Camp GLOW 2014: Day 3

PictureOn the morning of Day 3, everyone woke up a little more refreshed than the previous day and the Peace Corps Volunteers were very proud of the campers for respecting the cabin rules. After enjoying a hearty breakfast, we started the morning again with games. Instead of heading to the soccer field, the campers engaged in “theatre exercises” to stimulate artistic creativity.  The favorite game was the “mano y pie”, otherwise known as the stomp and clap. This activity challenged coordination as the participants had to follow the designated sign directing their movement. 

After the morning games, the girls were divided into two groups by age to attend the teen pregnancy and HIV workshop.  With the psychologists from Plan, the girls brainstormed about why young girls become pregnant. They discussed the social and physical risks of teen pregnancy and how it can negatively impact relationships between the couple, as well as their friends and families. The younger girls focused on abstaining from sexual relations and learning how to resist societal pressures to engage sexual activity before they felt ready. Abstinence was also discussed with the older girls in addition to contraceptive methods and condom use.  Both groups then watched a video about HIV and how “machismo” and gender roles contribute to HIV transmission. The workshop was concluded by knowledge competition, where the girls were divided into two teams and their responses were evaluated by the Plan facilitators to determine the winner.

The campers were very excited for lunch after a long morning of workshops and needed to be energized for the afternoon activities, which consisted of a workshop about domestic violence and the ropes course activities. For the domestic violence workshop, the girls were counseled about the recently enacted violence against women act in Nicaragua, Ley 779. The facilitators from Plan divided the girls into five groups and each group was given a scenario about different types of violence the law addresses, which included physical, emotional, sexual, economic, and labor violence.  In these groups, they developed a skit to illustrate the scenario to show to the rest of the group and discussed which category of violence the scenario represented and how the situation could be resolved.

From the Domestic Violence workshop, the girls returned to their cabins to grab their sneakers and jackets to prepare for the ropes course and rock wall. Almost as soon as they arrived at the course, it started to rain but that did not deter the girls from continuing to fly across the zip line, walk across a tight rope and climb the rock wall.

For the evening, the Peace Corps Volunteers planned a very special candlelight ceremony near the lake for the campers. One of the Peace Corps Volunteers explained to the group that the candle symbolized the dream of Camp GLOW and female empowerment. The dream of Camp GLOW began far away with one “candle,” but has since spread throughout the world, including Nicaragua. We then began lighting the candles of the girls, and within a short time the entire room was lit up by many tiny candles. The volunteer went on to explain how the light of one dream can catch fire throughout our families, communities and world, and invited us to think about what our dream was and internalize it. Together as a group we stood in a circle with our candles and shared a single word that summarized our feelings and reflections about the experience at Camp GLOW.  It was an emotional moment as the girls opened up to the group and addressed all of the new friends they had made over the course of the camp. When we were ready, we blew out the candles and began to distribute certificates to reward the girls for their completion of Camp GLOW.
The evening was concluded with a surprise party in the auditorium. The girls were led blindfolded towards the auditorium where loud music, enchiladas and ice cream were awaiting them for one final fiesta. 

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