CUMBERLAND, B.C. – What’s being described by one of its founders as a ‘coming-of-age’ summer camp for teen girls is coming to Cumberland.

Running from Aug. 13 to 19, the inaugural ‘She Wonders’ day camp at Innisfree Botanic Garden and the surrounding forest is for girls between the ages of 13 and 15. The camp runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day leading up to an overnight camping experience on the weekend.

Brumby Berge, who is running the camp along with Tasha Archer, said participants will “journey together daily into the wilderness… exploring themes of choice, curiosity, authenticity, fear, vulnerably and courage through art, song, stories, dance, crafts, wilderness challenges, games, sister circles, ceremony, council, guided imagery, camping and more. This experience culminates in a full weekend overnight coming-of-age ceremony ripe with opportunities to discover the self, others and the natural cycles that surround us.”

Part of the ceremony is a “severance, of this child going out to the wilderness for the night and then returning a new being,” according to Berge.

The idea of a facilitating a young women’s group was born about three months ago noted Berge.

“We were contemplating that we would be doing weekly sessions or whether we wanted to do an actual rite of passage,” Berge said. “The main basis of this camp will be a coming-of-age ceremony over the weekend. The days leading up are prepping for that coming of age.”

Berge described coming-of-age as celebrating the transition to a new stage of life.

“It’s recognizing that and (discovering) what kind of teenager they want to be and what kind of experiences they are hoping for,” Berge said. “We really want to teach these girls how to listen to their intuition through their teen years, because teen years can be so complex.”

Berge said our culture, there is a very long gap of time between childhood and adulthood.

“When this delay between puberty and adulthood is not filled with mentorship and a guided coming into one’s self, there can be a distinct lack of understanding and purpose to the wonder years,” Berge said.

“This precious time of exploration and risk taking, of self-discovery and challenges is now typically peer driven instead of guided. How can someone uninitiated know which risks are worth taking or who to listen to if they have not discovered within themselves who they are? What’s important to them, what makes them happy, who they are in their family and community as they grow out of childhood.”

Cost is $330 per participant. To register, call the Cumberland Recreation Centre at 250-336-2231.

Additionally, She Wonders is running a free afternoon program for mothers interested in putting their daughters into next month’s summer camp. The session runs this Saturday, July 14 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. To pre-register, email [email protected]