Who Needs “Wife Camp?”

I just read an article online about a new camp in Montreal for 10-14 year old girls. This camp isn’t teaching girls how to be better soccer players or musicians, or even give girls a chance to take important and safe risks so they can gain confidence and create a strong self-esteem foundation.

Rather, Makeover Camp at the Lambda School of Music and Fine Arts is all about teaching young girls social refinement and how to be “ladies.” As in, “improve their posture, voice, table manners, conversation skills, wardrobe choices, makeup application, hostessing skills and music appreciation.” According to the camp’s website, their mission is “instilling confidence, social etiquette and grace in an atmosphere of fun and friendship.”

From the article:

“We see a lot of young ladies who can benefit from a makeover program,” said Angela Chan, director of Lambda and co-creator of the camp. “They need to develop their presence.” Marc McCreavy, an industrial designer and interior decorator, will teach the girls how to host events and decorate a table. “It’s important to learn about appropriate topics of conversation and appropriate attire,” he said.

Seriously? No wonder critics are dubbing Makeover Camp “Wife Camp.” I mean, did we just flash back to 1950?

While the creators of the camp insist their purpose is to instill confidence in young girls by teaching them how to be “appropriate,” this is a serious disconnect for me. To even teach young girls that there are certain ways to “be” and “act” seems like it would make girls feel less confident in simply being their imperfect, creative, wonderful selves.

If we really want to set girls up for success, why not focus on teaching them how to follow their passions, speak their minds, and know they are perfect just as they are? Now that’s one camp I would have liked to attend when I was younger…


  1. Iryna Said,

    June 28, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

    This isn’t really related to your post, but I just wanted to say that I received “The Double-Daring Book For Girls” a while ago and am absolutely loving it! Thanks again for hosting the contest! Also, I’m half-way down reading your book “Chill” and I’m really enjoying it! I borrowed the book from the library but I’m thinking of buying a copy for myself . . . Thanks again for writing such an informative book!

  2. dreber Said,

    June 28, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

    Thanks Iryna 🙂 So glad you like CHILL! Knowing how to not get stressed is definitely a good skill to have!

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