Maranatha News recently interviewed Pat Chacha, president and founder of Girls of Destiny.
Maranatha News: What is Girls of Destiny?
Pat Chacha: Girls of Destiny is a unique mentorship program that inspires girls to be “Stars in the Universe” by pursuing intelligence, physical and spiritual success. Our goal is to empower teen girls as they go through their teen years, to build self-esteem, develop social grace and radiate beauty from within.
MN: Can you tell us about this year’s camp and how long have you been running the camp?
PC: The camp began in August 2003 in obedience to the voice of God. At that time, I was a member of the counseling ministry at Kingdom Covenant Ministries and saw the effects of poor self-esteem on girls as well as boys. Teens were making inappropriate decisions and getting themselves into trouble. The Lord impressed upon me that if teens, who attend church, hear the Word of God and are having difficulty, what about those teens who did not have any spiritual mentorship.
Self-esteem is universal, and affects all, race, creed, religion and socio-economic positions. Girls of Destiny camp is an outreach to girls age 11-16, in the community and church. We teach girls that they are unique, valuable, intelligent, and are alive for a purpose. We help them appreciate their real self while developing coping skills. They learn that beauty radiates from the inside and what they observe in fashion magazines is usually not the real thing. The girls learn to get along with others and to contribute in an environment where everyone belongs and everyone is important. Since our first camp, we have had over 600 girls in attendance from church and the community.
Girls of Destiny camp, focuses around four signature programs: Personal Development (Image, Grooming, Health, and Modeling), Table and Communication Etiquette, and Leadership. Each year new workshops are added to diversify the program. Professionals who give their knowledge and time to the girls teach fun and interactive workshops.
We are excited this year to go on a field trip to a Loblaw’s cooking school where the girls will learn to prepare a 3-course meal. In addition, the girls will visit Mississauga Family Fitness for their morning exercise. Bollywood dance was a huge hit last year and Bollywood dance teacher Jenita Thakore will be returning this year. In addition, we are adding Latin and worship dance to this year’s camp.
Sharon Wickham of Celeste Designs, facilitates our ‘Dress like a Princess’ workshop. She helps the girls identify their positive traits, characteristics of their body, their body type and shape. At the workshop, they turn old skirts or T-shirts into new creations. Hairdresser Suzette Bakker of R& B Solution, teach the girls about the right tools and products for maintaining healthy hair. Professional makeup artist Aisha Chacha of Chacha Cosmetics, teach the girls age appropriate makeup and the latest trends. This year our leadership workshop is on making positive decisions. We also introduce the girls to specific careers and this year we will have the pleasure of having Johanne Robertson of Maranatha New facilitate writing and publishing workshop. Kor Kor Amegatcher, a graduate of Gloria Starr finishing school, teaches etiquette and social grace. The girls have fun as they perform skits and learn to set various types of tables.
We love to develop the leaders of tomorrow and some of our alumni return as volunteers and workshop facilitators. This year we are excited to have a former camper Teesha Roberts, an upcoming Toronto model teach our girls to walk with confidence and style.
Parents want a safe place for their girls to attend. They want value for their money, caring supervision and an overall positive experience for their girls. All camp volunteers are personally screened by myself and must be 17 years or older. A police check may also be required. During the week of camp, we get great feedback from parents as the girls talk their ears off when they return home from a day at camp.
Graduation Gala and Fashion show is the climax of camp. It is a formal event and a wonderful way to say good-bye to our campers. On Sunday August 19th the girls show their parents, friends and family what they have learnt at camp. The girls select Miss Congeniality, Miss Fearless and Miss Destiny and the crowning takes place at the gala. This year we are introducing an award called “Leaders Choice Award, where the winner will receive $100, towards school supplies.
MN: What age group are you looking to attract to this camp?
PC: Girls of Destiny camp is for all girls age 11-16. Girls are welcomed, regardless of their religious beliefs and ethnic background. The girls love the camp because it addresses issues that are important to them; such as beauty, friendship, modeling and dancing and so on.
MN: How many girls are you hoping to attract this year?
PC: In 2003 we started out with 25 girls and had one month to prepare for camp. In the past, we have held camp in Brampton, Scarborough, Milton as well as Mississauga. Average attendance 35-40 girls. Our maximum this year is 40 girls.
MN: Where is the camp being held?
PC: The Camp is being held at, Kingdom Covenant, Acorn to Oak Community Centre.
16-1224 Dundas St. East, Mississauga, ON
We are grateful for the partnership that has developed between Kingdom Covenant Ministries and Girls of Destiny.
Parents can contact Girls of Destiny office at: 416-891-8314 or email: email@example.com. They can also visit the Girls of Destiny website, www.girlsofdestiny.com. See events page, http://www.maranathanews.com/events/displayads/.
Read Part 2 of this interview with Girls of Destiny founder, Pat Chacha on Thursday morning, July 19th.
(Photos by: Girls of Destiny)