Heather Rivers, a Cosmetology student at CV-Tec, does Chelsea LaGrave’s hair while Tracy Donah of Look Good Feel Good beauty salon cuts Barbara Smith’s hair during Girls Night out at Beekmantown Central School.
BEEKMANTOWN — It was a night full of girl power at Beekmantown Central School as teens from local schools came together for National Women’s Day on March 8.
Girls in grades 7 through 12 from Beekmantown Central School, Northern Adirondack Central School, Northeastern Clinton and Saranac Central School met at Beekmantown High School for a night full of activities, bonding and fun.
The Girls Night was the first regional event of its kind for the school districts. Pamela Boulrice, counselor for Northern Adirondack Central School, has been hosting the event for several years for students at her school. This year counselors from the different schools wanted to join the students from their schools to participate in the program.
“It’s really beneficial for the girls getting together like this,”Tracey Moore, Saranac Elementary School guidance counselor said. “They are able to meet new people from other schools and participate in workshops designed to inspire confidence and team building,”
The guidance counselors worked together to sponsor the program with support from Excellus BlueCross and BlueShield, Sam’s Club, and the Walmart Foundation.
“It was over a year of planning and bringing in activities that we had done in the past and then getting the volunteers to help,” Moore said. “We are fortunate to have fitness instructors from SUNY Plattsburgh. Most everyone here is a volunteer or were sponsored through grants or by Excellus and Sam’s Club.”
The event was led by keynote speaker Heather VanArsdel, a reporter for Channel 5 News, who said self-confidence and motivation encouraged her to progress from the girl who didn’t make the cheerleading squad in high school to becoming a part of the Knicks City Dancers. She now owns her own dance studio in Plattsburgh and has a career in broadcast journalism.
The school was filled with various activities. There were many fun, team building exercises and there were more serious topics of discussion, like understanding the winter blues, keepers of the drum, developing your inner and outer strengths with physical therapy, writing journals, poetry and more. Members of STOP Domestic Violence held a program talking about teen dating, positive relationships and friend ships.
“These girls are at a very vulnerable age and now more then ever with text messaging and Facebook and the availability of constant contact,” said Michelle Liberty with STOP Domestic Violence. “It’s important they learn about healthy and unhealthy relationships, they might not be dating but it’s also about healthy friendships.”
Other programs included a text simulator provided by the Clinton County Sherriff Department where girls too young to drive were able to try to drive in a video simulator while text messaging.
Students from CV-TEC’s cosmetic program also was there to give makeovers, give hair cuts and style hair. Educational workshops ranged from making chocolate delights or grab and go snacks to making buttons and jewelry.
The girls were able to get their hearts racing with action-packed workshops including zumba, yoga, dancing, kick boxing, belly dancing, and the fitness room.
“We were happy to see so many were able to come and glad we could get the different schools together,” Moore said. “We hope to expand the program in the future.”