The Central California Coast is BEAUTIFUL and the Big Sur Land Trust is working hard and playing hard in their amazing summer camp programs to connect youth with the power of nature, art and music at Glenn Deven Ranch in northern Big Sur. Girls’ Health in Girls’ Hands past, present and future Leadership Network participants spent three days at the camp in July, 2015.
The camp gave youth leaders of different ages and different GHGH programs from across the county a unique opportunity to spend time together learning about one another and participating in a nature camp that is based on exploration, ecological learning, the land’s heritage (including indigenous culture) and creative learning through music, arts and writing.
Many of the girls had never been to Big Sur, walked in a creek, played music, identified plants, been asked to reflect on their health and nutrition, dream about their future or think about their connection to nature before this experience.
The camp session with GHGH was accompanied by daily music workshops with noted musician Marcie Chapa, whose inspiring story and ability to connect with the girls had a deep impact which included spontaneous dance parties, rocking out on conga drums and girls speaking up loudly and clearly for what they want in their lives. The girls stated that this experience created memories and new friends that would last a lifetime.
Many of the girl participants had not spent very much time outside previous to camp. Stories and traces of local flora and fauna including bears, rattlesnakes, crawdads, hawks, bobcats and California Condors helped girls connect to a wildlife experience that they never had before.
Participating in this camp provided an amazing opportunity for girl leaders to learn more about nature, themselves and each other. We had a blast!
We are so inspired and thankful to have been a part of this educational summer camp and we are excited to see what the Land Trust has in store for future educational programs in the Salinas Valley and Monterey County.
GHGH would like to send a big shout out to all Land Trust staff and volunteers and Ms.Chapa, for creating a caring environment that fostered exploration, self-esteem and for encouraging girls to follow their dreams!