Happy International Literacy Day from Starshine

I realize that I am a week late with this post, but I decided to write it anyway because of the significance this September 8th “holiday” has with the program at Camp Woodland. International Literacy Day serves as a reminder of how important literacy is for individuals and society, women in particular (2/3 of those who can’t read are women).

As you can see from the headline photo for this blog, reading is something that girls have time to do at camp. Without the influence of screens for 6 weeks, campers can enjoy those things that often get pushed to the side due to busy school schedules. It is not uncommon for campers to grab a book while waiting for a turn at the archery or riflery range. Afternoons at the beach during Rec Swim offer another carefree chunk of time that can be filled with favorite characters or storyline. We also encourage campers to use their daily rest hour as a time to cozy up with a book or two. And, one of my personal favorite times of the camp day is right before bed as counselors read aloud to their cabin group as a way to transition to the quiet time necessary for a good night’s sleep!

The theme for International Literacy Day 2019 was ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’. Multilingualism is where a person or group of people can use more than one language when communicating. Without multilingualism, we wouldn’t be able to communicate on a global scale or understand different culturesAt Woodland, we practice multilingualism every day due to the blending of domestic and international cultures. Having campers from multiple states and several countries, we embrace the opportunity to learn from and understand each other’s cultures. This happens organically on a daily basis as girls have conversations in the cabin, at meals or in activities – they start to see the world as a bigger place than the community from which they are from.

Here are reflections on the recent summer from the girls in Starshine:

How did you SHINE this summer?

Sydney: I showed all the things about myself that I was proud of and not being afraid of doing.

Lilah: I felt I was my best self this summer!

Katie: I got up on the kneeboard and passed levels.

Libby: I learned to dive off the docks.

Pollita: Passing my goals.

Kaitlyn: I tried a new activity, passed levels in swimming and archery, made new friends, and did new things.

When were you at your BEST this summer?

Sydney: Just being here with everyone I love.

Lilah: Trying my best!

Katie: When I tried my hardest.

Libby: At gymnastics I kept trying to do a handstand until one day I did it!

Pollita: When I was at arts & crafts or tennis.

Kaitlyn: I was at my best the whole summer!

Describe a CHANGE you noticed in yourself while at camp.

Sydney: Looking at the bright side and being more open.

Lilah: I have grown more as a woman.

Katie: I was happier.

Libby: I envisioned myself diving and then it happened.

Pollita: Getting better at what I try.

Kaitlyn: I became a better gymnast, swimmer, horseback rider, dancer, and I also became better at archery.

What lessons were learned from something CHALLENGING?

Sydney: In swimming lessons I learned that I have to be patient as I improve.

Lilah: I learned how to make a mooring in sailing.

Katie: How to shoot a bow and arrow.

Libby: Learning to dive off the docks.

Pollita: Swimming lessons were challenging for me.

Kaitlyn: Teaching a cabin mate to be more patient while waiting for a turn to use the bathroom.