makingsenseofmacedonia:

I am already sure that Camp GLOW is one of the defining moments of my Peace Corps service. As stressful and crazy as executing a camp for 80 teenage girls can be, the chance to be there and experience it with them is an ultimate reward. 

I have not been to a camp in years. I forgot how much I love to sing and dance and be youthful. Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) is about these things and so much more—it gives young women from all different backgrounds a chance to express themselves freely in a safe, encouraging environment. Campers make new, lifelong friends and meet fellow rising leaders from throughout Macedonia, who they can identify and connect with on a deeper level. They spend a week discussing important issues, learning new skills and knowledge, and brainstorming future projects to implement in their home communities. 

GLOW is all about leadership development. We seek to support young women as they discover their own capacity to be strong leaders in Macedonia and beyond. The camp has a multi-faceted approach that includes community time spent in teams (8 campers, 2 counselors, 1 counselor-in-training); large group functions with the entire camp that showcase creativity and teamwork; and experiential courses that range from emotional discussions to fun electives.

Everyday was jam-packed with courses such as:

Cultures of the World, Relationships and Social Health, Team Building, Our Effects on the Environment, Tie-Dye, Self-Esteem and Body Image, Origami, Human Rights and Diversity, Interpersonal Violence, Learning to Lead, Public Speaking, Yoga, American Relay Races, CPR and First Aid, Stereotypes and Iceberg Theory, Nutrition, Portrayal of Women in the Media

Each night, at least five electives were offered including:

Korean, Mnemonics, Acting, Karaoke, American Line Dancing, Powerful Women in History, Comic Strip Art, Leave No Trace, Stargazing, Charades

Being on the leadership team kept me quite busy, but I was able to co-teach Card Games, Kickboxing, and Self-Defense! I was also on the team to organize Field Day, during which all the teams competed in various activities (much like an American field day competition). 

There is so much more I could say about Camp GLOW: We had an awesome Disco Night. We lit candles and shared kind words. And made SMORES! We also had a visit from the US Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission (special thanks to the US Embassy Skopje for their generous grant in support of Camp GLOW this year!) 

In summary, I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!!!

If you have any questions about Camp GLOW Macedonia or are interested in supporting this project, please contact me.

glow campglow glowmacedonia macedonia leadership women girls youth girlsleaderingourworld diversity camp peacecorps

This past weekend, 44 new Peace Corps trainees arrived in Skopje—one of the largest volunteer classes ever in Macedonia! They were welcomed by these local folk performances on their first day of training #culture #culturalexchange #dancing #folkdance #Macedonia #latergram

This past weekend, 44 new Peace Corps trainees arrived in Skopje—one of the largest volunteer classes ever in Macedonia! They were welcomed by these local folk performances on their first day of training #culture #culturalexchange #dancing #folkdance #Macedonia #latergram

folkdance culturalexchange dancing macedonia culture latergram


"I arrived at site in mid December and was invited to an office Christmas Lunch. I accepted the invitation but the "lunch" was really a dinner and a huge party at a local restaurant. The night included dancing and singing by all. As I know now as typical in Macedonia - a group of musicians showed up playing various instruments and I captured this photo with the musicians and one of my colleagues at the city hall." - Peace Corps Community Development  Karen Schaan

"I arrived at site in mid December and was invited to an office Christmas Lunch. I accepted the invitation but the "lunch" was really a dinner and a huge party at a local restaurant. The night included dancing and singing by all. As I know now as typical in Macedonia - a group of musicians showed up playing various instruments and I captured this photo with the musicians and one of my colleagues at the city hall." - Peace Corps Community Development  Karen Schaan

Christmas holidays celebrations party Macedonia Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteer Peace Corps Digital Library host country nationals party