Camping with 9 Teenage girls with disabilities! — Reeve Connect
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Camping with 9 Teenage girls with disabilities!

stephanie426
stephanie426 Moderator Posts: 80 Moderator
10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Likes First Answer
This month I led the first part of EmpowHer Camp, a multi-stage skill-building, empowerment, and mentoring program that brings a diverse group of girls with disabilities (ages 13 -17) to camp with successful disabled women mentors in the Adirondacks for one week to learn about disaster preparedness and basic survival skills, while also developing independent living and leadership skills. The next summer, the girls are invited for a reunion trip in Washington, D.C. to explore how they have grown as leaders. During the year between the first trip and the reunion trip, the girls create a yearlong local project involving inclusive disaster strategies. This is a life-changing program for participants and their families, as well as the disabled women mentors. 

We started this month with our Adirondacks camping trip where nine girls with disabilities from across the country came to camp with nine successful disabled women role models. We had an incredible time and learned so much together. 

For example, girls who need attendant services were excited to learn about "interdependence" and that they could direct their own services! 

We learned to build fires, read compasses, cook our own meals on the campfire, talked about what it means to be a leader, supported each other and so much more! 

Now each girl has selected a mentor to work with throughout the year. They are each working on a different disaster strategy project. For example, one girl is working to ensure her county has a policy of ensuring that service animals are not left behind in evacuations, and another girl is working to get her school district to implement a policy to ensure students with disabilities have safety plans in case of school shootings. 

Each girl is absolutely incredible and I know that they're going to change the world!

Comments

  • prc_donnal
    prc_donnal Member Posts: 27
    10 Comments 5 Likes Name Dropper
    This is wonderful! I love the topics that the girls are working on locally! Good luck to all!
    Donna Lowich
    Senior Information Specialist
    Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

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