SpyCamp is offering a couple of weeks exclusively for girls this year. We got a chance to catch up with founder Sarah Cooper of Adventurous Sports to find out why she created these exclusive weeks and what’s so special!
A: We saw the vast majority of Spy stories had male heroes and were told from the male perspective. Not just adult media like James Bond, Jack Ryan, Jack Bauer, etc, but also the kids Spy movies, like Cody Banks and StormBreaker. Thankfully, there are starting to be stronger girl storylines, from adult TV series Covert Affairs and the brother-sister team of Spy Kids movies.
We wanted to personalize that – giving girls their own hero-identity with stories, images and of course skills they could apply to their own sense of confidence.
We’d like to create an experience and a space where girls feel comfortable expressing themselves, taking risks in brainstorming mission challenges, and making friendship bonds that aren’t be overshadowed by boy energy.
Plus it’s a great opportunity for us to do more strategy & team-oriented missions. It’s just a reality that at this age (6-11), girls are better collaborators and planners. (That said, our SpyCamps do tend to attract the empathetic “lets-help-them!”, science-thinker boys.)
And it’s a perfect fit with our own philosophy of Brain over Brawn. We say, “A Spy’s best weapon is her brain” and in teaching self-defense moves as part of self-confidence we always emphasize addressing an opponent with diplomacy and mental strength, using physical contact as an absolute last resort. For both genders, we teach this in a very playful way, but that “I can do this” mentality sticks with the kids.
Q: What are the big differences in the weeks that are just for girls?
A: We’ll be telling the stories of female heroes, both fictional and real, and sharing images of women & girls as leaders and saviors. Our missions will have a greater reliance on teamwork, and we’ll have more female Instructors (for skiing, snowboarding, fencing, soccer, etc) and female Operatives (both good & bad guys!).
Q: Tell us some of the things girls tell you (or you overhear) about their week as a spy.
A: We overhear a great deal of compliments between the girls and an eagerness to try new things. The Operative Role (“friendly” or “enemy”) is one that girls gravitate to and grasp. It’s really inspiring.
But the girl spy cadets don’t know their own strengths yet. We hear the boys talking about their own accomplishments, but the girls tend to talk about the group’s success. We’d like to give the girls some more to boast about in their talking points :).
Thanks for talking with us Sarah! We know some sneaky, smart girls who are going to LOVE this! Have a look at the current Spy Camp schedule here.