For girls with mothers in prison, a summer camp offers much-needed support

For three days each summer, the Girls Embracing Mothers (GEM) camp near Dallas gives girls an escape from their daily reality of being denied a normal relationship with their incarcerated mothers. Founded by a lawyer whose own mother was incarcerated, GEM combines typical summer-camp fun with trust-building exercises. During camp and afterward, the girls become part of a community of peers who understand each other's trauma – which puts them at higher risk of dropping out of school, mental health problems, and homelessness – in a place where they need not feel shame for their mothers' status.

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