Help for Troubled Girls
Wilderness Way Girls’ Camp, located in the Upstate of South Carolina, seeks to help girls who are struggling in their families, schools, and communities. Past hurts and sometimes current instability have caused these girls to doubt themselves, distrust adults, act out, and question God’s concern for them. Within the camp setting, girls experience success in life skills and relationships.
From the first day a camper is a partner in setting goals that will impact her future. Working alongside each camper is the entire camp staff, her family, and sometimes the referring agency. Together we develop a vision for success. Cooperation among partners is an integral part of the healing process. Families recognize that in order to help their campers succeed, they often need to set goals and make changes as well.
Camping with a Goal
Girls come to camp with emotional and behavior patterns that have created problems too big for them to handle at home. Many think, “I’m no good”…and do their best to prove it. In the freedom of a camp setting and the security of a small group of “built in friends”, campers plan adventures that lead to the joy of self-discovery.
Campers and their counselors, or chiefs, make daily plans considering all basic needs of safe responsible living. Groups construct shelters, plan and cook meals in the campsite two days a week, cut wood, care for equipment, and have fun. With a well balanced program, the tasks themselves provide objective discipline and a sense of personal worth.
Through planning, doing, and evaluating, a girl discovers her ability to positively affect her world. One camper put it, “Around here we live with our answers.” How true when a meal tastes delicious or a sturdy shelter keeps one dry!
Daily routine is relaxed enough for the group to deal with behavior and attitude problems as they arise. Each girl is led to express herself freely, yet constructively. When needed, chiefs work with a camper alone, but the caring group is the real instrument of change.