Camp Helps Girls Boost Self-Esteem

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BOZEMAN - This week, girls in fifth through seventh grade are participating in the third annual summer camp run by Thrive's Girls for a Change program.

The program helps girls feel more confident in themselves with the support of friends, parents and mentors.

Fifth grader, Amelia Hartshron is participating in her first Inside Out camp. During the week-long camp girls participate in community service projects, outdoor activities and even pink glove boxing, all while learning about themselves and strengths.

She is really looking forward to the week ahead of her.

"When you're surrounded by other people that are thinking the same thing as you, it's really fun and easy to do this with them," said Hartshron.

She hopes this week will help boost her confidence.

"I'm hoping to be more confident with myself," said Hartshron. "Sometimes I feel like I'm letting myself down. I think this camp will make me feel more confident in myself."

According to the Real Girls, Real Pressure National report on self-esteem, 62% of girls feel insecure about themselves and 75% of girls with low self-esteem report in engaging in negative activities such as eating disorders, smoking and drinking.

Girls for a Change Facilitator, Heidi Makoutz said the camp is meant to help girls feel more comfortable with themselves and confident in their strengths and gifts.

"It's really hard for girls to feel that confidence and positive sense of themselves," said Makoutz. "Once they feel that and if it's strong, they are more likely to share it. If they are really self conscious and they don't feel comfortable, they start to close off a little bit."

She said building confidence starts with finding out about who you are and what you like to do.

"It's really about educating yourself about who you are and identifying those strengths," said Makotz. "A lot of times we'll see girls, especially at pre-adolescents and adolescents not thinking about that they have skills and talents and traits that are unique to them."

So far, Amelia has learned about herself.

"It's what's in the inside of you and you have to let it all out," said Hartshron. "You can decide how much you want to show or how little you want to show."

The camp runs through Friday. To learn more about Thrives Girls for a Change program, click here.

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