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Rosie’s Girls Summer Camp Returns to The MINT

by Jillian Scannell

A Rosie's Girls camper works the chop saw for the first time on Tuesday at Rosie’s Girls summer day camp at The MINT in Rutland.


This summer, Vermont Works for Women is partnering with organizations to host Rosie’s Girls Summer Camps in eight communities across the state of Vermont. The MINT – Rutland’s Makerspace is hosting Rosie’s Girls BUILD for the third year.

The Rutland Herald | July 9, 2024

Rosie’s Girls has returned to The MINT for another summer of building confidence and breaking barriers.

This is the third year the Vermont Works for Women summer day camp has been hosted at the Rutland site. The program, which is offered in communities across the state, intends to provide a space for middle school girls and gender expansive individuals to explore STEAM and trade skills and careers.

Like last year, The MINT will host two full-day, week-long sessions for campers. This week’s camp will run until Friday, and the next camp will run from July 22-26.

“We know that we have people out there who love to do woodwork, who love to do metalwork, but not knowing they can do it (makes) it really hard for them to break into that. With Rosie’s Girls, we’re building confident individuals so that they hopefully will be able to get into that field,” said MINT Youth Education Coordinator Cortney Allard.

In addition to introducing youth to skills and career fields that are nontraditional for their gender, Rosie’s Girls also uses its “Power Skills” social and emotional curriculum to help participants navigate school, friendships and societal issues.

“This group loves the (curriculum’s) games. With the games, they learn about themselves (and) about each other,” Allard said. “They’re about team building, support and all that.”

Throughout this week’s camp, participants will build cornhole boards, metal sculptures, bird houses and their very own toolbox. As of Tuesday morning, they had already each completed a bat house as well.

MINT Executive Director Kim Griffin said there are no other opportunities like Rosie’s Girls in the region, adding that the impact the camp has on participants is significant.

She said in the years the camp has been operating at The MINT, she has noticed a boost in the confidence, creativity and curiosity of campers from the beginning to the end of the week.

“If you look at all the ways someone gets missed (in STEAM education), it’s age, gender and gender identity and sexual orientation,” Griffin said. “We feel that this camp is the sweet spot for all those things that are often overlooked.”

Audrey Valadez, a 13-year-old returning camper, said she chose to sign up for this year’s camp to gain some more practice with woodworking — especially before she helps her grandfather work on his home.

Speaking of the importance of the Power Skills curriculum, Valadez noted that a key part of learning these kinds of trades is self-empowerment.

“(It’s important) to be confident in your skills and yourself. Because when you’re not confident in yourself, and you’re using a big tool like that, you can hurt yourself,” Valadez said.

Camper Isabella Classen, 12, also noted the importance of confidence and encouraged others to start exploring STEAM fields at a young age.

“My dad does a lot of construction, and it’s cool how he uses all the different power tools, so I wanted to learn how to use them, too,” Classen said. “It’s also good to start off at a young age with things that are typically more masculine, so that way we can get rid of those stereotypes in the future.”

All of the campers expressed that they see themselves incorporating STEAM into their lives moving forward.

Enrollment is ongoing for the next camp later this month; individuals can register here. Scholarships are available for those who may need financial assistance.

“We want to always offer opportunities for young women and gender creative youth to get their hands on (STEAM), be in this space and understand what their opportunities are,” Griffin said. “With the programming that (Vermont Works for Women) offers, we are able to really beautifully dovetail hands on learning and social emotional growth.”


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