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Building confidence, setting goals, developing friendships - GIRLPOWER!

May 08, 2001

Building confidence, setting goals, developing friendships - GIRLPOWER!



By ASHLEY TYLER


About 20 Washington County middle school-age girls got together at Fairview Outdoor Center in Clear Spring April 27 to 29 for a GirlPower weekend that was sponsored by the Maryland Cooperative Extension.

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It was an opportunity for girls to spend time together learning how to feel great about themselves, set goals, be successful in school, stay healthy and develop friendships.

I had so much fun. One of my favorite activities was making a journal. Each girl was to create a journal that represented her personality. It was neat to see how each girl expressed herself. We got the chance to know each other better by sharing our journals.

Many of us realized the strength of GirlPower as we faced our fears and climbed the fire tower. It was only through the encouragement of my friends that I was able to enjoy the spectacular view.

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Together we made it to the top. Together we encouraged each other all weekend.

A special time for all of us was when we sat around the campfire. We had fun singing, making up stories and playing games. We also had a chance to really get to know each other and reflect upon all that we had done over the weekend. Here we were, strangers who now were friends.

It seemed like we had known each other forever.

But it wasn't just the girls who made the weekend special, it was the counselors, speakers and everyone else involved. It seemed like happiness was contagious.

I remember the one morning when we were all sleeping in, tired from the excitement, and the counselors woke us up by singing, "You are my sunshine." We couldn't help but wake up with smiles on our faces.

Smiles, encouragement, laughter and friendship. Getting to know yourself and others just a little better. That's what the GirlPower weekend meant to me.

Ashley is a seventh-grader at Northern Middle School in Hagerstown.

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