This free camp will teach girls in Hampton Roads about independence, setting goals and life skills

On Oct. 6, teenage girls throughout Hampton Roads can attend the annual Girls Camp at An Achievable Dream Middle and High school in Newport News.

The Girls Camp is a free one-day event to teach girls ages 13-18 about independence, setting goals and other life skills.

Volunteers will teach workshops that range from body image, self-esteem and healthy vs. unhealthy relationships. The girls will also have a chance to win prizes.

Tina Vick, the vice mayor of Newport News, started the event in 2013 as a preventative measure to educate and empower girls from making bad decisions in regards to finishing school, job training, financial independence and having children at a young age.

“A majority of decisions they make now will determine what will happen later,” Vick said.

This year, the event will have two new workshops about sexting and self-defense titled “Not Me” instead of “me too.”

Vick said there will be “no sugarcoating” during the workshops and hopes to have a police officer present for the sexting portion to help girls understand the ramifications of sending naked pictures of themselves.

In addition to the workshops, participants will also hear from a panel of women to show the girls that it’s possible to have a career without a degree.

Vick, who grew up in public housing in downtown Newport News, wants girls to see the women and say “she made it and she’s from down here, so I can make it too.”

The panel speakers include Teunsha Vick, a real estate agent in Newport News, Nikki Finely, a business professor from Hampton University, and Renita Parker, a computer specialist and founder of the nonprofit Good Seed, Good Ground.

The 2018 5th annual Girls Camp will be at An Achievable Dream Middle and High School, 5720 Marshall Ave., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The 5th annual Girls Camp will be at the Achievable Dream Middle and High School on Saturday, Oct. 6 in Newport News (HNNDaily Photo/ Courtesy of the City of Newport News)
(Southside Daily Photo/ Courtesy of the City of Newport News)

Lunch and snacks will be provided. Registration is required and seating is limited to the first 100 girls.

For information, call 757-751-2933 or email

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.