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Camp Rosie, a girls empowerment skills camp, returns to Glendale

Camp Rosie, a girls empowerment skills camp, returns to Glendale
Camp Rosie, a leadership and empowerment skills camp aimed at underserved young women, will return this summer under leadership of the Glendale YWCA. (Courtesy of Tara Peterson)

Camp Rosie, a leadership and empowerment skills camp aimed at underserved young women, has not been offered in Glendale since 2014 but will return this summer under the leadership of the local YWCA.

Last year, the Glendale Commission on the Status of Woman voted to transfer the program to the YWCA to continue the once annual program after it was halted for budgetary reasons.

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The camp, which takes its name from Rosie the Riveter, operated two three-week sessions during the summer, recruiting girls 12 to 18 years old, for a curriculum that included training on financial literacy, self-defense and healthy relationships.

With $5,000 in seed funds from the commission and a matching grant from Soroptimist International of Glendale — a volunteer organization for women — Camp Rosie will return as a four week program for girls entering sixth through ninth grades, or about 11 to 14 years old.

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Tara Peterson, executive director of the Glendale YWCA, narrowed the age range to address more specific needs.

"For that age range, we feel it's an influential time in a girl's life where we can give them important tools to help with self-esteem, body-image issues, and teach them how be in healthy relationships with anyone," she said.

The YWCA of Glendale is a nonprofit that provides various safety and prevention services for victims of domestic violence and their children.

According to Peterson, girls in the program will also receive hands-on experience in careers not traditionally followed by women such as welding, firefighting, carpentry and fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. There is also a planned field trip to a construction site.

"We are trying to build curriculum atmosphere to have girls look inside themselves, and also make sure they can experience firsthand what it's like to work in these fields," Peterson said.

Although no longer run by the commission, Peterson said the YWCA will work closely with Christine Powers, a city program supervisor, with a commitment to maintain the original idea and purpose of Camp Rosie.

The Generation Next Mentorship program in Glendale will help refer girls to the camp, and YWCA officials hope to promote the program through the Glendale Unified School District.

Peterson said she also expects many women who use the YWCA's services to refer their teen daughters to the camp.

The camp is scheduled to run from July 9 through Aug. 3 and enroll 20 to 25 girls. Admission to Camp Rosie is $140 a week, but financial support is available. Registration will open April 16.

Twitter: @JeffLanda

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