Vinalhaven in 1997. Well, the first trick was learning how to take the ferry across without getting sick. After mastering that, the rest was much more pleasant!

One aim was to get more of the girls from Vinalhaven over for the Camden Girls' Conference, and with cookies, guest speakers, photographs, the bribe of an overnight in Camden, and promises of a good time, we increased Vinalhaven's participation from two to fourteen. Even larger groups of girls have attended ever since!

Blue Sheep Zine

 In the summer of 1997, four Vinalhaven girls started their own zine! Yep, Blue Sheep Zine hit the stands in August and sold out almost immediately! Proceeds went toward financing the Camden Conference excursion, as well as other opportunities for girls on Vinalhaven to be determined by the girls who work on the Zine. The girls published about three issues a year.

In the summer of 2000, filmmaker Beth Cohen worked with Vinalhaven girls on the Island Life Video Diary Project. During this successful summer workshop, girls watched documentaries by and about young people, talked about the images of youth these videos portrayed and how they challenged conventional media images, learned how to use video recording equipment, and shot footage of their parents, siblings, and friends sharing their daily lives - lobstering, sharing meals, working and playing outside, and simply hanging out. At least one girl is planning to take her footage to the next step, editing her footage together into a short film.

In November of 2002, the Girl's Point of View Book Club was born. The Club
has met November through April every year since then, every other week for
two hours. The goals of the Club are to create a safe environment in which
to explore new ideas and issues specific to teenage girls, to promote
self-esteem, raise aspirations, widen horizons, develop leadership skills,
and strengthen girls' sense of pride around being female. After a book talk
by school librarian Susan Dempster, the girls decide which books the group
will read. Girls lead discussions, assisted by adult facilitators. The
Club is still going strong- almost all of the 25 high school girls attend!

First few are highly recommended reads:

Speak (Laurie Anderson)
Dreamland (Sarah Dessen)
Hanging on to Max (Margaret Bechard)
Go Ask Alice (Anonymous)
Local Girls (Alice Hoffman)
Pedro & Me (Judd Winick)
Angus, Thongs & Full Frontal Snogging (Louise Rennison)
Make Lemonade (Virginia Euwer Wolff)
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brasheres)

The rest of the list:

The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
The Dive From Clausen's Pier (Anne Packer)
Child of My Heart (Alice McDermott)
The Basic Eight (Daniel Handler)
Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
The Princess Bride (William Goldman)
Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
The Girls Guide to Hunting & Fishing (Melissa Bank)
Stop Pretending What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy (Sonya Sones)
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (Dyan Sheldon)
Stargirl (Jerry Spinelli)
Feeling Sorry for Celia (Jaclyn Moriarty)
Things I Have to Tell You (Betsy Franco, ed.)

Resource Books:

Deal With It (Esther Drill)
By Girls For Girls
GirlWise: How to be confident, capable, cool & in control (Julia DeVillers)

If you'd like to be part of the Vinalhaven girls' group, contact:
Susan Dempster
P.O. Box
Vinalhaven, ME 04863
(207) 863-4404