What girls say

What Girls Say about JOYW Girls' Circles

It's like a self-run school that helps me to learn how to be the best me that I can be while loving myself.

9-1/2 year old girl

There are no stupid rules.  We have norms that we all agreed on and which make sense.  Like no bullying or unwanted teasing.  We learned the difference between unwanted teasing and we're-all-liking-it teasing. You can look in their face or you can ask them.

12 year old girl

I don't want to leave at the end.  And when I'm away I miss it.  I miss the feeling. I want this circle to go on forever.

8 year old girl

It's not like with the girls at school. We all support each other, like sisters. No one makes fun of anyone's art. We can talk about stuff.

11 year old girl

Photo by JOYW Mentor Raina Gardner

We don't have to cooperate and no one called me uncooperative.  We use consensus to choose things and if you didn't get your way, everyone makes sure that it evens out the next time. We watch out for each other.

11 year old girl

We made Moon Baskets and my mom talked to me about menstruation.  I think she wanted to before ...

10 year old girl

Moon Basket photo by a JOYW Mentor

I don't know what they said to my parents, but it's different at home.  My dad and I are doing a Bridge Challenge and Mom lets me keep my room MY way... Like the families in one of those stories.

12 year old girl

I told my doctor that I didn't need my meds anymore because I found a place where I feel safe.

10 year old girl

We learned about apologizing in a connecting way.  You say what you did, what effect that might have had on the other person, and how you feel about it.  Like, sorry.

Then you can say what you wish you would have done if you had a do-over. You can say what you'll do to make amends. You can say what you'll do so it doesn't happen again.

And you ask the other person how they feel about what you said.  

And then it's like, you're really close then. 

14 year old girl

I like the sewing and the clay.  We can do anything we want with our materials.  We chat a lot while we're making what we're making.

We go outside every time to do mindfulness with the earth. I can feel it.

9 year old girl

Photo by JOYW student

My mom is going nuts with self-care because our mentor said that we don't need anyone's permission. It's like she discovered another planet or something. Why would you feel guilty for taking a bath? I don't get it, but I am going to make sure to do things that I really enjoy all the time. It's part of life and if someone wants to brainwash me otherwise, they can forget it.

13 year old girl

We got to light a lot of matches and throw them in a pail of water. We went crazy doing that, it was all steamy and smoky.  

We learned how to make different kinds of fires. We roasted cinnamon apples on a stick.  I want to do that every time but we don't. 

10 year old girl

We talked about reproduction and sex but it was different than at school.  We got to giggle even though it's sacred.

They even said that every vulva is unique and that we're in charge of our bodies.

I am in charge.

11 year old girl

From now on, I'm having strawberries dipped in chocolate for all my moontimes. My mum said I could.  I'm so lucky to be a girl. 

12 year old girl

We have a Big Sister named Amanda. Amanda showed me how to make a fortune-teller when we were supposed to be making flowers. Origami ones. Amanda says it's OK to sass back sometimes because that's what standing up for yourself sometimes looks like. I don't know if that's everywhere though.  [A Big Sister is an older girl from another Girls' Circle who helps out with a younger group.]

8 year old girl

I like the service projects.  Usually we make something to sell to raise funds.  We get to choose where the money goes and we mostly get to choose what we make.

I liked making watercolor cards.  And felt dolls!  We decided that we could keep one. 

10 year old girl

I like the feeling of it...  

We learned how to fix a toilet. Now we don't have to call the plumber.

10 year old girl

Talking Stick by JOYW Mentor Bobbi Farrell of Goddess-Inc

I like it because no one makes me talk.  I can be quiet if I want.  If I speak, everyone listens. We all listen to each other with the talking stick. There's one girl that talks a LOT and we listen to her, but now we have a timer so that we share the air.

11 year old girl

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