Notes from Windward: #69


Herland Annual Chess Tournament

An outreach program for gifted young women

Oana writes:

     Since Windward's forest has a lively 40-acre primitive campground, we want to make good use of the sunny June weather to host events there. One of the things the campground has is a life-size chess board. We've been throwing around the idea of holding a Chess Tournament there, using the chess board as our tournament space.

     However, this is not your run-of-the-mill Tournament. It is aimed at building resiliency in 8th-grade girls by connecting them with each other and with adult women acting in the role of Big Sisters -- professional women who do what they love and do it well. The idea is to spend a June weekend camping in a refreshing atmosphere, playing chess, sitting by a fire, and making lasting connections with women of all ages.

our campground in winter

     The Little Sisters (the 8th grade girls) will come from school districts within approximately a 100-mile radius of Windward. The Big Sisters can be from anywhere and do anything, as long as they feel they can connect with and relate to young women at this critical time in their lives. Eighth grade is a critical time for many talented girls who fear that they will not be able to pursue what they most enjoy doing because peer pressure pushes them away from "hard sciences" such as physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and computing. This Tournament will be a way to support them through the transition into high school. It's our hope that the tournament will create a way for girls to make important connections year after year, which is why we are calling this our Annual Herland Invitational Chess Tournament.

     Our goal is for the top four girls at this Tournament, that is, all the Semi-Finalists, to receive college scholarship funds in recognition of their achievements. The winner of the First Place Prize would claim $1000, Second would claim $500, Third would receive $300 and Fourth Place, $200. We will also be building a set of Adirondacks to give the campers more protection and comfort in the campground. All of these things take money, of course, and although we have planted lots of different sorts of trees, we haven't found any that grew money directly. So, we are looking for Sponsors to make this important Tournament event become a reality for these girls. Please consider donating on our web page.

     If you have any questions at all, whether you would like to Sponsor, be a Big Sister, or are simply curious, do please check the Herland Chess Tournament web page for contact information.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 69