Summer Institute

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Digging Into You: Preparing the Soil for Adult-Youth Partnerships 

A Hardy Girls Social Change Summer Institute  

June 22-24, 2016 in Freeport, ME

for more information and to register, email

Girls aren’t the problem. They’re the solution.

The Hardy Girls Social Change Summer Institute is a cross-sector, three-day training starting from a place of hardiness and muse theory. HGHW believes it is not the girl, but the society where she lives that needs to change.

However, the work first begins with the muse – you! Before empowering girls to create a world without limits, adults must examine their own relationships with society and stereotypical gender norms. Based on the research of Dr. Lyn Mikel Brown, Hardy Girls programming emphasizes a strength-based approach to working with girls. After growing and thriving in hardiness zones, girls become activists who can and will affect social change.

This is the heart of Hardy Girls Healthy Women’s revolutionary Summer Institute. Join girls’ development expert Lyn Mikel Brown, EdD and other experts from Hardy Girls Healthy Women this summer  to learn how to work with girls to create a better world.

Set in beautiful Freeport Maine, this three-day intensive training will feature the latest theories about girls’ health and development and offer proven methods for supporting girls’ voices and scaffolding girls’ activism.

Participants will leave with the knowledge and skills to:

Support and inspire girls to voice their thoughts and feelings
Cultivate “hardiness zones” – safe spaces where girls learn what it means to work in coalition and become allies
Teach media literacy skills to girls
Support and scaffold girls’ activism
Engage girls in their schools and communities to create change

Who Should Attend?

Educators, school nurses, and school administrators
Staff in girl-serving organizations
Health professionals
Community health planners
Counselors and social workers (up to 16 hours of continuing education credit available to social workers by the NASW)
Summer camp operators
Members of faith communities
Parents or family members of girls

About Our Trainers

Our trainers include widely acclaimed researcher, author, activist and girls’ development expert, Dr. Lyn Mikel Brown and HGHW President Kelli McCannell and Program Director Christine Bright. Additionally, high school-age members of our Girls Advisory Board and our college-aged Muses who facilitate our Girls Coalition Groups will be present.

Location and Directions: The 2016 Summer Institute will be at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, Maine.

Registration Fee: $600

  • You can register and pay online using our online registration form. If you would prefer to register over the phone or pay by check or purchase order, please call our office at 207-861-8131.
  • Your registration includes lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments for each day.  You will also receive a digital copy of Hardy Girls’ girls coalition group curriculum (From Adversaries to Allies, Stronger Together, or Summer Sisters), and the companion facilitation guide Becoming a Muse.
  • Cancellation Policy: Full refunds are available up to 30 days before the start of the program. Participants who cancel between 30 and 14 days prior to the start of the program will receive a 50% refund. We apologize that we are not able to give refunds for cancellations made within 14 days before the start of the program. However, in some cases, you may be able to transfer your registration to someone else at your organization. Please contact us for details. Hardy Girls Healthy Women is not responsible for the cost of non-refundable airplane tickets due to cancellations.


There are limited scholarship funds available. To learn more or apply, please visit our scholarship application form here.

Where to Stay:

Rooms are available at the Freeport Hilton Garden Inn.

Travel Information:

  • By air – The Portland, Maine airport is about 30 minutes from downtown Freeport, and is served by many major airlines. You may get regular taxis and rental cars at the airport. Boston’s Logan Airport and the Manchester, New Hampshire airport are both about 2.5 hours from Freeport. Rental cars are available at all airports.
  • By bus – Buses run directly from Boston’s South Station and from Logan Airport to Portland. Taxis to Freeport are available at the Portland bus stations. Please visit for details.
  • By train – Amtrak has regular passenger train service from Boston’s North Station to Portland and to Freeport. For more information, please visit

Visiting Freeport, Maine:

Come visit Maine this summer! Freeport is a beautiful New England village filled with interesting shops, outlet stores, and many restaurants, all within easy walking distance of the Hilton Garden Inn. Whether you’re shopping the LL Bean outlet just a block away from the training or taking a relaxing walk at nearby Wolfe’s Neck State Park, you will find plenty to enjoy. Freeport is just 30 minutes from the restaurants and other attractions in Portland as well. Please visit or to learn more about visiting this beautiful area.

Maine weather in June can be unpredictable! Although the weather is usually warm and summer-y, be sure to bring a sweater, jacket, and rainwear, especially if you plan on exploring the outdoors during your visit.

Here’s What Past Summer Institute Attendees Had To Say:

“This training has reshaped my thinking about feminism and girls ‘activism. It has also forced me to reflect on my own journey as I continue to create hardy zones for myself!”

“I learned how much energy and capacity girls have for doing their own thinking and work – with me supporting them instead of attempting to do the work for them.”

“It’s ok to let girls go for it and ‘fail beautifully.’ It is better to learn and grow then never try at all. I don’t need to protect them from failing.”



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