Aberdeen Youth Outreach: Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

Since 1886, we have committed ourselves to empowering young women and girls. For the past 22 years, we have focused that commitment by sponsoring leadership camps for junior high girls.

The camps and retreats offered provide leadership and spiritual growth opportunities for young women. Through speakers and interactions, we strive to teach these girls skills they can use to discover their own inner strength based on Christian values. Days are spent being physically active, learning ways to make healthy decisions and to be proactive at school. They also learn ways to increase their self-esteem and grow in their faith, deepening their connection with God. We believe these camp experiences are influential in the daily development of these young women as well as helping them become better leaders into the future.

This past year, we expanded our leadership reach by becoming a sponsor of the Girls on the Run Program (GOTR). This nationwide program is located in numerous cities throughout South Dakota and this was the first year in Aberdeen, where 20 young girls in grades three through five participated in the program. The values and vision of GOTR parallel those of the Sisters’ Leadership Camps, with each program promoting the physical, emotional and spiritual health of each individual young girl. Presentation employee Jenny Dix volunteered with the program as a coach.

Jenny expressed, “This program is super fun because each lesson is something different. The girls learn about friendships and living life with balance, they learn to connect with one another using good social skills to encourage themselves and others to never give up. Plus you do all this while training to run a 5K at the end of the program lessons. It’s amazing!”

Inspirational thoughts from our Leadership Camps

This camp has such a special place in my heart. It has had a lot to do with my faith formation and who I am today. It gave me a sense of purpose at a young age. I have had the privilege of being a camper, junior counselor and now an adult counselor. Every year, I am reaffirmed in the power of this camp.

After camp, I hope to teach other girls that they can be leaders too. I will now wake up every morning knowing I’m beautiful. This camp has motivated me to do many things in life. I will get farther in my schooling and become someone great!

I’m so grateful to be given the opportunity to be at this camp. Each day is filled with love, knowledge and fun activities. I hope that this camp never ends so that more young women can come, learn about God and our faith, and leave as leaders like I did.

I had fun when I was doing the challenge course. It made me think, “never give up and you can do anything – just have faith in yourself.”