Teaching a girl to be independent is not just about teaching her to think for herself, but also to learn for herself and do for herself. In my opinion, nothing should be off limits for a girl to learn or try! For instance, did you know that learning to change a tire can be a metaphor for life? It is! We teach our girls at Camp Lantern Creek that every summer and I have taught my girls that, and now I am going to teach you how learning to change a tire is a metaphor for life.
At Camp Lantern Creek, we teach campers how to change a tire on an old beat up pick up truck that we spray painted every year. Why do we do this? Because it’s a metaphor for life. I think changing a tire is a life skill we should all have. It’s quite honestly, a perfect example of being independent. I am not saying I could do it with my eyes closed, but I know that I COULD do it and that my two daughters COULD do it, which means that they are independent enough to handle a situation that many could not. That’s what we want for our daughters, young women, and ourselves! I want my daughters to know that thinking outside the box and learning things that might be thought of as “taboo” for girls, is a good thing. That’s how we change the world! One tire at a time, one girl at a time!
In addition to teaching canoeing, drama, art, sewing, swimming and the more typical camp activities, we teach girls how to use power tools in a class called Rosie’s (after Rosie the Riveter). It doesn’t matter that the girls master the use of the tools, but that they understand that they can try to! They learn how to use a hammer, the different types of nails or screws, how to use a Mitter saw and what one looks like. They also learn how to spray paint and create art from old bikes! It’s all about teaching the girls to think outside what is “normal” for a girl to do because they could find their passion or they might locate the courage to try something new, which leads them to one day find a cure to cancer. Who knows!
The young women who learns to change a tire realizes that she can think differently and help right the world and make it a better place to live in. It might be through community service, it might be through art, it might be through politics (don’t we wish we had more options??). Changing a tire is a metaphor for pushing the boundaries and that learning a skill, any skill, empowers you. Once you find that power, no one can take that away.
So let’s learn to change a tire, sing a song, laugh a lot, love nature, swim, make waves, win gracefully, lose gracefully, tell a story, act, paint, make a mess, write your story, right the world, push boundaries, find your voice! And let’s help our daughters do that as well!