10 Jul We are the Champions, my friend
One of the most profound aspects of G Day’s evolution has been around its relationship with Champions – G Day-speak for parents, step parents, god parents, grand parents, mentors and other adults taking a meaningful role in raising youth. In my daughter’s world, my husband and I are under no illusions whatsoever that we are the sole influences or sources of support for Gigi. She is surrounded by a host of Champions: people who are unquestionably there for her, in some cases offering a different perspective or form of understanding than we can. Yay Champions!
When we held the first G Day – less than 18 months ago, where has the time gone? – we thought that it was just a day for girls. It was: and it was amazing, perfect and wonderful. To be truthful, however, even before April 28, 2014, I had fielded several requests from parents wanting to be there as well. I gently put them off. It wasn’t until the feedback forms started pouring in afterward, saying things along the lines of “My daughter loved G Day, but next time can I come too?” that I really started to get the picture.
For the next event, held six months later, we added afternoon programming for parents and others – Champions – to see whether we could deliver an experience that celebrated girls as well as families and the broader community. Long story short, the moment of the Champions forming a human passageway to welcome the girls was the highlight of the day, and changed G Day’s meaning forever. From there, we went on to offer full-day programming in Toronto, and found the groove in which we will continue for the foreseeable future.
Just to be clear on who and what a Champion is, in the G Day Village it includes any adult – or older sibling – who is actively supporting a girl in reaching her full potential as a healthy, self-actualized being. It is often falsely assumed that G Day is just for girls and their Moms or female identified parent(s). Not so, and in fact this has never been the case. That said, the two Champions who appear in this video happen to fall into that category, but I hope that you’ll agree that their feelings and experience of having been adolescents themselves is universal.