In a previous blog, I shared that I recently launched a nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls and women with disabilities called Disability EmpowHer Network. In that post, I shared a bit about two of our programs: Letter from a Role Model and EmpowHer Camp.
Now that some time has passed, I am excited to give you an update on EmpowHer Camp! EmpowHer Camp is a multi-stage skill-building, empowerment, and mentoring program that brings a diverse group of girls with disabilities (ages 13 -17) to camp with successful disabled women mentors in the Adirondacks for one week. They learn about disaster preparedness and basic survival skills, while also developing independent living and leadership skills. The next summer, the girls are invited for a reunion trip in Washington, D.C., to explore how they have grown as leaders. During the year between the first trip and the reunion trip, the girls create a yearlong local project involving inclusive disaster strategies.
Choosing Our Girls and Mentors
Our very first EmpowHer Camp starts next month! We will begin by bringing a group of nine girls with disabilities from across the country to the Adirondacks in New York! We received so many applications from incredible girls with disabilities who wanted to join us at EmpowHer Camp. It was so difficult to select only nine girls to participate this year.
We’ve also selected nine mentors to join us at camp. The mentors are all successful women with disabilities from all over the country and the world! We have women with different disabilities coming together from Kansas, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, South Carolina, and even England! Each woman offers different experiences and skills to share with our participants.
What the Girls Will Learn
While camping in the Adirondacks, we will learn to build fires, practice meal planning and cooking, share our fears and goals around the campfire, plan community projects, master compass reading, and so much more.
One of our mentors, Kathryn Carroll, a blind attorney from Albany, NY, said: “I am looking forward to so many things at camp! First, I am a learner, and so I look forward to learning from the other mentors and, most of all, from the campers. There are so many skills and knowledge we can share. Second, I look forward to simply being at camp. Camp can be a magical experience you never want to return home from and I look forward to that feeling. I’m a very serious person, but don’t let that fool you into thinking I’m not wildly excited about EmpowHer Camp!”
Meanwhile, our participants shared that they’re all so excited to spend time with other girls with disabilities and make new friends!
I am very excited about EmpowHer Camp because I know that it will be life changing for our participants and for our mentors!
About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador advisor for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.