Bridging the Gaps
Bridging the Gaps Youth Camps are built to challenge teenagers to break down the barriers of gender, language, caste, and socio-economic status creating a transformative experience. Using the Katradi method, our camp is designed to overcome these societal barriers through sport (Ultimate Frisbee), art, dance and personal development sessions. An atmosphere charged with positivity and infused with non-judgment and respect provides teens with the space to make their transformation.
Our camps are designed to target two age groups – teens (participants) and college-aged young men and women (coaches). The majority of our participants and coaches are from underprivileged backgrounds, have never traveled outside their communities and normally would not be able to afford camp.
Client organizations can request us to create camps ranging from two to five days that are adapted to the needs of the community. Prior to camp we offer intensive facilitator training which provides tremendous personal development and leadership building opportunities for staff.
The BTG Fellowship invites NGOs from across India to participate in an exciting three month training program to build conversations with youth on gender using sport and art.
Selected NGOs will send two fellows (one experienced facilitator and one youth leader) to attend an opening workshop in September where they learn the BTG gender curriculum. They return home to facilitate this curriculum over the next three months with 100+ youth in their NGO. Fellows are also required to hold a gender-awareness event in their hometown in November to reach out to the larger community. Each NGO then sends youth participants that have shown potential to be game changers in the gender dialogue to a culminating BTG youth camp in December.
Over the course of the program, fellows will develop life skills, leadership skills, and civic engagement skills. They will acquire a deeper understanding of gender biases and how to initiate a dialogue among youth.
"First day of camp I didn't feel very comportable with my teammates, but during the t-shirt making process, I grew closer to my teamates because it was an activity that required two people to work together to accomplish."
- Camp participant, age 15
Teenagers from across India have had a 5 day transformative experience
youth coaches trained in Ultimate Frisbee, facilitation and life-skills
coaches and youth leaders trained to run a 90 min gender equality module
Indian youth have received a 90 min session & learned to bridge the gender gap
Why Ultimate Frisbee?
Bridging the Gaps teaches Ultimate Frisbee because its unique elements allow more opportunities for personal and team development than other sports.
Ultimate Frisbee is a 7 on 7 person game played on a rectangular field with two end zones developed in the U.S.A in the 1960s. The object of the game is to score a point by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone.
Ultimate Frisbee’s unique elements include:
CO-ED & NON-CONTACT
The sport requires boys and girls to play together on a team - an aberration to cultural practices within Indian communities where boys and girls rarely mix in sport.
Settling contested fouls through discussion between the players involved is a focus of the game – this facilitates open communication between players and fosters conflict resolution.
A Spirit Circle, unique to Ultimate Frisbee, have teams come together post-match and sit in a large circle making sure each person is seated next to a player of the opposite team. Camp Spirit Circles are held at the end of every sport session and are an amazingly effective tool to help youth build empathy.
Transformation in Action
"It was an experience of a lifetime. At the end I felt my journey to the far south was worthy and I felt the gaps being bridged. I believe it will surely help me in the days to come. I lived, loved and laughed with people I have met for the first time in my life."
- Coach, age 23
BTG's four core modules
A powerful game where participants see how our identities separate us and how easily we can come together. The BTG circle has tremendous impact and prepares the group for transformation.
Using challenging circus and acrobatic games, this module gets participants to trust each other and have tons of fun despite minimal verbal communication.
The name and logo making process invites participants to create a team identity based on shared values rather than words denoting power.
Finally, the gender module opens up key realizations on the extreme disparities between genders in India and how it affects both boys and girls negatively.