As the excitement for summer continues to build, so does Noozhawk's Camp Guide! Our latest installment is a Q&A with Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara. 

Noozhawk sat down with Kristen Weaver, Marketing and Communications Manager of Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara, to learn more about what exciting activities they have planned for this summer. 

Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara

Question: What is the name of your Summer Camp and what is its mission?

Answer: Our summer camp is called Camp Ignite. Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara offers Camp Ignite and Camp Ignite for Teens this summer. Our tagline for camp this summer is "Fuel Her Fire and She Will Change the World." The Girls Inc. mission inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Camp Ignite designs experiences for the girls within each of these components that empower them to take ownership of what it means to be a girls today, how to view the world in a different way, and to ultimately ignite a passion within them, whether it be for their education, discovery, facing their own fears, or growing beyond what they thought was possible.

We hope to create a generation of girls and young women that is stronger, smarter and bolder because of their experience at Girls Inc. 

Q: Describe the activities involved in your program.

A: Girls experience a variety of activities, including swimming, sports, field trips, team building and empowerment, leadership, reading, STEAM, adventure, cooking and nutrition, performing arts and more! Each week is a different theme that builds on our mission.

Two examples of our weekly themes for Camp Ignite are "We are Creative: Full STEAM ahead!" and "We are Successful: Chose your own adventure!" Girls who participate in the "We are Creative" camp, will learn engineering, robotics, architecture, and construction, while using their design skills in creative and innovative ways. The week ends with a "Build-a- thon" on Fridays.

The "We are Successful: Choose your own adventure!" campers will learn about the possibilities that await them in the years ahead, with a spotlight on interesting careers. The week ends with a Career Day on Fridays.

An example of Camp Ignite for Teens includes outdoor adventures and stepping out of your comfort zone. Girls will climb, jump, paddle and hike their way to new adventures in order to expand their confidence while learning to take healthy risks that are essential to growing up strong, smart, and bold. They will challenge themselves and expand what is possible, while building a safe and supportive environment around them.

Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara provides many outdoor activites and field trips, which allows girls find their passion and dig deeper.
Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara provides many outdoor activites and field trips, which allows girls find their passion and dig deeper. (Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara)

Q: What is the age range for children to take part in your camp? 

A: Camp Ignite is for girls in kindergarten through sixth grade. Camp Ignite for Teens is for girls in seventh grade and above. 

Q: What goals do you have for kids participating in your camp?

A: At Camp Ignite, girls will be able to discover their inherent strengths and work past their perceived limitations, practice their literacy skills, be surrounded by a sisterhood of support in our all-girl, pro-girl centers, establish trusting mentoring relationships with our facilitators, and as always, have fun! Additionally, at Camp Ignite for Teens, girls will be able to learn self-confidence and how to use their voices to assert their rights, promote advocacy and to service in the community.

Q: When was your camp started and what was the inspiration for creating it?

A: The Santa Barbara affiliate of Girls Inc. began in 1958 and has been offering summer camp programming for over 30 of its nearly 60 years in existence. The summer program was created as a way to provide sustained exposure to the Girls Inc. experience during the summer months, help girls continue to grow, stay connected, and have a safe and secure place to build their confidence and practice being strong, smart and bold as they become young women.

Q: What can parents expect their kids to gain from participating in your camp?

 A: Parents can expect their girls to build a foundation of strong, smart and bold programming, while having fun in a supportive environment. Strong programs educate girls about healthy nutrition, healthy body image, physical fitness, and prevention of personal violence and substance abuse. Smart programs challenge girls to explore and be inspired by STEM, economic literacy, and college/career planning. Bold programs empower girls to take charge of their personal safety while developing leadership skills and asserting their voice in their communities.

Q: What is the best part about your camp?

A: The best part is the all-girl, pro-girl environment and our mentoring relationships. We also work with great community program partners who expose girls to new experiences, from golf to surfing to outdoor adventures.

Q: Describe what makes your camp unique and worthwhile.

A: Our camp provides the amazing environment of pro-girl and all-girl. It's the perfect place for a sisterhood of support. A physical environment that is safe for girls to talk and build confidence in addressing the unique issues that girls face today. The exposure to a variety of sports, adventure, educational and performing arts programming, all from one "home-base".

Q:  Describe a favorite activity for children in your camp.

A: Girls like the overall experience they have at Girls Inc. Our programming is hands-on and interactive. Our activities and our weekly field trips promote opportunities for girls to get their hands dirty, dig deeper, and explore their curiosities to find new interests where they will inherent strengths.

Q: In what ways is your camp educational?

A: Girls engage in hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities. Camp Ignite also incorporates literacy into its activities, with reading and journaling as a part of each day. Multiple weeks of Camp Ignite and Camp Ignite for Teens are dedicated to exploring careers, learning about the college experience and how to plan for education beyond high school.

Q: What else should parents know when deciding whether to send their kids to your camp?

A: Camp Ignite is offered at both Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara locations: Goleta Valley Center, 4973 Hollister Avenue, 805-967- 0319 and the Santa Barbara Center, 531 E. Ortega Street, 805-963- 4017. Camp Ignite runs June 12-Aug. 11, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m..

Camp Ignite for Teens runs June 26-Aug. 4, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Teen program meets at the Goleta Valley Center. Financial assistance and sibling discounts are available. Girls may attend part-time (1-2 days per week) or full time (3-5 days per week). Camp Ignite Fees: $110/week part-time and $220/week full-time.

To learn more about Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara, click here

At Camp Ignite, girls will learn about their inherent strengths and work through their perceived limitations by engaging in new experiences and activities.
At Camp Ignite, girls will learn about their inherent strengths and work through their perceived limitations by engaging in new experiences and activities. (Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara)

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