Media Releases

UofT student’s summer camp for girls reaches fourth successful year

June 30, 2011

TORONTO, ON – Camp Stel­la Puel­la, an inspir­ing camp for girls ages 5–12 in Dun­nville, Ontario, is enter­ing its fourth sum­mer of con­fi­dence boost­ing, vol­un­teer work and learn­ing how to change the world. One of the direc­tors, Mina Kaze­mi, is start­ing her sec­ond year at Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to’s Vic­to­ria Col­lege this fall. The camp will have three ses­sions this sum­mer from Mon­day to Fri­day, when campers come to Mina’s house for team games, world issue activ­i­ties, social issue work­shops and more.

The co-founders and direc­tors Mina, her sis­ter Yas­min and cousin Julia Fal­co as well as stu­dent vol­un­teers bring the campers to places such as the local pub­lic pool, com­mu­ni­ty organ­ic farm, farmer’s mar­ket and Sal­va­tion Army. The goals of all these activ­i­ties are to give the girls lead­er­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties and an aware­ness of the dif­fer­ence between char­i­ty and change.

“We have expe­ri­enced the immense ben­e­fit that these oppor­tu­ni­ties can bring to your char­ac­ter and devel­op­ment as a leader,” says Mina. “We hope that all chil­dren could have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to thrive through these expe­ri­ences. We also believe that expo­sure to how one can make a dif­fer­ence for oth­ers can have a deep impact on youth and thus a very pos­i­tive influ­ence on young girls grow­ing up.”

Anoth­er key goal of the camp is boost­ing the girls’ con­fi­dence through help­ing oth­ers, being pas­sion­ate about what they’re doing and learn­ing about how the media affects young girls’ self esteem.

“The improve­ment of the girls’ con­fi­dence becomes appar­ent as they try new activ­i­ties, feel part of a team and take on lead­er­ship roles in fundrais­er plan­ning,” says Mina.

Besides run­ning these ses­sions, the camp is look­ing into fund­ing for more schol­ar­ships, ses­sions in oth­er com­mu­ni­ties, work­shops and pre­sen­ta­tions at ele­men­tary schools and an envi­ron­men­tal­ly con­scious play called Mind­shift at the Dun­nville Sec­ondary School.

Stel­la Puel­la, Latin for “star girl,” had its first ses­sion in 2008. Mina and Yas­min grew up with a lot of camp expe­ri­ence of their own, espe­cial­ly at their par­ents’ Glob­al Lit­er­a­cy Field School in Ek Bal­am, Mex­i­co. Mina has also attend­ed the Free the Chil­dren Acad­e­my as well as UofT’s Make the World Change course. This sum­mer, she is involved with her local com­mu­ni­ty farm and work­ing at the Peel Sum­mer Acad­e­my. All of this expe­ri­ence has led her to glob­al health and anthro­pol­o­gy stud­ies at UofT.

“Run­ning a camp has taught me a lot about work eth­ic and con­sis­ten­cy and has giv­en me con­fi­dence in the knowl­edge that with deter­mi­na­tion you can suc­ceed,” she says. “The abil­i­ty to under­stand dif­fer­ent peo­ple and hav­ing the tools to help them seems in line with what I hope to study and what I thrive to pro­mote at camp.”

Vis­it the Stel­la Puel­la Face­book page for more infor­ma­tion.


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Mina Kaze­mi

Co-founder, direc­tor Camp Stel­la Puel­la
Stu­dent, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

Jes­si­ca Lewis
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Assis­tant
Fac­ul­ty of Arts & Sci­ence
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to