GLOW – Girls Leading Our World – is a eight-day, multi-cultural camp for 80 girls to promote leadership, friendship, and self-confidence. GLOW is implemented by the Youth Association YMCA Bitola in partnership Peace Corps Macedonia and it is staffed by YMCA Bitola, Peace Corps Volunteers, and GLOW alumnae. GLOW is an annual summer program that has been held in Macedonia since 2002 in various locations in Macedonia.
The curriculum includes democracy, leadership, civic responsibility, volunteerism, environmentalism, personal development, women’s studies, health, artistic expression, and recreation. GLOW seeks to empower girls to become active leaders in their communities, break down cultural barriers, and promote volunteerism.
The mission of Camp GLOW is to develop the inherent potential found in the young women of Macedonia by providing them with the skills and knowledge necessary to become active leaders in their communities. This is done through experiential education that celebrates diversity, builds academic and social competencies, and promotes English language literacy, leadership, teamwork, problem solving, and creative expression.
We recruit young women who have the desire to challenge themselves in working with peers in traditional and nontraditional academic environments. We strive as staff members to uphold our Program Mission, achieve our goals and objectives, and most importantly, encourage and support our campers’ growth and development. The Camp GLOW staff is made up of: YMCA Bitola staff, Peace Corps Volunteers from America and former Camp GLOW campers. This dedicated staff has created all elements of the camp from planning to implementation and has volunteered their time to share this.
Caring – for yourself, community, and others
Honesty – be truthful in what you say and do
Respect – treat all people-yourself and your community – with dignity and acceptance
Responsibility – be accountable for your promises and actions
Courage – to face challenges and lead
Creativity – to find new solutions to challenges
Passion – to find your inspiration to create change
Camp GLOW is result of the successful partnership between YMCA Bitola and Peace Corps since October 2015.
This year the GLOW camp is possible thanks to the generous support of our corporate partners:
OKTA – gold sponsor
Lynx Resources – silver sponsor
Alkaloid, EVN, and Zdravje Radovo – bronze sponsors and
TAV Airports and TTK Banka as sponsors.
This program since the beginning has been supported by the US Embassy in Macedonia.
Camp GLOW began in Romania in 1995. Three Peace Corps Volunteers and four Romanian teachers took 80 young women to a mountain campsite for a week long leadership camp… Since that first camp in Romania, Peace Corps has actively supported Camp GLOW in other Peace Corps countries… In each country Peace Corps Volunteers and host-country nationals adapt Camp GLOW to reflect the realities of the young women in their local communities. While the content and styles of Camp GLOW vary, certain principles and themes exist through all the camps. These principles and themes include developing leadership skills, improving self esteem, increasing knowledge of women’s health issues, respecting and caring for the environment, and promoting the belief that every young woman can make a difference in their community.
In 2000, Peace Corps Volunteers in Macedonia determined there was a need for Camp GLOW after informally leading groups of young women in their communities. This project was first realized in the form of a three-day seminar facilitated by Peace Corps Volunteers and Host Country Nationals. Over the years, it has evolved into a week long summer program coupled with local clubs promoting the values and knowledge gained from attending the camp. The participants come from all over Macedonia, representing the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country. At GLOW, campers develop skills in teamwork and leadership that they will carry with them into adulthood. As a result, these young women are prepared to lead Macedonia in a positive direction in the future.