The 2011 GLAD campers and their instructors take a break for a group photo.
Girls’ camp, now in its third year, shows exciting reach and growth
When the college’s Girls Leadership and Development (GLAD) Camp wrapped on July 15, coordinator Amy Sorenson (Office of the President) already had fielded a call from a woman who wanted to enroll her daughter for next year.
“The mother said she heard the camp was amazing and was sorry that she did not have the chance to sign her [daughter] up this year,” says Sorenson.
The early request for enrollment is just one indication of GLAD Camp’s success in its mission to improve self-esteem and body image in first- through eighth-grade girls. In the nine-day camp’s first three years, enrollment has increased from 14 to 120.
Last year’s response surprised camp administrators. They capped 2010 enrollment at 80 but still had a waiting list of 20 girls. With 2011’s enrollment limited to 120, the waiting list remained.
“The excitement that the girls have about camp carries into conversations with friends, and pretty soon they have recruited more girls for [next year],” says camp director Chelsea Faase ’08. “We have girls bringing their cousins from out of state to attend.”
The growth of the camp indicates its positive impact.
Debra Kunkel, wife of President Tom Kunkel and GLAD Camp co-founder, credits Faase for recruiting a wonderful staff. “As a whole they are a vibrant, creative, positive force that make the camp what it is.”
Sorenson, Kunkel and Faase plan to keep the camp about the same size in 2012.
“We want to be careful not to outgrow our facility resources and attract the best teachers, as well as to continue to make this a personal experience for each girl,” says Sorenson.
“I am very happy that the camp has been so successful and has touched the lives of so many girls in our community,” says Deb Kunkel. “I think each camper will come away with new perspectives about herself and others, which will reinforce and help her have a positive outlook and be thoughtful about the choices she makes now and in the future.”
Registration for GLAD Camp 2012 begins in early January. Scholarships are available. More information is available online.
Aug. 2, 2011