On May 11th, the girls from YWCA New Britain’s STRIVE and House of Teens spent their day bonding at an all-day leadership retreat at Winding Trails in Farmington. They spent the day participating in team-building activities and obstacle courses that encouraged them to get outside of their comfort zone and ended the day with a family BBQ.
The girls started fundraising in October for this big trip and worked hard at four bake sales, a pasta dinner, a fundraiser at 5 Below and collecting private donations. The fundraising paid for bus transportation, food and the space used at Winding Trails.
This end-of-the-year celebration was a chance for the girls to “unplug” from electronics and spent quality time together. The T in STRIVE stands for Teamwork and the girls worked toward this goal by encouraging each other to complete obstacles and working together.
STRIVE and House of Teens pursue the YWCA’s mission to empower women by teaching their girls about teamwork and empowering others as well as themselves. The retreat was used to instill a sense of confidence and pride through trying new obstacles and activities and being successful together.
Joanna Ruggiero-Rivera, School Age Program Assistant Coordinator, says, “One of my favorite memories was seeing one of the STRIVE girls, who came to us very shy at the beginning of the year and was diagnosed with social anxiety, being one of the first ones to want to climb the rope tower. I remember her saying "Miss, if you climb it, I will too," so we did it together. This is something that I, myself, had to get out of my comfort zone to do but when the girls saw us participating it really encouraged them to try harder.”