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

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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.

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Jasmine Tindal, 15, smiles during the memory game. Cher Best's Sisters Only Club holds the camp to improve girls' self-esteem.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Jasmine Tindal, 15, smiles during the memory game. Cher Best's Sisters Only Club holds the camp to improve girls' self-esteem.

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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corgimom 07/26/14 - 09:30 pm
You want to build girls'

You want to build girls' self-esteem?

Teach them to RESPECT themselves. Teach them that sex is for adults, not children. Teach them that their bodies are precious and not to be used to relieve some fool's hormones. Teach them to be choosy over who they date, and that the world will not end if they don't have a boyfriend.

Teach them to pick decent people as partners, ones who are willing to commit to them. Teach them that they want men who have an education, who have a future, not some jailbird that is in and out of prison, and not to get involved by somebody who has 4 different kids by 3 different women and doesn't support any of his children.

Teach them to wait to have children until they are adults. Teach them to value families, stability, commitment, not some criminal that can buy them the latest smart phone and a weave.

Teach them to stay far, far away from bad people, that nothing is worth going to prison for, and that they WILL get sucked up in criminal behavior if they hang out with criminals.

That's how girls will achieve self-esteem.

bclicious 07/27/14 - 06:44 am
A "TRYING" award or medal

This is good, and I do support it, but I hope that there is a method to the madness. I think far too often, we tell kids that life is fair, and that all that matters is that you try. I know that I always tell my kids never quit, but aim for the sky. In short; it pays to be a winner, and in 1st place.

hoptoad 07/27/14 - 09:53 am
This is a wonderful program

This is a wonderful program if the right things are impressed upon these young ladies.

They should be learning that they are not special, but what they achieve in life is special; that they alone are responsible for whatever station in life they achieve; that no one "owes" them anything they must earn it and the opportunity is out there for them to take advantage of; and most important that a positive attitude goes a long way.

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