Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Camps for Kids!

My very dear friend and classroom neighbor, Beth teaches "Book Camps for Kids" each summer. Boys and girls from age 4-13 can attend these four day camps based on popular children's and tween books. This summer I was so happy to join in the fun at the American Girl Power book camp! The girls read about American Girl Chrissa who moves to a new school and encounters a group of girl bullies. I lead activities three days on bullying and self-esteem with the girls and it was such a great experience for me! Here are the activities we completed:

Monday: Frenemie vs. Friend
We discussed frenemies vs. friends by looking at how each treats others, makes you feel and examples of what each says and does. I made a "friend" and a "frenemie" poster for each topic.

 Each girl received post-it notes and wrote one idea on each note then added their post-its to our poster. Once all the post-its were placed on the poster we would discuss that topic. We started with how friends and frenemies treat others. The girls wrote their thoughts on post-its and then stuck them to the posters.

 I went through the posters and we discussed their ideas. We finished the first day with me asking the girls to think about ways to deal with frenemies for Tuesday. I told them to wear their acting hats as they would be practicing what to say when encountering a frenemie!

Tuesday: Responding to frenemies
On Tuesday I gave the girls some guidelines to remember when responding to frenemies: be respectful, be confident, use humor but not to make fun of others and be honest. Then we headed outside to practice ways to respond to frenemies. I read various situations the girls could encounter and had them pair up to discuss their response before role-playing for the group. They were so creative and got better and better with each situation!

Wednesday: I'm fabulous because...
I talked to the girls about the #1 defense against frenemies/bullies: CONFIDENCE! We discussed how you can choose how to react to frenemie situations and how you let it impact you. If you remember to believe in yourself, no frenemie stands a chance! I gave the girls a sheet that said "I'm fabulous because..." at the top. On the side it was numbered 1-20. The girls spent a few minutes listing (at least) twenty things that made them fabulous. Some girls had forty items on their lists!!

Once their lists were complete we headed outside to show-off our fabulousness. The girls helped trace outlines of each other with chalk (that I got on clearance at JoAnn's!) and then they wrote all the things that make them fabulous on the inside of their chalk person.

 I took a picture of each girl by their creation holding the "I am fabulous because...." sign I made, which they got to take home the last day of camp. I have to say this was my favorite part of book camp! I will definitely use this activity this school year with small groups in some way, shape or form!


  1. This is awesome! Stumbled across this on Pinterest and I'm definitely going to look through the rest of your blog!

  2. I used the friend vs. frenemy part of this post today in my 3rd grade girls group and it was awesome! The girls had never heard the term "frenemy" before, but they TOTALLY knew what I was talking about when I described it to them! We did the one that says "things they say" and then made a Wanted Ad for a true friend. Thank you for the activity!!

  3. I stumbled across your entry because I searched for Rachel's Challenge activities on Pinterest. I am intrigued by your class/session with the girls this summer. I know I can incorporate some of these ideas into my 6th grade classroom. What were some of the scenarios that you presented in Day 2 of your discussions with the girls?