We work hard at making a safe, comfortable environment for our counselors and girls, and day by day listen to what they have to say, ask questions about what they want and how we can help. We work with the girls to plan meals, community outings, and find activities that we can do together.
We have "sister" houses, where we can have all-house meetings, outings, and groups with more than just one house, but not so large that it is overwhelming.
One of the activities we use is the "WHO ARE YOU" chart. We divide a page into two columns, and title the columns:
WHAT DO PEOPLE SAY ABOUT ME WHAT DO I SAY ABOUT ME
We have the girls write as much as they can and then we ask how many comments are in each column. We ask them to compare the two columns, and ask if the things in the first column have an effect on what we put in the second column. We ask if the things in either column have an effect on their thinking and behavior, and how it ultimately effects how they feel about themselves. We close with asking them to write one positive truth across the bottom.