Kids Attend SAFE's Empowerment Camp


Last updated 9/16/2019 at 3:08pm

In early August, SAFE Transylvania concluded their third year of Empowerment Camp – a week-long day camp for kids who have been exposed to domestic violence and aligned with SAFE's mission to end sexual and domestic violence through prevention and healthy relationship education.

SAFE's Empowerment Camp was originally created for pre-teen girls only, but now serves the community, free of gender labels.

Middle school kids from Brevard and surrounding areas enjoyed learning about the importance of self-love, building relationships with peers and community members and gaining life experiences, according to a SAFE press release.

Virginia Watkins, one of SAFE's child advocates and this year's camp director, wanted to use this year's camp to bring kids together who have had similar experiences, where they could flourish in a safe and understanding environment, surrounded by peers who understand their background.

Watkins' aspiration for the kids was to come away feeling heard, supported and no longer feeling alone; ultimately feeling empowered.

This year's camp was full of educational and fun activities created to teach the campers resiliency, self-care and teamwork.

One particular activity to work on communication skills and teamwork was their community volunteer project.

The campers were able to work together to successfully construct and paint two picnic tables, followed by the opportunity to leave their own "stamp" on their work by imprinting their own personal words of empowerment onto the tabletops.

This community project was made possible by the donation of materials from Lowe's and the beneficiary of the picnic tables is the Transylvania County Parks and Recreation Department and the entire Transylvania County community. Empowerment Camp gave SAFE the opportunity to utilize an amazing group of staff, volunteers and friends who are passionate about the organization's mission and the health and well-being of the community's future.

Jernail Hayes, a U.S. Women's runner, brought an important message to the campers through the telling of her own story toward success.

The kids learned that despite obstacles, physical build and family background, your own determination and dedication can allow you to succeed in anything.

After their discussion, Hayes then stretched and raced with the campers on the field, awarding the fastest runners with medals.

With another successful and growing year of Empowerment Camp under SAFE's belt, plans for next year will likely include a wider range of off-campus activities and therapeutic programming.

SAFE's Empowerment Camp is an opportunity for an organization who primarily work with adults, to target the next generation, in hopes of ending the cycle of domestic and sexual violence with the help of something as fun as summer camp!


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