Camp Be Your Best aims to boost girls' self-esteem

 

Rachel Washington, Keona Cooper and Jasmine Tindal giggled as they stood in a circle Saturday afternoon and tried to recite the names of 11 other girls in their group.

Many of the 38 girls who participated in Camp Be Your Best at the Boys & Girls Club of Augusta on 15th Avenue had met that morning.

The game was an icebreaker in which the girls broke into two large circles and tried to learn one another’s names.

Jasmine, 15, said these kinds of activities are one of her favorite things about the camp.

“It’s not just sitting down listening all the time,” she said. “They have us getting up and doing stuff.”

Saturday was the eighth camp in Augusta presented by Cher Best’s Sisters Only Club. The club also holds camps in Thomson and Aiken.

“It’s goal is to improve their self-esteem through the process of learning about different things,” Best said.

The girls, many of whom are members of the Boys & Girls Club of Augusta, are given breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the free, daylong camp.

Volunteers teach the girls – ages 11 to 17 – about money management, personal hygiene, bullying and education.

After lunch, girls 12 and younger made crafts while the older girls listened to presentations on dating, presented by the Rev. Patrick Outler of Car­pentersville Baptist Church.

Keona, 16, said her older sister, Kimberly Cooper, now 23, participated in the camp. Keona said her sister chose to attend Albany State University after meeting a facilitator who was associated with the college, and now has a career in patient intake administration at University Hospital.

“She said a lot of the women are educated and they knew a lot of information that helped her in her life,” Keona said.

When she began attending five years ago, she found it very informative.

“A lot of the stuff that the women said was true and I could relate to it, even though I was younger,” she said.

Rachel, 14, has been attending the camp for three years and said she enjoys meeting new people every year.

“They encourage young girls to act our age, to be ourselves and be unique and be you,” she said.

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