Tag Archives: Space camp for girls

YWCA Summer Space Camp for Girls Take 2

13 Août

It was a stormy day in August that two girls from My City, My Safety! went back to the Segal center to host a workshop for the YWCA’s Girls’ Summer Space camp!

Following a guessing game about each other’s favourite Montreal spots (or least favourites), we ventured out for a safety audit walk in the park situated between Van Horne and de la Peltrie, all the way to the Plamondon Metro Station.

It was a modified girls’ safety audit walk, of the scavenger hunt type: participants were split into two groups and had to cumulate as many observations on public space which could influence a girl’s feeling of safety or inclusion. Everyone participated so well though, we had to give a prize to all the girls 🙂

Dania and Anaïs, our two F.A.C.E mentors, leading the YWCA campers 
Exploring Plamondon metro station…
In search of all details, the girls even went about looking for unsightly garbage in the flowers decorating Van Horne Street. 
The sidewalk along Van Horne, too narrow to walk at the same time as the cleaning apparatus or the bicycles trying to escape intense street traffic. 
We even went into the park’s locker room, where the girls noted many problems: inaccessibility to wheelchairs, poor maintenance and the lack of emergency services if need be (no phones, windows, etc.)
We ended the walk with an activity to beautify public space, which was simple but effective all at once. All we needed was rainbow coloured chalk, a sad looking grey patch of concrete, and 15 artistically inclined girls 🙂

Temporary street art or play activities is a way for your, notably girls, to make their mark in a city, to send the message that public space is for everyone, and to discourage people from spoiling the space. Indeed, their temporary drawings are far form insignificant. For anyone who might see them, their presence says: Youth use this space! Children play here, and families are welcome. All of these things, for a young woman or girl, is a comforting thought.

Dania and her piece
Thank you girls, for your contagious enthusiasm! 

YWCA Summer Space Camp and My City, My Safety! Team Up for a Day

17 Juil

On July 9th, My City, My Safety! Youth mentors put into practice what they have learned to date by animating a whole day of activities for the YWCA’s Summer Space Camp for girls.

The camp which takes place at the Segal Center for performing arts targets girls aged 10 to 14 years old. The activities are all focused on developing their leadership skills and self-confidence. The camp offers artistic activities, danse and sports, as well as video making and musical workshops.

This day camp is part of the YWCA Montreal’s youth leadership program, it fosters their self-esteem, critical thinking, and leadership skills. Part of its objective is to prevent all forms of violence which affects the life of girls.


The girls’ code of honor which they have developed for the duration of the camp

One of the themes broached during activities is that of girls’ safety. It’s in this context that F.A.C.E Youth mentors prepared a day’s worth of activities, to introduce the 12 girls present to different urban safety issues. We started with some ice-breakers and then discussed what made the girls feel safe and included by drawing a flower and writing their favourite things about the city in its petals.

Drawings made by the girls

Following this, the girls learned to put words on what makes them feel insecure or out of place in public space. To our surprise, they had a LOT to share about their own neighbourhoods … Keeping all of this in mind, we went out for a safety audit walk in the   Mackenzie-King, across from the Segal Center.

Safety audit walk
Poorly maintained area of the park
old and rusty bleachers
no need for an explanation… 
football field. 

Back inside, we handed out some of the pictures taken during the walk. My City, My Safety mentors instructed the girls to « draw what you would change in this picture, if you had a magic wand… »

If I had a magic wand, this is how I would change this park… 

The drawings would have made even Alice in Wonderland jealous…

Ugly apartment bloc transformed, with swimming pool, musical entertainment, rainbow colours, practical, flying car parking, nearby shopping, etc. 
Park with a kid friendly playground, well marked paths, chairs, with lots of people and well maintained. 
Deserted park area transformed with fruit trees, swings, boom box benches, well marked paths and giant umbrellas. 
Recycling and composting, high tech bleachers, ice cream man, etc. 

Even though flying  cars and skittles rain may not happen tomorrow, the message to take back from this is that a bit more cleanliness, animation, music, opportunities for a greater mixity of people,  respect for the environment and places to shop nearby are pretty realistic things to ask for… Here is a hint for decision makers and developers!