Girls Leading Our World & Boys Respecting Others
Camp GLOW / Camp BROS
Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) was created in 1995 by Peace Corps Volunteers and local teachers in Romania. The purpose of Camp GLOW is to encourage and empower young women “to become active citizens by building their self-esteem and confidence, increasing their self-awareness, and developing their skills in goal setting, assertiveness, and career and life planning.” Since 1995 PCVs in more than 60 countries have established similar camps to promote the empowerment of women around the world. Each country adapts the camp activities and goals in order to meet the particular needs of women in their host country.
Students brainstorm leadership characteristics.
In recent years, Camp BROS (Boys Respecting Others) has also been implemented in order to expand these ideals to young men and bring awareness and empowerment to their role in creating a gender equitable world. This year for the first time, Peace Corps Thailand will invite both girls and boys to simultaneously participate in camps, with both separate and joint sessions.
Camp GLOW has become a global movement reaching thousands of youth throughout the world. Because of this, a shared vision and some common goals have evolved to ensure continuity and connection between all the youth who attend Camp GLOW/BROS:
Young people are empowered, supported, and connected leaders of positive change in their own lives and that of their communities.
There are six goals that are considered fundamental to any Camp GLOW/BROS. These have been developed based on the lessons learned from over 15 years of such camps conducted in a variety of countries and contexts.
Goal 1. Gender Equality: Campers understand the role of gender in shaping access to resources and opportunities and support valuing girls and women equally to boys and men.
By the end of camp, campers identify at least two ways in which gender impacts access to resources and opportunities in Thailand.
Goal 2. Self-esteem, positive identity, and self-confidence: Campers have increased sense of self-worth, self-efficacy, and confidence in their abilities.
By the end of damp, campers describe or display three or more of their own personal strengths or assets as evidence of improved sense of self-esteem or self-worth.
Goal 3. Leadership: Campers are comfortable with and practicing new leadership attitudes, skills, and behaviors.
By the end of camp, campers demonstrate new leadership behaviors and exhibit two or more of the following traits: visionary, effective communicator, motivator, planner, creative thinker, or role model.
Goal 4. Healthy lives: Campers acquire new health knowledge and skills that will enable them to lead healthier lives.
By the end of camp, campers identify at least two new healthy behaviors (self care, physical activity, reproductive health, hygiene or other) they will continue following camp.
Goal 5. Aspirations & Goal Setting: Campers articulate and plan for a long-term vision for the life they want to lead.
By the end of camp, campers identify three or more realistic steps toward achieving their long-term goals as evidence of positive goal setting behavior.
Goal 6. Volunteerism: Campers lead or participate in positive community change.
By the end of camp, or in the six month following, campers increase their engagement in at least one activity that benefits their Thai community, involves peer education, and/or is service-orientated.
Provide a fun, safe, bonding atmosphere for youth in the form of a camp in order to promote self-discovery, life skills development, and personal empowerment in their personal, academic, and professional lives.
Camp GLOW/BROS will be a unique and exciting experience for the youth, counterparts, and PCVs. The Youth and Counterparts will have the opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded students from other parts of the country, while also being exposed to new ideas and have a chance to “think outside the box.”
During an evening Sharing Circle, camp GLOW participants held a candle and share something they learned or received from the camp.
Camp GLOW/BROS Thailand consists of two 5-day/6-night camps, running concurrently and separately for the first 4 days with joint sessions on the last day. Each Peace Corps Volunteer must select 3 Thai female youth and 3 Thai male youth (b.6 or m.1 students) to attend the camps. PCVs must also include 1 Thai adult counterpart (18 or older) from the community. The counterpart can be male or female and should be a respected member of the community who has leadership potential. Youth participants should show good leadership abilities, be respected by their peers and have the time to contribute to the community in the following years. Each youth participant must also have written permission from a parent or guardian in order to attend the camp. The adult counterparts must be responsible for the youths while at the conference, and will also be expected to work with them in the community once the camp is complete. Adult counterparts could consist of, but are not limited to; teachers, NGO workers, community leaders, alternative education workers, or simply those from your communities who are interested in youth development. The adult counterpart volunteers select should have the time and desire to be involved with the youth leaders in your communities on a regular basis. Unfortunately, you cannot attend the camp without one adult counterpart and 6 youth participants. Camp GLOW Thailand also provides the opportunity for graduates of the camp to return the following year as “Youth Ambassadors,” where they will take on a leadership role in helping plan and facilitate the camp.
Sample Camp GLOW Objectives:
In addition to the six goals outlined (gender equality, self-esteem, leadership, health, aspirations, and volunteerism), by the end of Camp GLOW Thailand, campers will:
- Describe three ways to protect themselves from HIV.
- Dramatize three positive communication or listening techniques through role plays and discuss practical ways in which each technique can be integrated into their daily lives.
- Make a set of reusable sanitary napkins.
- Demonstrate at least one interactive training or facilitation technique they will use to educate their peers after camp.
- Develop a community or peer education action plan to implement in the six months following camp.