…for such a time as this

Stories about the adventure that is Peace Corps Tonga

Camp Glow Ha’apai

A Glowing Success

Thank you to all of you who have emailed and written asking about how Camp Glow Ha’apai went. We like to say that it was a glowing success. Camp Glow (Girls Leading our World) is a Peace Corps camp that is done all over the world by volunteers and host country nationals. Here in Tonga, we have 4 main island groups, Ha’apai (my island group) being the first to put on a Camp Glow. The camp was a 6 day, 5 night sleep away camp for Form 2 girls (ages 12-14). It was a chance for the girls of our community to get together for a week of encouragement, training, goal setting and fun. We brought speakers in from the main island of Tongatapu to talk about budgeting and saving, women’s rights, and sexual health. Local speakers taught on study skills, goal setting, healthy eating and leadership. We went swimming, did relay races, tie-died shirts and lavalavas (skirts) did aerobics and dance and laughed a lot! The girls were truly a joy to spend the week with.


One of my highlights was “The Bridge” exercise. Sandy, the volunteer who is running the camps in Tonga did a session on goal setting and execution. The session starts with a picture of two ledges on either side of a piece of paper with water in the middle. The girls wrote where they are now on one of the ledges and where they want to be in 10 years on the other. The water between the ledges is filled in with things that could stop them from reaching their goals. Then, a bridge is drawn and the discussion goes to what can be done to get them from where they are now to where they want to be. The girls got into groups and began to furiously write (they really liked this one). I was sitting next to one of the Tongan counselors and she asked if I would help her with her diagram. We spent the next 20 minutes discussing what steps she had to take to get to university in New Zealand, which was her goal. We had a dynamic conversation and she is already taking some steps to get herself to her goal. It was a rewarding experience, I was thankful to have been sitting next to her.

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1 Comment»

  Kathy Beck wrote @

Juleigh,
Thank you for your involvement with this project, which I know was substantial. If we’re talking about capacity-building and sustainability, it’s events/experiences like Camp GLOW that will have lasting results. You go, girl!


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