ogram that teaches young girls life skills and focuses on physical activity, is launching a summer camp in Southern Oklahoma for the first time this year. 

Camp GOTR, a weeklong summer day camp, is a new addition for the local branch of the national organization. GOTR of Southern Oklahoma Director Erica Gay said her branch is one of only a few in the country introducing the summer camp program. 

“This is really the beginning of Camp GOTR all over the country,” Gay said. “We’re one of the few adopting it right now, and we’re designing the complement to the curriculum.”

Camp lasts from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. One camp in Marshall County will begin Monday, and will be be located at Madill Elementary School. A second Ardmore camp will start on August 6 and be located at Church of Christ on Merrick Drive. The Marshall County camp will be funded by the Texoma Health Foundation. Gay said slots at both camps are still open, and between Marshall County and Ardmore, GOTR will host roughly 65 girls. 

“This is our pilot summer camp,” Gay said. “This will be our first opportunity.” 

Gay said the GOTR curriculum has been adapted for the new program. The after-school program’s curriculum covers life skills like forming friendships, resisting peer pressure and maintaining a healthy self-image. The summer camp’s curriculum will focus on managing emotions. 

The after-school programs culminated in the annual Glow Run 5k during the Ardmore Corporate Fitness Challenge. The summer camp will still focus on physical activity, but instead of a run, they’ll finish out the week with a gallery walk showcasing their artwork. 

Gay said the majority of the summer camp’s coaches have already participated in the program, but they’re still looking for new applicants. 

“I’ve had a couple of calls from girls in college who want to be a part of it,” Gay said. “I think it’s a great idea for college students looking for some kind of volunteer project.”

Gay said that while the mornings will be relatively structured and follow GOTR curriculum, afternoons will be reserved for what she’s calling Dream Development. The complement program will involve taking girls to businesses for tours and inviting panels of women from different fields to speak to the campers. 

“That’s exciting, that we get to be doing something other GOTR counsels across the country might later adopt,” Gay said. “We’d love for women to come to us and say ‘Hey, I’d like to be a part of a panel.’” 

This portion of the camp will also include a career assessment specifically aimed at children. 

“The survey pools all that information and tells them what career they might want to consider,” Gay said. “I just think as a community, we’ve gotten away from exposing our kids to different careers. It limits for kids, when there’s so many different things to choose from.”