Rachel Simmons, a bestselling author and educator who works internationally to empower young women, will lead “Courage Boot Camp,” a four-part workshop on healthy risk-taking for students, faculty and staff at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield.
Students will learn how to set realistic goals, take risks successfully and overcome fear of rejection through fun, hands-on activities, including putting themselves in actual situations where they get rejected. Learning to be brave and handle awkward moments is a skill. With frequent exposure to the situations we fear, we can grow the muscles we need to deal with fear and go after what we want in life.
“We are so pleased to welcome Rachel Simmons to our campus. Ultimately, the purpose of ‘Courage Boot Camp’ is to give girls the tools to find and share their unique voices with the world, which is a fundamental piece of the mission of Stoneleigh-Burnham School,” said Sally Mixsell, Head of School.
Ellen Carter, Director of Counseling at Stoneleigh-Burnham, said the goal of “Courage Boot Camp” is to provide support and guidance to allow girls to take healthy risks, a skill that will carry them into adulthood. “The need to always be ‘right’ and ‘perfect’ can leave many girls stopped in their tracks,” Carter said. “The workshop will help them navigate situations that are outside of their comfort zone and help them push their edge. Making mistakes is normalized and celebrated while we support each other.”
Simmons, who lives in Northampton, is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence. As an educator, Simmons works internationally to empower young women to be more authentic, assertive and self-aware. The co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute, she is an experienced curriculum writer and educator. She currently develops programs for undergraduates at the Center for Work and Life at Smith College in Northampton. She has previously worked as a classroom teacher in Massachusetts and South Africa. She has appeared on Oprah and the Today show. She was the host of the PBS television special, “A Girl’s Life,” and her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Atlantic and Slate.
The workshop will be held at Stoneleigh-Burnham School from 3-4:30 p.m. on four consecutive Mondays, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, 10 and 17. Twenty-five students in grades 10-12 and five members of the faculty and staff will participate.