SHINE Camp in Tupelo prepares girls for 7th grade

The Junior Auxiliary of Tupelo sponsors the camp, which teaches self esteem, healthy habits and other key traits for success

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – It has been a week of art, good food, new friends, and wisdom from area leaders like Juanita Floyd, who told her story of growing up during desegregation.

48 rising seventh-grade girls took part in this year’s SHINE Camp, a project of the Junior Auxiliary of Tupelo.

SHINE stands for Strong, Healthy, Independent, Non-Judgmental, and Empowered.

Tara Roper is chairman of SHINE and said the goal is to prepare the girls for middle school, and beyond.

“We have lots of speakers who tell them about their bodies, how things change, how it affects their mental health, and things like that, some of these are hard topics, not discussed at home, we’re trying to put a spin on it to where it’s a positive learning environment for the children,” Roper said.

Soon-to-be seventh graders said they have learned a lot from the JA members, who volunteer their time. They also had a lot of fun.

“It will help me to know not to rush my life, make sure I take care of myself and be nice to others,” said Laleike Gordon.

“You will love this camp, it teaches you about hygiene, how to be safe on the internet, stuff like that,” said Chloe McClinton.

“I have learned a lot of things, how to be a good friend, save myself for marriage.  I like the people here, thought they were going to be high schoolers, but they ended up being grown adults, which I like, they’re all very nice and I feel like I can tell them anything,” said Camree Hubard.

Stepping into seventh grade can be a tough time for young ladies. There are lots of uncertainties and lots of questions. That’s why the JA of Tupelo put together the SHINE Camp, to make that transition easier.

SHINE Camp is one of the many projects by the Junior Auxiliary of Tupelo that helps children across the area.

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