June 8, 2012
WHERE: Temple University Ambler, 580 Meetinghouse Road
WHEN: Monday and Tuesday, July 2 and 3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It’s an unfortunate fact that most children at one time or another will face some form of bullying. When people think of bullying many might think of boys taunting other boys. Girl bullying, however, is equally prevalent and, as some high profile cases in recent years have shown, can result in tragedy.
“In the past, this type of bullying came in the form of cliques or any kind of exclusion — it lived in the realm of the classroom or the school bus or the playground,” said Sara Wenger, Assistant Director of Education and Outreach Services for JFCS (Jewish Family Children’s Services of Greater Philadelphia). “With today’s social media opportunities, these incidents can go viral — girls are much more likely to cyber bully than boys. Girl bullying is certainly not a new phenomenon, but social media has changed its intensity — there’s a 24/7 opportunity for rumors and gossip to live and be relayed. There’s an anonymity to it; the bullies don’t necessarily have to self identify in these situations.”
On Monday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 3, Wenger will seek to help girls ages 8 to 14 in addressing bullying during a Summer Education Camp — When Girlfriends Turn Mean — offered at Temple University Ambler.
“It’s a very activity-oriented camp. Over the 2-day process, we want to help girls evolve their attitudes and develop an ‘emotional vocabulary’ that sensitizes them to the range of feelings and emotions girls experience in friendships,” Wenger said. “We want to look closely at the characteristics of girl bullying and help students understand the difference between popularity and leadership — the positive attributes of being a leader will not necessarily make someone popular. We want students to recognize the role of bystander and different ways to positively get involved and effect change in addition to how girls can access their own roles as aggressors and how to respond when they are a victim.”
Through a wide variety of interactive projects — from role play to crafts and poetry to brainstorming, storytelling and discussion — When Girlfriends Turn Mean seeks to help young girls and pre-teens “develop healthy relationships while preserving self-esteem, fairness and kindness,” said Wenger.
“With female bullying, you’ll often hear that the person who bullied them was someone that they thought was their friend. By nature, girls place a great deal of importance on their relationships and that kind of rejection can be very painful,” she said. “The impact of female bullying can stay with someone for a lifetime. Our goal is to help students feel good about themselves and help others do the same.”
In addition to When Girlfriends Turn Mean, Temple University Ambler is planning dozens of new and returning Summer Education Camp programs, which provide kids, ‘tweens and teens with a broad range of opportunities, from exploring wetlands and studying astronomy to creative writing and public speaking.
“The camps are a fun-filled approach to academic subjects in a small-group setting,” said Rhonda Geyer, Director of Non-Credit and Special Programs for Temple University Ambler, Fort Washington and Center City campuses. “They provide a wonderful opportunity for children ages 8 to 12, and young adults through age 17, to learn about a specific area of interest, experience a college campus, and have a lot of fun at the same time.”
Geyer said in addition to the When Girlfriends Turn Mean camp, Temple and Wenger are exploring the possibility of offering a girl bullying workshop for parents.
“The idea is to provide parents with the skills and tools for active listening and effective interventions — and determining when both are the most useful. Parents need to learn to recognize the danger signs and be able to determine if their child is a victim, a bystander or a bully,” Wenger said. “Parents don’t necessarily want to perceive that their child is an aggressor but they are the only ones on the frontline that can confront and talk to their children about it. There are so many reasons why a child won’t reveal what they are going through — embarrassment, humiliation, powerlessness, internalization. It is essential for a parent to learn how to actively listen without exacerbating a child’s pain or discounting what they are saying — if you discount what a child has said, they will shut down immediately.”
Now in its 23rd year, the Summer Education Camp program is offered in June, July, and August as a series of one-week camps.
Other Summer Education Camps for 2012 will explore topics ranging from digital photography, science, writing, and Web site design to robotics, cartooning, and film and TV. In addition, we are pleased to offer the “Jumpstart!” skills building camps. These camps will focus on writing and math skills for kids ages 8 to 12. The activities for these camps will be structured around the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA).
This summer, a variety of full day and half day camp programs will be offered each week. Full day camps will run from
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Half-day camps will run from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. This allows campers the opportunity to stay for the entire day or just come for a part of the day. It also provides flexibility for parents who may need their child in a camp program all day, or just a half-day.
For more information on the Temple University Ambler Summer Education Camp program or to register for camps, call 267-468-8500 or visit www.ambler.temple.edu/camps.