Here at WFSU Education we would like to take the time to highlight the work of the Oasis Center for Women and Girls here in Tallahassee. Oasis is an absolutely terrific organization that supports the Leon county community with a special focus on uplifting women in our area. They do this through multiple fantastic programs including a single mother’s support group, Girl’s Circles, and individual counseling for women over the age of 18. More specifically, we’d like to showcase their incredible work with girls aged 5-13 in a summer camp program called Girls Can Do Anything!
While attending, girls are encouraged to dream big and embrace themselves and their strengths by breaking down barriers that divide girls, such as socioeconomic status, race, body image, family structure, etc. Through fun experiences and interactions, The Oasis Center encourages leadership development, community service, teamwork, decision-making skills, and good communication, while promoting self-esteem and healthy living. In addition to having lots of silly, summertime fun their summer camp focuses on: exposing girls to women leadersin the community, learning about a variety of fields(some of which women less typically are involved in), and connecting girls fromevery walk of life.
The first week’s theme is Girls to the Rescue where the girls will spend time with women in public safety fields like firefighters, police officers, doctors, and paramedics.
Adventures of a Girl is the second week’s theme and this is where campers may experience thrilling excitement like reaching new heights rock climbing, canoeing at FSU’s Reservation, or learning how to roller skate from the best with the Tallahassee RollerGirls.
The third week is Girls Can Build Anything which focuses on construction, engineering, and architecture. Something special they will be doing is going to the Frenchtown Farmers Market to help them garden and build!
During I Heart Art week, week four, girls will explore all kinds of different arts, whether it be with a camera, through dance, with a paintbrush, in clay, through music, and much more! This week of camp will culminate in an art gallery exhibition that will be open to the public on Friday, June 29thand all proceeds will go towards Making Light Productions here in Tallahassee.
Weeks 5 and 6 are called the Girls Mean Business sessions. Together, girls will have the opportunity to plan and create their very own business! In a fun setting, girls will explore all the components of starting and running a company from public relations, product design/marketing, financials, sales, operations, and even incorporate philanthropy. The girls will learn from women business leaders in our community and launch their enterprise on Friday, July 20th.
Science Rocks is the seventh week of camp. Girls will explore a variety of scientific and technical fields from oceanography to physics and will be led in hands-on projects by women scientists in our community. Field trips will include awesome and experiential trips to real labs and the Challenger Learning Center.
The summer concludes with Animal Expedition week. Girls will meet many critters including those that swim, fly, stomp, and roar. Girls will go horseback riding and meet many women in a variety of animal-related professions such as veterinarians, those who use pets to help others through animal therapy, and more!
Throughout the summer, girls are empowered through many different presentations and activities to know that they can truly do anything. Courtney, one of their Junior Leaders last summer, found her passion for building! Even though it was hot and everything seemed to be going wrong she always had a smile on her face. She kept saying how much she was enjoying all of the building activities and that she was so happy that she was exposed to something so new and different. Another camper, Liliana age 6, found her passion for civil engineering! She told her mother she wanted to be a civil engineer after a presentation from the Society of Women Engineers from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. This experience was so impactful that she is signed up for camp again this year! Although these girls are still very young and we do not know what career they will pursue, it is amazing that we could expose them to something they are passionate about.
The community is crucial to Girls Can Do Anything Camp. So many people volunteer their time to expose these campers to new experiences they will remember for a lifetime. If you would like to learn more about the Oasis Center for Women and Girls, or any of its programs including Girls Can Do Anything Camp click the link below.
– Michael Dreyer, Education & Engagement Assistant