O My Gosh!
It’s been a joy-filled, crazy-fun, totally exhilarating & completely exhausting,
“virtual” camping adventure with my Girlz With HeART!
What a hectic, beautiful, fun, creative BLAST the Girlz have had at our Fifth Annual Creativity Camps–
six different sessions with 10 girlz each!
Camp Mariquita (that’s “Ladybug” in Spanish!)
has been a magical, imaginary gypsy caravan,
with tent forts, sleepin’ bags on the floor, and nature-filled three day creativity activities.
Convened at the gracious homes of the 4 Core Grand Mamas
(THANK YOU Elisa, Connie, Katrin, & Dell!)
who have kept this “impossible” wild, crazy, joyous riot of a dream of mine afloat…
My goal has been to provide a magical time of pure pleasure and shared GIRL POWER
for these young women, 7 to 12, who have had a rough ride
in foster care, group homes, transitional situations, and family crisis.
They built blanket forts to sleep in little clusters to read to each other, tell stories, and feel safe…
They did art making that enhanced their sense of esteem…
and they built their own forts
from recycled cardboard.
They wrote poems and sang songs
and became their own “super heroes”…
There were scavenger hunts…
and pure JOY!
It’s been such a heart-filling experience!
The Girlz had such fun thanks to all the loving support of so many!
Jillian, Candace, Janella, and Meritta were past graduates from the program who acted as camp counselors…
and Brandi, Connie, Tammy, and Leslie were the merry pranksters who came up with endless piles of food and drink.
Nancy S. donated a TON of brand-new clothing for the Girlz to treasure and Denise brought musical instruments for their delight…
Anne L. & Nancy G. donated so generously to make the fabulous field trips possible!
And I so need to thank my Beloved Albert for all his love and encouragement!
It has been a grand time of esteem building, buddy bonding, scavenger hunts,
journaling workshops, nature walks, art play, and so much more.
They got to go to the Desert Museum on cool mornings when the park first opens
to spend some magical time with the caring staff behind the scenes.
They have been enjoying swim days at local community pools,
visiting the Children’s Museum, and learning to make art journals.
We’ve been having an amazing time and thank you all for your kind support over the years:
art supplies, clothing donations, encouragement.
I’m utterly pooped but have a huge grin on my face!
I’m so grateful to have all of you you in my life and in the lives of these amazing young women.
I feel so blessed to have been able to be do this work for the last five years!
All particularly bittersweet for me as this is my last month leading Girlz With HeART…
it has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life!
Almost 70 now with some significant health issues, I find I just can’t keep up anymore.
The costs for insurance, transportation, supplies, and resources have tripled over the 5 and half years I’ve been offering the project.
Most of my original GrandMamas have had to pull back due to health issues or financial challenges of their own.
Arizona’s broken child protective & advocacy agencies have tied my hands in a million ways and continue to put huge obstacles in the path of my program.
My own rapidly declining personal and physical energies have also informed this very difficult decision.
But not to worry,
I have been training a half dozen stalwart advocates to carry on the work within their own agencies and spheres of influence
and I have seen to it that ALL the young women in my program will be absorbed by other very worthy groups in town.
It has been such a pleasure to be a part of this work and to throw my whole heart into it.
These are our future leaders, dreamers, and achievers!
So Much Love & Gratitude To You and To Them
From Momma Mariquita
“One thing’s for sure… If any one of us unleashes our creativity, our world will split open. We’ll find unprecedented ways of solving problems and expressing our souls, and our lives will be forever changed.” Martha Beck
I’ll be taking a little break this next week…
© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.
P. S. Sooo many cool ideas from http://www.bravegirlsclub.com