Empowering Girls Online with Crestwood Summer Camp


Breana shows off her Mexican pinwheel and her Girls Inc. Crestwood Camp t-shirt.

Breana has always liked cooking, but attending Ms. Jasmine’s “Bold Kitchen” virtual class has made her love cooking even more. She says her favorite part has been learning about the importance of healthy eating. As an aspiring dentist, Breana knew sugar was bad for her teeth, but thanks to her Bold Kitchen class, she learned that high-sugar diets can harm the rest of your body too.

From Mexican pinwheels to fruit pizza, Bold Kitchen is expanding the knowledge of Girls Inc. Crestwood campers — all with the help of Zoom. Campers receive weekly boxes filled with Bold Kitchen recipes and accompanying ingredients, along with camp kits full of science experiments, art projects, and books for their Lunch N’ Learn Book Club. When it’s time for Bold Kitchen, all the girls take out their ingredients and follow along as Ms. Jasmine shows them how to prepare their treats.

Miss Jasmine shows the class how to make Mexican pinwheels.

Using a hybrid in-person/virtual model, Girls Inc. Crestwood Camp has been able to expand their reach far past Central Alabama. Girls are able to attend the virtual camp from their homes from Georgia to South Carolina! It’s been a relief for parents who can’t find any local opportunities for their daughters. One Girls Inc. parent, Dalian Cross says, “As a parent, working from home is hard. With Dahlia being out of school, she didn’t have anything to occupy her time. The camp provides an outlet and gives Dahlia time to interact with other girls while still being protected from the pandemic.”

Why Virtual?

To adults, virtual summer camp might not sound like much fun. But Breana — who attended both in-person and virtual Crestwood Summer Camp — says she actually likes virtual camp better. It’s less stressful, and easier to hang out with friends. When separated by a computer screen, girls don’t have to worry about masks, social distancing, or strict sanitation rules.

Crestwood Center Director Brittony Fonbah says, “Adults often make assumptions about what they think youth will like during this pandemic. But you have to listen to the girls to find out what they really want and how the pandemic is affecting their emotional and mental health.”

Campers enjoy their Bold Kitchen snacks.

Mrs. Fonbah continues, “Seeing the struggles and stress the parents and girls are experiencing during these uncertain times, I diligently worked alongside staff to ensure that we continued to offer the same exemplary programming, but customized around our girls and parent’s needs. We made it our mission to be the best support for our girls and parents this summer by offering a Virtual Summer camp filled with engagement while building strong healthy bonds with their peers.”

Thanks to the hardworking Girls Inc. of Central Alabama staff, virtual Crestwood Summer Camp is a huge success! Parents can relax without worrying about their kids getting sick, or stressing over the gas money it takes to drive across town. Even from home, girls are thriving.

“Girls Inc. virtual summer camp has been nothing short of amazing!  These are trying times for our nation and the world as a whole.  The time my girls spend during camp gives them something productive and positive to do and takes their minds off being home bound.  The team does an awesome job.  Thank you Girls Inc., sponsors, and supporters for making this awesome opportunity possible for our girls.”

Teofilla Wright
Girls Inc. Mom

“The camp has opened up my nieces’ eyes to so many activities that they had never participated in like cooking and coding. They expressed how they really enjoyed the interaction, although virtual, with the other girls.

Even on Saturday, Laila jumps out of bed because she thought she was missing camp. This let me know how impactful this camp was.”

Deborah Thomas
Girls Inc. Aunt

Not only is Girls Inc. virtual camp fun, but it’s also helping girls break down educational barriers. Learning online with friends over the summer empowers girls to engage virtually when school starts back. In the face of uncertainty and hardship, our tech-savvy girls will still be ready to learn no matter what.

Kendra McDole says, “I feel so fortunate to have been a part of Girls Inc. Virtual Camp because it provided engagement and socialization for my child during this time of uncertainty. In addition, it provided structure and scheduling that will benefit my child as she returns to remote schooling in the fall. Lastly, we greatly appreciated the activities and snacks provided through Girls Inc, as it kept my child interested and motivated throughout the camp.”

Campers and their delicious fruit pizza.