Leadership immersion at the core of Brescia day camps

May 25, 2011


London, ON – A day camp designed to help young women develop self-esteem and feel valued as  individuals will once again be hosted at Brescia University   College this summer. From  July 4 to August 26, Girls LEAD day camp  will offer girls in Grades Three to Eight the opportunity to develop as  individuals and leaders by participating in fun and unique “girl-inspired” camp  activities.

As Canada’s  only women’s university, it was important for Brescia University   College to host a summer  camp specifically designed to immerse young girls in leadership opportunities  and experiences.

“Leadership is a choice that one makes, but I think  leadership qualities are rooted in introspection and self-reflection. Girls LEAD counsellors will facilitate, in  each camp session, self-awareness and confidence-building activities,” Pam  Core, Brescia’s  Co-ordinator of Leadership and Student Engagement, explains. “The Girls LEAD camp curriculum imitates the  curriculum that is happening in schools at each specific grade level. We  definitely add elements of fun and ingenuity to those camp ‘teachings’ though.  Because there are food labs at Brescia,  the girls get to learn about healthy eating – which directly links to the  self-awareness portion of the curriculum – while cooking fun meals. They also  write journals and have the opportunity to reflect. And, of course, there are  some great games and crafts planned.”

Dr. Colleen Hanycz, Brescia University College Principal,  knows first hand how important this camp is to young women in the London area. “Within days of my arrival at Brescia in July 2008, our  daughter Emily, who was eight at the time, participated in her first experience  with Girls LEAD,” Colleen explains. “The  passion, creativity, and confidence that she carried home from that experience  amazed me as a parent and continue to animate our daughter. She has returned to  Girls LEAD every July since then and  she has continued to grow in her understanding of both the opportunities and  the responsibilities that go with authentic leadership. Whether the campers are  playing a co-operative game, preparing their daily lunches, or talking about  the meaning of true (and ‘not true’) friendship, Emily identifies herself now  as a leader and looks for opportunities to hone her skills. Being connected to  Girls LEAD, both as a parent and as a  Principal, has created many moments of pride and amazement for me over the past  three years!”

An exciting addition that has been made to the Girls LEAD camp this year is the establishment  of electronic pen pals with girls another continent away. Last year Brescia University  College launched Girls LEAD International – a day camp for  young girls in Barbados.  It is the counsellors’ desire to establish a bond between the Girls LEAD and Girls LEAD International campers.

“Technology makes communication and relationship building  much easier. I saw the opportunity to link these two camps, not just through a  shared curriculum but also through communications among campers,” Pam explains.  “We’ve decided to create a blog that the campers here in London  will share with the campers in Barbados.  Each day they’ll pass notes and pictures back and forth and share in the camp  experience together.”

There are still spaces available in the Grades Three and Four  session that runs from July 25 to August 5. “Project C.A.M.P,” a bursary  subsidy program through the YMCA, has also designated bursary spots in this  Girls LEAD session.

For more information, or to register a young woman for the Grades Three and  Four camp session, visit: www.girlslead.ca or contact Pam Core, Co-ordinator of Leadership and Student Engagement, at pcore2@uwo.ca or 519-432-8353 (extension 28036).


Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college,  is affiliated with The University   of Western Ontario. The  1,100 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide  variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an  empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment.  Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic   College welcomes students  from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more information, please visit  www.brescia.uwo.ca