PREBLE COUNTY — YWCA Dayton continues to work on its mission statement of “Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women” by reaching out to Preble County girls and teaching them important life skills.
YWCA Dayton Preble County held its annual Girls LEAD! Summer Camp from July 16-27, offering events such as zip-lining and fitness boot camps.
Camp was held at Eaton First Church of the Nazarene (201 East Lexington Rd., Eaton) and ran Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Lunch, snacks, and trip transportation was included. Regular enrollment was $150.
Thanks to the generosity of community donors, YWCA Dayton was able to offer 10 free enrollments to the day camp. This allowed any girl interested to participate and have a memorable experience.
Preble County campers had the opportunity to visit the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, and Wilderness Ridge at PVM Retreat Center, go horseback riding, participate in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities, and more. According to organizers, camp curriculum aligns with the Girls LEAD! (Leadership, Education, Activism, Development) mission of inspiring all girls to grow in strength, courage, and wisdom.
“This is an annual camp that started in 2016. We’ve been running camps in our Dayton facility for many years. YWCA runs the domestic violence shelter here in Preble County. We have been thinking about what kind of prevention we would like to do for girls in Preble County, so we decided to bring the camp here so we could teach girls life skills, development, confidence, development, and empowerment,” YWCA Preble County Manager Courtney Griffith explained.
“As they grow into women, they can become confident and independent women so they will not make those decisions that will lead them into bad relationships. I really think that girls in Preble County need to learn empowerment within themselves and I think this camp is what helps teach that.”
“Even letting them know about some of the things that are free to them in the community, like everything at the library, that is all free to them,” Teen Services Intern Kaliegh Morgan added.
On Wednesday, July 25, the girls were able to visit Eaton Barbell and go through the boot camp. Sarah Wyka and Jennifer Jones went through functional movements the girls could do anywhere with little to no equipment needed, as well as machines found in the gym.
“We took them through an entire circuit training program. They got to participate in some of the movements most commonly used in our facility. We spoke about building one another up and supporting each other. The goal for all females in a gym, especially young women, is to find their inner strength and confidence both in and outside of the gym,” Wyka said.
“By being able to come to a facility where there are competitive athletes and members of various ages and backgrounds, they got to see and learn anyone can do anything they set their mind to. We took them on a tour of the gym and explained what each area was, how they are used and gave them some inside perspective of how we utilize the facility to reach our goals. We spoke to them about how we all take things we do and use in the gym and can apply that to our everyday lives but in different arenas.
“Some examples would be the discipline needed to reach our goals, the mindset and mental focus, endurance, being supportive of one another, creating relationships that carryover into both our personal and professional lives. We wanted these young ladies to make the connection between being a part of something healthy, positive and the great long term effects that can have on them.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH