Dear Friends,

Do you see the signs of spring? The days are getting longer, the flowers are poking through, and all signs point to Summer Camp on the horizon! February is one of our favorite months because we get to send out “love notes” – not the romantic kind, but the GLI kind. GLI love notes are a tradition as old as our camp. Every night at camp as the girls get ready for bed, they take half an hour to put on some tunes, grab a favorite gel pen, and tell another camper what they admire about her. An important caveat is that it can’t be something they can see (like her great hair or amazing jeans), it has to be a quality that she possesses or an action that she took. Over the course of camp every camper receives a note from each of her fellow campers! All the notes are collected in a decorated envelope to cherish for years after camp is over.

The hard part is remembering to send love notes when it isn’t Summer Camp. This is a critical practice as the girls in our lives are inundated with messages that their value is in the width of their hips or the length of their legs. While Valentine’s Day is a great reminder, we hope that you’ll join us in spreading the love year round. In this newsletter, you will meet four amazing camp alumnae. We’ve also included two profiles of girls we love, and our first advice column from the wise Ms. Starr.

Happy Spring!

All my best,
Simone Marean
Executive Director and Co-Founder

Faces of Leadership

When February days get short, dark, and cold we get obsessed with one thing: Summer Camp! It’s thrilling to see the applications come in from first-time campers as well as alumnae returning for their fourth or fifth summer. One common question we hear from new families is “What kind of girl comes to GLI?” This question makes us smile as we remember the incredible strength, beauty, intelligence, humor, and courage that have characterized our diverse community of girls over the past 10 summers. No label can summarize these girls. They have a strong craving to create change in their world, whether that is with their group of friends, on the playing field, or in the community at large!

Of course, the best people to tell you about GLI girls are the campers themselves. Click here to hear four alumnae – Arabia, Jordan, Heidi, and Katrina – share their stories of what made them choose GLI Summer Camp and what an impact it had on them. If you or a girl you know wants to find out more about our Summer Camp, don’t wait! Programs are filling up fast.

Dear Ms. Starr

Ms. Starr answers her first girl question in our new advice column!

Dear Ms. Starr,

People tease me a lot. More boys than girls, and I’ve started thinking it’s because I’m more easy to tease than other people. I hide my feelings at first, but then when I get frustrated, my feelings burst out. I’ve had people call me names. My mom thinks it’s because I’m an only child and I don’t have a lot of practice standing up for myself. I am in the 4th grade, and I used to go to private school. It was quieter there and easier to be in control. Also, the boys weren’t so exasperating.

How do I become less easy to tease?

~ Tired Of Being Teased

Click here to read Ms. Starr’s response!

Girls We Love

Science-loving Lauren Rojas, a 13-year-old seventh-grader from Antioch, CA, decided to test the effects of altitude on air pressure and temperature by launching a rocket – and her favorite Hello Kitty doll – into near space. Lauren’s shuttle soared through cold winds and chilly temperatures before reaching its highest point at 93,625 feet above the planet! You can see a video of Lauren’s out-of-this-world accomplishment here.

When Katie Stagliano first grew a 40-pound cabbage in her family’s backyard in Summerville, SC, she figured she could use that enormous veggie to feed hundreds of hungry people in her community. Four years later, 14-year-old Katie uses her nonprofit, Katie’s Krops, to help kids in over 21 states start their own community-focused vegetable gardens.

February’s Girl Find

Cameron Russell may be an internationally recognized model, but that doesn’t mean she thinks image is everything. In her funny and frank TED talk, Russell compares photos of herself on fashion shoots to those taken in her everyday life to reveal how beauty is culturally and historically constructed.

Check out the video here.

Parents and daughters might want to discuss these topics:

1) How does it feel to see the “real” photos of Cameron? What is surprising about the contrasts?
2) Russell cites a statistic that 53% of 13-year-old girls don’t like their body. Fifty-three percent is an interesting number: why do you think half of today’s girls are so negatively impacted by media images, while half are not?
3) Parents: what experiences or realizations have helped you to overcome self-limiting media messages?

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