Chelsea Piers Leadership Camp teaches girls life skills
August 16, 2018
STAMFORD — Retired women’s soccer player Abby Wambach, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, shared lessons she learned on and off the field during a commencement speech this spring at Barnard College.
“Soccer didn’t make me who I was,” she said as she concluded the address. “I brought who I was to soccer, and I get to bring who I am wherever I go. And guess what? So do you.”
Wambach unknowingly also brought these words to the 50 girls in the Chelsea Piers Girls Leadership Camp this summer.
The girls, ages 13 to 18, watched Wambach’s commencement speech and heard some words of wisdom from Chelsea Piers Connecticut’s Executive Director Greta Wagner before going outside for a little Zumba in the rain this week.
“It’s quick bites of information and things that are relevant to them,” Wagner said. “You do want to keep it fun and you do want to keep them interested.”
The camp thrives on its diversity. In addition to shaking up the camp theme each year, Chelsea Piers encourages the girls to try new sports. This year’s campers have tried water polo, lacrosse, ice hockey, volleyball and soccer. Mornings are filled with warm-ups like yoga and Zumba, as well as leadership discussions.
Campers also tried the new Chelsea Piers field hockey program, which starts in the winter. The program will be led by Mo Minicus, coach of Darien High, and King School coach Emily Townsend Prince.
Campers also participated in discussions about sports, mentoring, college recruiting and how to take care of their bodies. This year’s camp was focused on self-care and featured panels on topics such as the importance of sleep.
“It’s fine to be brave and try to go on two hours of sleep, but we’re going to show them that’s not scientifically correct,” said Dave Flowers, interim head of camp. “We’re going to show them taking care of yourself is the cool thing to do.”