Chinn said.
The camp receives support from a handful of local sponsors, which allows families to participate for free.
With the camp’s final summer session already underway, Chinn said YWCA officials are already looking to the future.
Just the other week, YWCA received a $25,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente. By combining that grant with another from Google, Chinn said YWCA officials are talking about holding coding programs throughout the year, as well as rolling out programs at local schools that focus on health and safety as well as leadership.
“We want to change attitudes about domestic violence,” Chinn said. “Camp Rosie will be one major component of that, but we want to go long term and year-round with this strategy.”
See the original article HERE.