RADCAMP: A Body Positive Boot Camp for Feminist Teens
By Amy Pence-Brown
Researchers, doctors and parents have all found that it’s during our early teenage years and puberty that ideas about our bodies can be really solidified. It’s a crucial time of change and growth and discovery about who we are. I’ve had the honor to speak to lots of young people about being an activist in your own life in big and small ways and how to stand up for what’s important – including yourself. This summer I launched my first annual RADCAMP: A Body Positive Boot Camp for Feminist Teens and lead a crew of young girls aged 13-15 for an entire weekend.
We ate, laughed, and learned about cultivating healthy relationships with food. We dug deep, thought hard, watched some amazing women poets and read some amazing women writers, planted seeds, made art and generally became a little more radical and in tune to our unique bodies, voices and spirits.
The girls created tee shirts inspired by punk rock & the Riot Grrrls, dissected popular media and consumer culture in a magazine project, and took on Betsy Greer’s You Are So Very craftivism project (http://craftivism.com/blog/you-are-so-very-beautiful-video/) by stitching tiny positive affirmations and hiding them around the city in the name of guerrilla acts of kindness. Each girl went home with so many amazing powerful tools, including some radical stickers from My Body Does (https://www.facebook.com/mybodydoes), two new body positive books, sun-kissed shoulders from our end of camp pool party and a lot of new information rattling around in their hearts and brains.
It was also a treat to have two teenage powerhouses, Nora Harren and Colette Raptosh of People for Unity (https://www.facebook.com/peopleforunityboise), come speak to RADCAMPers about how to raise your voice high and be proudly feminist in high school hallways that aren’t always so welcoming. It was powerful for the girls to hear from some other young role models using their spirit and passion for change and good. I think they all left a little closer to finding their voices and taking ownership of their bodies in a whole new way. Here’s to a bearing witness to a new generation of resilient and strong girls. May we all be the role models they need.
Learn more about Amy and her RADCAMPs at www.amypencebrown.com