It’s For the Girls
Old School play! No Xbox, Wii, Tetris and technology here! Our girls jump rope, play hopscotch, try their hand at jacks and play board games! Playtime occurs in before care and after care and of course, anytime there is a break. Look on the other side of the room and you will see a few girls knitting, while others are playing board games in the corner and others doing cartwheels across the dane floor. Girls get to be little girls at iThings 2 Collard Greens!
Girls learn they are spiritual beings having a human experience – caring for the temple of the body although they are not the body. Each morning begins with daily meditation and affirmations. Circle is sacred space where we express how we feel openly and authentically. We honor each girl as our sister and all the elders as Mama or Baba. The altar we build to girls and women is a focal point for the camp and the community. And in yoga they unite body and mind giving thanks to the rising sun as they learn sun salutation in yoga. Themes of love, forgiveness and compassion are used to mediate conflict.
Arts are sorely lacking in schools and many of our children cannot afford dance, instrument or vocal classes. Our camp closing program highlights our work in this area. Our girls learn a variety of dances with the intention of performance. New songs are learned from day one including our traditional camp songs – “I love myself so much”, “Humble” and the “Cell Song”. Nannie Helen Burroughs song and iThings 2 Collard Greens Anthem are favorites and of course, their smash hit – Kwanzaa 365 by Free Benjamin. To sing and to dance have been the dreams of many a girl. We love closing programs – their happy expressions light up a room!!!
How to walk, how to talk, how to eat, how to dress? Little ladies becoming royalty. Instilling manners and the courtesies we take for granted is high on the list. Etiquette from the table to the theatre and everything in between. Girls model the items they sew and the dance training helps with carriage and a graceful walk. Please, thank you, excuse me and appropriate greetings are emphasized. And, of course, setting a proper table is a useful skill to have after you have cleaned with your own handmade cleaning products!
Inspired by Nannie Helen Burroughs
Nannie Helen Burroughs, (May 2, 1879 – May 20, 1961) was an African-American educator, orator, religious leader, civil rights activist, feminist and businesswoman in the United States. Her speech “How the Sisters Are Hindered from Helping,” at the 1900 National Baptist Convention in Virginia, instantly won her fame and recognition.
In 1909, she founded the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, DC. She continued to work there until her death in 1961. In 1964, it was renamed the Nannie Helen Burroughs School in her honor and began operating as a co-ed elementary school.