From a Super Girl:
Going into last summer’s Severson Sisters camp I had no clue what to expect! By the end of the first day I had learned so much. For example, I learned that even though you might not look like everybody else, you deserve to be treated the same as they do. I also learned to express myself and to know that being yourself is a good thing.
From a Super Girl’s Mom:
My daughter came home from school, broke down in uncontrollable sobs, and told me that her best friend wasn’t talking to her. She was eating lunch alone and walking the perimeter of the playground during recess avoiding the girls in her class. Their taunts, texts, subversive eye rolls and ultimate isolation had hit their desired target and the impact was devastating.
When did this start? And why hadn’t I picked up on it? What happened to my carefree, happy, smiling little girl? In her place I saw the frightened, uncertain, sad and lonely shell of the vivacious, spirited child I’ve come to know. Where did my joyous, silly, loving little girl go? She’s only 11! This is elementary school. I didn’t think we’d face this so soon.
The bullying was subtle at first. Nothing a teacher or parent would notice. Just a sideways glance or the rolling of the eyes. A cold shoulder at lunch. But it didn’t stop there. It turned into whispers behind the teacher’s back, text messages and facebook posts. It resulted in endless nights of hopeless tears and heart-wrenching desperation.
Then, as the school year FINALLY came to an end, I received an email forwarded from a friend of a friend about Severson Sisters summer camps. As I read about the camp, I allowed a glimmer of hope to enter my heart. Was there really a program out there that was specifically designed to help girls like my daughter? We immediately registered for two of the sessions. Even more encouraging was that my daughter’s best friend wanted to attend the program after she had been “outed” by the in crowd.
The time the girls spent in the Severson Sisters camp was priceless. I saw my daughter emerge from her despondent state and begin to laugh, enjoy friends and show some of the confidence she used to have. More importantly, she began to mend relationships and establish new boundaries.
The road hasn’t been completely smooth in the last year. Middle school has presented many new challenges and my daughter’s encountered more instances of bullying and isolation. However, the skills she’s learned from Severson Sisters have been a tremendous help in facing these bullies head on. With the continued support of Carrie and Severson Sisters, I know we will successfully navigate our way through the tumultuous waters of adolescence.
From a Volunteer:
My niece is 8 years old and is a Girl Scout in San Diego. Severson Sisters was looking for women to volunteer for an event at South Mountain for local Girl Scouts. My heart was immediately moved to take part in this event. Prior to attending the event I got certified to be a Severson Sisters volunteer. Through this process I learned about this amazing organization and what it stands for and knew that anti-bullying and self-esteem initiatives are important for all girls and was thrilled to be a part.
At the event we were teamed up with a group of about 20 Girl Scouts. Through the event we provided dialogue, had them do skits and draw pictures of empowered girls. They talk about issues in the classroom in their own voice and learn how to love and accept themselves for the beautiful girls that they are. Throughout the event we are building and reinforcing self-esteem as well as discussing techniques for dealing with bullies.
My time spent with the Girl Scouts was so impactful to me – it was so amazing to see those girls laugh and learn how to love and appreciate themselves. As a result of that first day I was so moved that I joined as a volunteer and have had the privilege to do events with ladies from the Boys and Girls Club. At each event I am moved by the sincerity of the girls and their ability to give such mature advice to their peers who might be in a tough situation at home or in the classroom.
At first it was a benevolent desire to give back and volunteer but now I know that I get as much if not more out of the opportunity to be around these bright, charismatic girls – helping them unlock their super girl. All of us at times could use a reminder how to find her in ourselves and it is an honor to get to be a part of such a dynamic program.