This academic year has been so tough on our girls – academically, socially, and just all around being uprooted from their day-to-day structure and safe havens. Given the tremendous struggles and sacrifices that all parties had to make this year, PowerPlay opted to host a Virtual Winter Break Camp for our STARS Series participants to provide a means of social and academic support, a space to check-in on the social-emotional well-being of our youth while also providing an outlet for them to reconnect (virtually) with their friends.
Using the theme of Winter Games, participants competed in a variety of games, workouts, and discussions to help their team earn points as they tried to win the Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal prizes. Similar to our regular after-school sessions, we focused on team-building activities, healthy competition, and sportsmanship to create a fun environment, a virtual sanctuary for our girls.
The girls were up and moving as soon as they logged on by starting with an exercise session led by our very own Coach Madjena! They went on to discuss topics such as good sportsmanship and being a team player. They watched clips from some influential childhood movies, like Mulan, and openly discussed the revolving theme of “what perseverance meant to them”. We received responses such as – “always keep trying even though you fall”, “never let the clouds cover the sun” and “never doubt yourself”. It was an amazing experience to share in these moments of joy with our young people during some of their most vulnerable times.
The camp culminated, with our girls expressing their gratitude for the opportunity to reconnect and to enjoy a sense of normalcy with their peers. Many were sad to leave, “I loved the games and laughing with my group.” We enjoyed all the laughter and fun we had with them as well. One fifth-grader summed it all up perfectly, “This camp made us more active by keeping us occupied. On other breaks I just watch tv, but I watched less because I was in camp.” PowerPlay is happy to always provide that sports and movement outlet for the young people we serve.