PAALS
Camp Program Descriptions

We Give Each Program A Cool Name for Girls, Along With A Description for Parents.

You don’t have to tell your daughter you’re sending her to Confidence Class or a Girl Drama Workshop. We’ve got you covered by naming each camp with a phrase they’ll like (and that is how we refer to the camp when with the girls).

EMPOWERMENT THEMES

Between You And Me: Navigating Friendships & Girl Drama

​Many girls struggle to find their way socially…starting as young as preschool age. They often face mean girl antics, being excluded and critical comments. They leave school feeling hurt, I insecure and deflated. In this workshop, we tackle the game-changing stuff that you can’t buy at a store or download in an app.

These workshops includes games designed to spark dialogue about how to navigate friends, conflicts & social media (for preteens) WITHOUT DRAMA, TEARS or ANXIETY!

Keep Calm And Carry On: Mindfulness, Focus, Patience, Stress & Anxiety Reduction

​Today’s youth are often overworked, over scheduled and underplayed (meaning little time to play). It’s any wonder they are more stressed, anxious and depressed than ever before. They’re mastering the art of juggling multiple things at once thinking that’s the answer. Perhaps your daughter listens to music while studying. Or maybe she plays a game or checks her social media account while watching television. They often don’t live in the moment. They don’t take the time to stop and think about what they are doing, to. Worse, many don’t truly relax or enjoy themselves.

There are lots of simple techniques like yoga/breathing, mindfulness, visualization and affirmations that help unite the mind and body for positive experiences in school, at home and overall in daily life. These tools not only ease stress and anxiety and can be used anywhere at any time (like before a big test or presentation AND when you’re feeling excluded or disliked) but also help us to live in the moment, have a positive outlook and be grateful for what we have. In this session, we’ll touch upon these approaches through games, activities, dialogue and art projects. The best part is that the girls can choose which methods work best for them.

Bring It On: Trying New Things, Goal Setting & Being Positive

In this session, girls are exposed to lots of new activities. Before and after the games, we spend time exploring our feelings about it. We’ll talk about how sometimes it’s uncomfortable or scary to try new things – like new foods, friends, books, or even a new hairstyle! And sometimes, it’s necessary to keep trying / practicing to feel more comfortable with something (even a new food – it may take a while until you like it). We’ll explore the inclination to think negatively about something we don’t know much about (how many times have you heard a child say, I don’t like – fill in the blank – but they never even tried it). We’ll also address the common tendency of wanting to give up.

In the past, many girls shared their personal experiences and uncomfortable feelings, which is not easy to do among peers. But hearing that from others makes each girl realize they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings. Along with facilitating these conversations,, we’ll provide tips to help the girls conquer their fears and handle frustrating situations. Before the day ends, all of the girls will have the opportunity to share things they’ve tried and how it made them feel. This class is a must for everyone!

On The Ball: Responsibility, Independence & Effort
As our daughters get older, they are given more and more responsibility and independence. That’s not always easy for them (or for us). Some girls don’t want to do things for themselves as they think it’s easier for someone else to do them. Others have a difficult time taking on new things or being in charge of something leading them to phone it in vs put in the effort to do it right. In this class, girls will have different responsibilities for each aspect of the games, from making the choices and ? to cleaning up after themselves. And in typical GAALS fashion, the girls will be given the chance to discuss how it made them feel. Once they hear how our coaches, interns and/or other girls feel grown up when given responsibilities and independence (along with the types of experiences they can have as a result), most girls will walking away wanting to take it on – to Get On the BALL.
Be Strong And Carry On: Leadership
At GAALS, we want all girls to shine as leaders. Being a leader is a valuable quality that is beneficial in every aspect of one’s life – education, sports, teams/group projects and careers. Many of the girls in our program (and those we know outside of GAALS), are nervous about being leaders. Based on what we heard we believe that in order to nurture girls’ desire to assume leadership roles, we must speak to them about the social and emotional aspects of being a leader. This workshop aims to provide strategies and tools to help girls overcome their fears and the challenges they see inbeing a leader, and simply to feel more comfortable in that role.

 

The leadership camp provides tips and strategies for girls that tend to come across as bossy, as well as those who aren’t comfortable being leaders and/or need to be more assertive (not only in a leadership role but with their friends). All of the games and activities in this workshop revolve around Leadership, like putting together a puzzle without seeing the picture, but instead listening to the leader give directions to the group. Each girl will have a turn being a leader. Some will even have the ability to pick various activities that we will do! As always, GAALS will integrate quick meaningful conversations about their experiences and the challenges of being a leader – (ie: wanting to make everyone happy, being seen as bossy, worrying that their decisions will affect their relationships, etc), enabling everyone to gain valuable strategies from one another, as well as our mentors. Through this approach, each girl recognizes she is not alone in her thoughts and feelings, a powerful tool in building self-esteem and feeling more comfortable in a leadership role.

YOLO <3 U -- You Only Live Once, Love Yourself: Building Self-Esteem & Confidence
GAALSusa is all about building up girls and giving them the tools to feel good about themselves and develop strong, positive relationships with themselves and with others. At this workshop, we use games to spark important and relevant dialogue about feeling good and being your best – and what that means to each child. We engage in conversation and activities about embracing your authentic self, instead of conforming to those around you. By hearing from one another, girls become more comfortable because they begin to see that they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings – which increases their self-worth. This workshop is one of the most important ones we offer – especially in today’s world. The images we see of beauty, and of all the amazing things your friends are doing / places they are going, often makes us wonder what is wrong with us. Why don’t we have that, look that way, feel so happy, etc? It’s not easy for adults to process. Imagine what it feels like as a child! It’s important to open the door to speak about these things on their level and to hear from their peers and mentors about what can be done to keep from feeling so badly. From the moment they step through the door, GAALS inspires and motivates girls by helping them feel comfortable and supported.
We Go Together, We Got This!: Teamwork, Compromise & Respect

Working together is something the girls will be doing a lot at GAALS and in every aspect of their lives – in school, at home and with friends. Being part of a team enables them to move from intrapersonal (individual) ways of thinking to interpersonal (communicating with others). Teamwork is a highly social activity that also strengthens children’s’ social and emotional skills, as it helps them learn the importance of communicating effectively, compromising and showing respect. And who doesn’t want that?!

The Kick Off: Recess Games & Managing Communication, Collaboration, Competition and Sportsmanship
In this workshop, we teach the girls fundamental skills like Throwing, Catching, Kicking & Running (for tag games) along with other typical recess games so they can feel comfortable participating vs standing on the sidelines. We are sure to teach them the rules, as well as some variations of games that they can introduce to their friends. As always, this GAALS workshop includes games designed to spark dialogue about how to navigate recess with friends without drama or tears. You do not want to miss this one. Out of 150 girls in our class last Spring, 100% of them told us that they worry about recess. Lets help change that!
Attitude of Gratitude: How to Appreciate Your Life And What You Have – Making A Habit of Expressing Thankfulness for Things Big and Small
Research says grateful children aren’t only happier and healthier, but also less materialistic and envious. Now who doesn’t want that for their daughter(s)? Through projects, games and dialogue, girls learn WHY “It’s not happy people who are thankful, it’s thankful people who are happy” and HOW to recognize and appreciate the blessings in life – from little to big. We will touch upon the importance of mindfulness, as well as share some proven gratitude practices, like gratitude journals or jars and/or calling out the little things for which you are grateful.
Go the Distance: Problem Solving, Persistence & Resiliency – Obstacle Courses

We don’t believe it’s enough to say children learn teamwork simply by passing a ball to one another – we think it’s more valuable to connect the dots to help them understand how to work together in various situations. So we integrate quick conversations on their level about the challenges of teamwork – what happens when someone doesn’t listen or doesn’t want to participate – and the benefits – like learning and growing from one another, building trust, blending strengths, conflict resolution and a greater sense of accomplishment.

PHYSICAL THEMES

Jump Rope Games

Always a big hit with the girls. First, they make their own jump ropes – which they will take home with them. . Then we do all sorts of jump rope activities. From jumping on their own, to jumping with turners, to holding one long jump rope as a team and making shapes & letters. There are so many things we can do with jump ropes.

Hula Hoop Games

One of the girls’ faves. Hoops are very versatile. We hoop on all different parts of our bodies, like our necks, waists, arms and more. Then we use them as jump ropes, as ring toss (with humans as the middle). We build structures out of the hoops and the girls have to climb through without knocking them down. We have obstacles where they jump through them like hopscotch and even work in pairs trying to walk without the hula hoop dropping from their waists – but without hands. Hoops are so much fun. The girls never want the camp to end.

Around the World Games

In this special curriculum, we travel to various countries like Greece, Chile, Ghana, China, Brazil, Scotland, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Israel, Germany, Great Britain and more. We play the local popular games the children play there. GAALSter see how some are similar to those we play here in the U.S., while others are totally different. And they learn how everyday items can be used to create fun games, because not all children have toys. It also allows them to learn about and celebrate different countries, lifestyles, and cultures. For Australia, they participate in a game that discusses kangaroos and other typical things found down under. We swim across the ocean to Ghana to play a game that village children often play together in the summers to pass time. Naturally, this sparks a wonderful dialog as to how people from these places may look different, wear different clothing, eat other foods and speak other languages or with an accent. We’ll explain how we can learn and grow from others who are different. Even the people right here in our community – people we are friends with can be different. Sometimes it’s obvious and other times it isn’t. We’ll encourage the girls to learn new things about people they know, and get to know people they don’t know much about. The most important thing is to respect these differences as we are all people.

Teeter Totter: Balance Games

Balance is a part of everything we do. When we walk, run, bike or swim, we are balancing ourselves. So one would think balancing is easy and comes naturally to us. However, that is not the case. While it may not sound exciting, we should practice balancing so we can better control our bodies and use them more effectively! Plus,, balance is used in nearly every sport – from running and skiing to karate and dance. While this class doesn’t necessarily sound super cool and exciting, it’s one of the kids most favorite classes because the equipment we use and games we play are super fun. From stilts and balance pods, to Saturn pogo balls and more. We may challenge the girls to 3-legged races and/or trying to balance an egg on a spoon and/or a bowling pin in their hands. As a group, the girls may attempt to balance on a sheet that we keep making smaller and smaller after each time they succeed. We also address how being balanced is used in life in a different way. We point out how sometimes in our families we can work together to balance things out – like someone walks the dog, while another person feeds the dog. Or for dinner, someone might set the table, while another person cooks, and then someone else clears. We speak on their level about the challenges of balancing their life – like balancing things after school – homework, activities, play dates, down time, chores and more. Everyone shares how they do it (schedules and plans can help) so the girls realize that not only does everyone have different things to balance, but it’s okay to have different ways of doing it (some do homework first while others leave it to after activities). We follow our chat with a fun game where each girl throws one of their shoes in the middle and then has to slip on someone else’s show. They walk around in them, balance on one foot (the one with the other person’s shoe), then on the foot with their own shoe. The girls are then able to see and feel how it’s hard to balance in someone else’s shoes…and that they are more comfortable in their own shoes! Go ahead, try this game at home. It’s always lots of fun!!!​

Right at Home: Backyard Games

We all know the challenge of getting our children away from devices in order to get them to do something more active. In the nice weather, hopefully, it’s a little easier. There are so many outdoor activities kids can play alone, in pairs or in big groups. And lots of games that require little or no equipment (although there are tons that use inexpensive things like Frisbees, balloons and more). We will play a wide variety of games so the girls can walk away and start playing them with their friends – or even with you.

Fun & Sun: Beach Games

Whether it’s the sun, sand, water or fresh air, being at the beach seems to make everyone happy. Not only can everyone have a lot of fun, it can also be a great place to get in some exercise! Running, jumping or even just walking on the sand, works out your leg muscles as it makes it challenging to travel through the sand (the sand provides resistance). And swimming, surfing or boogey boarding is also great. While we don’t have sand or an ocean at the class, we do play many of the games that have become popular at the beach, like paddleball (kadima), frisbee, flings, volleyball and more. We even create some unique games kids can play – like using your towel and a ball to have all sorts of fun. These games can just as easily played anywhere outside – as long as there is enough space for movement! We love this class because it presents us with an opportunity to talk with everyone about how you might be able to make some friends and/or play with others at the beach. We typically hear from at least one girl who feels comfortable going up to other kids and asking if she can join them. And we typically hear from another girl who has the courage to share with everyone that she would never dream of being that bold. So we provide some suggestions about different ways to go about joining in others’ activities without asking directly. Girls leave this class with some tips and a positive attitude after having had a blast!!!

You & Me: Cooperative Games

Regardless of age or situation, people are always having to cooperate with one another. That’s why we think starting to work with children on this very important skill is critical. In our class, we play a variety of engaging, unique and fun cooperative games. Sometimes the entire class has to work together to accomplish a task, while other times, they are working in smaller groups or even pairs. We even play the same activity twice but with different groups to show the children how your experience can change while doing the same thing when you are with different people. We work with the children on strategizing and problem solving in each activity. We talk about how we use cooperation in all aspects of our lives – from school to home and work and even with friends. This means we can try different things to see if we are successful. We encourage them to see that we may fail one way, but it is important to use that failure as a tool to guide you to the right answer in the future. The children walk away understanding that cooperating is important and how you do so can differ depending on where you are, what you are doing and with whom.

Turn Up the Heat: Dance -- Around the World and/or Dance & Rhythm (including Line Dancing)
This high-energy class has kids moving and grooving to fun, cool beats. We explore various types of music and how it affects mood and movements. Our goal is for the children to start to understand how various parts of their bodies can move to the music in different ways and at various speeds.

 

For Around the World, we listen to songs from other cultures, and learn their dances, including the Mexican Hat Dance, Bollywood Dancing, Zorba Greek Dancing, and the Merengue from Latin America. When we are working on Rhythm and Movement, the children are tasked with trying to keep the beat with balls and other equipment. They also work on following directions in lots of fun and engaging age-appropriate line dances.

Kick It: Kicking
Kicking is a great skill to develop and practice as it’s not only used in kickball and soccer, kicking is used in swimming and football. Because it goes hand-in-hand (or foot-in-foot) with balance, agility, speed, endurance and overall mobility, footwork skills can even be helpful while doing gymnastics, dancing, and even shooting hoops. In this class, we work with the children on kicking and dribbling skills with a wide variety of fun games (using balloons, bean bags, cones and balls). Our activities vary by age and ability. Regardless though, we use this as an opportunity to teach the children about what it means to be persistent in life. Not giving up is such an important skill to learn at a young age, especially now that everything can instantly be at our children’s’ fingertips (ie: info, tv shows, cameras, etc). They aren’t necessarily accustomed to having to be patient – to sticking with things.
Go for the Gold: Olympic Games

Every 4 years, we are lucky enough to see the best athletes in the world compete against one another to bring pride to themselves and to their countries. Some of us may never be lucky enough to be an Olympian or even go to the games and witness firsthand their athletic talent, but we can enjoy watching our country compete with pride. In this class, we are very creative about how we can emulate various games played in the Winter and Summer Olympics, staring with =our very own torch relay. We also have fun figure skating on paper plates, discus throwing and curling. The children can participate in rhythmic gymnastics., as well as our very own biathlon. Throughout the class, we discuss the importance of respecting different cultures, supporting (and cheering) on others, and of course, how best to behave when you win and when you lose.

Full Speed Ahead: Running -- Speed, Agility and Defense Strategies (chasing, fleeing & dodging)
It seems some people are born to run – they have lightning speed, while others simply enjoy their own pace. But even someone isn’t a fan it doesn’t mean that you should shy away from getting a little help and learning proper technique. Running is used in unstructured play – like tag and chase games, as well as a variety of sports that our GAALSters play, like soccer, basketball and softball. Learning how to run properly will come in handy when participating in these activities, but will also increase confidence. And working on agility movements will enhance ones ability to chase, flee and dodge others. In this class, we’ll play various tag games and do different fun running activities. We’ll talk about how most of the time no one is paying attention to others and whether they are fast or slow, or if they came in last. Once they realize that, they are more apt to simply have fun and be part of the game vs sitting on the sidelines.
On Target: Throwing & Catching / Hand-Eye Coordination / Aim & Target
We use hand-eye coordination every day without even thinking. Like when we eat with a fork or play games on an iPad. It’s amazing how our eyes can let our brain know within fractions of a second what something is, where it is, how big it is, and what color and shape it is – and then how we should react to it. Good hand eye coordination helps us in everyday tasks, as well as in nearly every sport. But being successful at it takes effort. We’ll talk about the difference between a good effort vs. just doing what you need to do to get something done. We’ll also talk about how attitudes can affect it. Putting your best foot forward is not always easy, but the results are typically worth the extra effort.

Have an idea for camp and don’t see it listed here?

Let us know what you’re thinking and we’ll check if others are interested too. We are always eager to create new curriculum that deliver on what parents want. Or, you can gather some children and we’ll design a workshop just for you! Contact Us and let us know what you have in mind.