Lunch With Leaders: Meet Karyn Buxman

camp lunch with graceOne of the most talked about times at Sophia Camp is lunchtime. Not just because we get to rest and nosh, but because we get to have lunch with some of the coolest leaders of San Diego.

Our Lunch with Leaders Series, brings in dynamic women, one each day, from the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math. We have been blessed each year with women who don’t just know how to use a calculator – they know how to powerfully connect and inspire our Campers! We love watching these interactions.

ted karyn buxman

This year we are excited to welcome Karyn Buxman to our Lunch with Leaders Series. Karyn is a world traveller, speaker, author and neurohumorist. (Yes, a word she made up – in a fit of giggles probably.)

Karyn’s mission is to heal through humor. As a former nurse, she learned the power of laughter in her practice, and in the details of the research. Once Karyn saw that laughing is healing, she took her science to the road – in powerful, laugh-out-loud talks that uplift, educate and transform.

Watch Karyn’s Ted Talk here and you will see why we feel so lucky to have her ~

Karyn Buxman

Keynoter. Neurohumorist. Author.

Laughter with a purpose. Mirth with a message. Humor that heals. Keynotes and inspirational speeches that enlighten, educate and entertain. All from Karyn Buxman, who is not only funny, but who is a “neurohumorist” – one who researches the neurobiology of humor, and then translates these cutting-edge findings for the layperson, showing how they can harness applied humor to heal and empower themselves. Key messages include “Humor is power,” and “It’s more important to see funny, then to be funny.”

Visit Karyn’s website for more.

To register for Camp, please click here.

***Parents are welcome to join us for the Lunch with Leaders Series.

Sophia Camp 2017

New Moon Yantra
Collage by Sally Tinker 

She was finally able to see in others what she might want to become…grounded, able to see the beauty in all, fearless, expansive, joyful. There is no price on this sort of unfolding…

How would you like this experience for your daughter this summer?

This is what Sophia Camp is all about.

Our 2017 Sophia Leadership Camp for Girls is August 7-11, 2017 in Coronado. Our Camp has traditionally been for Middle School Girls – this year we have a program for High School girls too!

Our dream has always been to grow with our girls, and open up Camp with an impactful program for High Schoolers. This year we are realizing that dream, in a partnership with Coronado’s Soroptimist Club and their Dream It, Be It Career Mentorship program for high school age girls. DIBI is designed to provide girls with access to professional role models, career education and the resources to live their dreams. Dream It, Be It and Sophia Camp are a perfect alliance as we both share the same goal to affirm and empower our young women.

Sophia Camp is dedicated to cultivating self-esteem, self-regulation and self-care through Yoga, Ayurveda, productive play and expressive arts. We want to help girls know who they are in their core, so that they can bring the best of themselves to their lives. Because they deserve that, don’t you think?

Our Camp is designed to develop leadership and resiliency by connecting each camper to her truth, her heart, her wisdom, her life power. A week isn’t a whole lot of time to do that, but we do hear some powerful testimonies from our campers.

Above all, Sophia Camp is a great place to make friends, breathe deep and enjoy the august days of summer.

*** Announcement: Thanks to Dolores Forsythe and Banyan Botanicals we have three full scholarships available. We also want to encourage your daughter to share this with her friends, so we offer a 3-for-2 : 3 campers register for the price of two. Please write to me directly to learn more:***

To learn more, keep scrolling . To register, please click here.

cucumber eyes   IMG_1775  Camp Lunch   Camp Arts

Sophia Camp Testimonials

Thank you for an amazing camp. Our daughter usually does about 10 camps every summer and this camp has had such an impact on her that as soon as I picked her up on Friday she said please make sure that you signed me up for next year. She has not stopped talking about the memories she has made and the lessons that she had learned. I think you beautiful ladies for a wonderful camp. I wish you all the best of luck in any endeavor you have.
~Camper’s Mom


This week at Camp I learned about my fears. I learned that I was afraid for no reason, and that I can do the things I was afraid of. Like riding a bike, or making new friends. I have courage now. And confidence. I feel like my life will be better because now I know I can try new things. Even if it is hard at first, I know I can try.
~ Sophia Camper


Since my Mom and Dad separated I have been mad at my brother a lot, and unhappy and feeling a lot of stress. Sophia Camp has made me feel loved. People listen to me, and it showed me to breathe when I feel stress. Now, my Mom and I breathe together. And my brother says I am nicer. My heart is so big and so happy. Thank you!
~ Sophia Camper


The Sophia Camp was everything we could have hoped for and then some. There is such a strong pull on girls, and much of it can be negative, or at the least, overwhelming. This camp has shown the girls another perspective, one based in self-respect, self-confidence and in personal awareness and truth.  Emma came away with skills to stand firm and tall in who she really is, and to embrace her nature and naturalness. Every activity, guest, meal and project helped to build a greater sense of personal power through positive choice. We will carry the many joys and blessings of this magical week throughout the coming year, and then some. ~ Camper’s Mom


Thank you so much for holding camp and allowing Talia to attend. It was such a positive experience! Talia really enjoyed bonding with the other girls–that alone is priceless. It’s a gift to know that it’s possible to form new relationships outside the usual circle. She also very much enjoyed the pool time and the walks.

She talked quite a bit about the museum tour and dressing in period clothing, so I know that was fun for her. I also think the activity where others filled her journal with positive descriptors was really great. So often (particularly at this age), girls tear each other down. I am certain it was nice for all of the girls to experience the power of positive perception and acceptance.

Talia talked a lot about the camp counselors and seemed to really enjoy their perspective and spending time with them.   She looked forward to going every day and was sad when it was over (both signs of a really successful experience). She would love a reunion.

Again, thank you so much for everything. Honestly, it was all just GREAT.
~ Talia’s Mom


Thank you all for creating a space where our daughters were able to grow both separately & together. Ella enjoyed her week at Sophia Camp. She especially liked swimming & the self care products. She really seemed to be interested in the Ayurveda and the qualities specific to the different doshas. I also think the yoga may have contributed to some emotional release 🙂  All in all it was a great value, a wonderful week & a reunion sounds like a great idea!
~ Ella’s Mom


I for ONE couldn’t be more impressed w/ EVERY aspect of the camp, leaders, teachings etc ~ the girls were truly bonded by the end & Bryn looks forward to the “reunion” in the fall.  ALL involved received Value, Positive Encouragement, Support & BLISS! xoxo
~ Bryn’s Mom


And I just want to thank you both so very much. You might not know how much we needed this experience for Emma. I am eternally grateful that you welcomed Emma as a junior counselor…having her surrounded by such wonderful girls and by the two of you, by Marjorie and Meagan, Areli and Melissa, by each guest…she was finally able to see in others what she might want to become…grounded, able to see the beauty in all, fearless, expansive, joyful. There is no price on this sort of unfolding…I’m just so glad for Emma. I send you both much love….
~ Emma’s Mom, 2nd Year

2016 Sophia Camp!


Last year was a wonderful year for the Sophia Camp and we are endlessly grateful for all the support we continue to gain over the years. Our mission to inspire and empower young girls through values and leadership continues to draw interested community partners and individuals excited to support and grow our organization. In addition, our talented high school campers visiting from Italy crafted a gorgeous and heartwarming video to help us spread the word about Sophia Camp. Check it out (below this post)!

2016 is shaping up to be another exciting year as we transition to a fun and engaging leadership-based model. In the works are activities aimed at increasing self-awareness, managing failures to build resilience, identifying and anchoring our girls to their unique values and, of course, maintaining a culture of creativity, fun and wellness.

Keep visiting our site to learn about exciting updates throughout the year 🙂

~ Gianna

The Sophia Camp 2016 Movie

sophia camp

Camp this year was better than ever! We had such fun swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, boogie boarding, walking, biking and doing Yoga. There was so much learned and shared, and above all, there was such fantastic camaraderie.

As soon as the week finished, a few of the “Sophia leaders” – high school age Campers – got together to make this movie summary of Camp. We called it our music video as it is put to fellow camper Bryn Bennett’s song Be Who You Are. 

Let us know what you think of the movie made by our Campers. We love hearing from you, and appreciate your sharing.


A Typical Day at Sophia Camp

A post by our Sophia Campers Emma and Mapi ~

At Sophia Camp, we started the morning by doing yoga with Miss Morgan.

Morning Yoga

Morning YogaAfter that, we talked about the element of the day, like water, fire, space, air or earth.

Girls with Devi
Every day we went to the beach and swam, then we had lunch with leaders, which we all loved!camp lunch with grace

Beth Brummitt

Janice Hsu

IMG_7812 copy

After lunch, we made self care lotions and creams:

sophia camp selfcare-web

cucumber eyes
Then we went to the yoga studio, to write, draw and update our journals.


Joyce in Circle

sophia yantra
At the end of the day, we rested and meditated.


devitas shavasana

At Sophia Camp, we had a lot of fun and made lots of friends!
Here are some of our favorite photos! 😉


Sophia Camp Warrior Pose

camp circle_web
sophia camp play_web
Maizy Sabina




Thanks everyone!

With love,
Mapi & Emma

Period Pads for Africa

Kenya 2015_2

Sophia Camp has a friend in Days for Girls International. When Teagen McClain, San Diego team leader, stopped in last summer, campers sat around the coffee table hand-threading dozens of drawstring bags to hold colorful DfG menstrual kits that are now in the grateful hands of our sisters in Kenya and Malawi, Africa…

Kenya 2015Malawi 2015Days for Girls has teams all over the world, with local volunteers right here in San Diego who sew at home and meet monthly to cut fabric and assemble kits for traveling aid workers. They pose these important questions: “What if not having sanitary supplies meant DAYS without school, DAYS without income, DAYS without leaving the house? Girls use leaves, mattress stuffing, newspaper, corn husks, rocks, anything they can find…but still miss up to two months of school every year. It turns out this issue is a surprising but instrumental key to social change for women all over the world. The poverty cycle can be broken when girls stay in school.

All women everywhere have periods, and healthier options for people and planet are readily available for most of us. “From a common sense perspective, the choice to wash and reuse cloth menstrual pads is a simple one, akin to using stainless steel water bottles, cloth shopping bags or rechargeable batteries in lieu of their single-use counterparts.” So say the good people of Lunapads, Canadian makers of both cloth pads and the reusable Diva Cup. There is even a local company OTRgirls that will deliver organic cotton tampons to your door each month!

There are many ways to help. To learn more about Days for Girls please leave a comment in the space below.

Meanwhile we look forward to welcoming Teagen and DfG back to our Sophia Camp next week!

Camp Daily Schedule

Sophia Camp Schedule – Coronado – 2015

8-8:30 Arrive: Ferry Landing M, W, F & Coronado Community Center Park T, TH
8:30am Yoga
9-10am Themed Interactions:  Nature Explore  |  Exercises
10-11 Play & Swim
11-11:30   Park Play – M, W, F: Spreckel’s Park – T, Th: BoatHouse Park
11:30 Lunch with Leaders
12:15  Self-care Workshop
12:45  Coronado Yoga Studio
1:30 Journal
2pm Art Activity
2:45   Pack Up
3:00 Listening Circle
3:30 Restorative Yoga
4pm   Home: Pick up at Coronado Yoga Studio 8th & Orange
Sally will be returning on the ferry & your child can return with her as well – The ferry returns to the Broadway Pier at 4:45 pm. If you wish to use the ferry as transportation, please be prompt.

How We Get There Matters

Coronado Ferry
Photo: E-Coronado

We are excited to be hosting the Sophia Camp in Coronado this summer, where we have access to parks, beaches, nature walks and a delightful private Yoga studio. If you are planning to attend our Camp, or to just visit our little island this summer, we would like to offer a few green ways to getting there.

The Coronado Ferry is the most elegant way to cross San Diego Bay. For their daily journey to Sophia Camp, August 3-7, we’re inviting campers to gather downtown at the Broadway Pier at 8:00am to arrive just in time for morning yoga at the Coronado Ferry Landing. Each day the ferry will return to the Broadway Pier at 4:45pm.

Public Transit Bus 901 is another great resource both over the bridge from downtown San Diego, and up the Silver Strand via Imperial Beach for commuters from the South Bay.

Once you’re on the island, everything is walkable – and the city is providing a Free Summer Shuttle that runs every 30 minutes for locals and visitors alike. Check out all the low-impact and fun transportation options at the Coronado Visitors Center.

It’s part of our mission to care for the Earth as we learn more about self-care, self-esteem and self-regulation. Our aim is to make this a zero waste event by encouraging everyone to drive less, to bring lunches in reusable containers, and to compost leftover food, art supplies and anything else you can think of!

Thanks to Sally Tinker Smith, our Chief Sustainability Genius, for this research and article!