by Emilia Savini (see bio under girls blog)
After weeks of preparation and training, the first day of Camp LiveGirl’s second summer camp has finally arrived. Fresh-faced campers from all over Fairfield County poured out of cars and busses and scampered into the NCHS Gym. Campers were given their LiveGirl t-shirts and team assignments, both of which were carefully customized by the LiveGirl staff, with Sheri West at the helm.
Founder Sheri West began by introducing the LiveGirl motto, "I am smart. I am strong. I am special." She then welcomed Lytasha Marie Blackwell, who read her amazing poem “Girl Magic” to inspire the campers and set a positive tone for the week.
Next up was the Executive Director of New Canaan CARES, Meg Domino, who immediately engaged the girls in a conversation about what makes a good team. Meg followed up the discussion with three team building activities that touched upon each learning preference - auditory, kinesthetic and visual.
For Brianna Lizano Quesada, a rising seventh grader from Norwalk, the “Human Knot” game was her favorite of the morning. This game required the girls to tangle up their arms and then use their communication skills to facilitate the untangling process. “I found it really satisfying to work together to achieve something that seemed impossible at first,” Brianna said.
After multiple team-based activities, the girls took a break for lunch, which was catered by Simply Delicious.
With their batteries recharged, the girls were then introduced to the LiveGirl Olympics. Each team created posters and team names earlier in the day, and now it was time to for each team to parade with their poster during the opening ceremonies.
The LiveGirl Olympics consisted of six activities; three indoor and three outdoor. The games ranged from handball to an architectural game in which the girls built the tallest possible structure they could with recyclable materials. Thanks to Mike Patrona, a beloved fifth grade teacher and assistant coach for New Canaan Girls Basketball, the games ran smoothly.
After the LiveGirls enjoyed some well-deserved popsicles, Kari Johns from Oxygen Fitness and DJ Jovan led a dance party to finish off the day on a high note.
Looking back on how day one went, Meg Domino praised Sheri West’s effort to focus on unity from the very start of camp. “I think something that we did a little bit differently year two compared to year one, was focusing on unity from the very start and I hear the girls talking about it too, which is great,” Meg Domino said.
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