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!

Thank You for an Amazing Benefit!

A heart felt thank you to our donors & to all who attended the Sophia Camp Benefit, April 18.  Our success would not have been possible without you.  Click here to view our photo book, lovingly crafted by photographer Shannon Jones.

sophia benefit 2015Thank You Donors!

Women’s Museum of CaliforniaSolare LoungeGingerly Wax, Laura PlumbChef Joann, Wild Willow Farms, Recipe RenovatorMission Surf, Gingerly Wax, d Forsythe Unique Jewelry, Aroma Vedic, Often Wander, Noon, Ginseng Yoga, Coronado Taste of Oils, OTR Girls, Eva Brune, Amanda Collins, Tah Groen Jewelry, Nature’s Wisdom, Fitzee Foods, Free Bird Yoga Massage, The HOT SPOT Pottery Place, Shannon Jones Photography, Humming Heart Events, Jenifer Richardson, Ed Fink, Lindsay Willrick, Regina Bernal, Lauren Grace, Casa Del Rio Properties LLC, Marjorie MacKenzie, Trader Joe’s, Alina Cruz, Morgan Andersen, Andi Marshall

What Is Sophia?

Carolyn Sanders-Kull, our camp director, & her granddaughter Jordan
Carolyn Sanders-Kull with her granddaughter Jordan

Recently, I was asked the question ~ What is Sophia and why does it matter? According to Wikipedia, in ancient Greece, Sophia was the term for Wisdom. Sophia is known as the feminine counterpoint to the masculine. She is the “Spirit which circulates through & binds together…” She is divine wisdom.

To me, Sophia is an open heart, she is the essence of Love. She is the light in the darkness, the whisper on a dark night ~ she is the dark night that gives birth to new life. The Radiance of the moon & the light of the stars, she is the radiance shining through my eyes. And courage, courage to follow my path… to light my path, to be the light.

Sophia is passion & compassion. The calm in the storm & sometimes the storm. She is grace, forgiveness, surrender. Not giving up surrender, but yielding surrender ~ trusting what isn’t seen, what is still unknown.

Sophia is homemade soup and ginger for my tummy. The voice of mother, grandmother from a time long ago. Sophia is that ancient wisdom, that small still voice ~ the innate knowing when we listen.

And why does she matter? Because she is an open heart, the very essence of love. She is the light in the darkness & the radiance that shines through my eyes. Divine wisdom, before there was time. Let us remember her through the wisdom of our grandmothers, through the wisdom of the land. Let us remember her in the waters. Respecting her voice when we hear it in others, when we hear her in ourselves.

With love,

Carolyn is a graduate of Deep Yoga’s Mastery of Life program, Director of the Sophia Camp, and a stepmom & grandmother to four beautiful girls.  Her life’s work is to mentor young women.


Valentine’s Day Self-Care

Happy February ladies! Hope you’ve had a beautiful year so far.

A highlight for me this past year was definitely being invited to share my passion with all of you by showing you how to make a few self-care products.

craft-table morgan a
Campers and Moms at our Sophia Camp Reunion –  Morgan is second from the right.

I’ve been swapping beauty tips since I was a kid, so it makes sense that I became an Esthetician. Now my job is to pamper and educate people on achieving happy healthy skin. In school I learned healthy skin comes from a combination of lifestyle, diet, and self-care products. So then, in my mind great skins must stem from the kitchen.

That’s where I keep my ingredients for life. Delicious meal supplies that double as ingredients to make natural skin care. It’s a playground where I mix up all kinds of goodies that enrich the body from the inside out, as well as to treat from the outside in.

When I hear “February” a few things jump into my mind. Love, chocolate, and roses. Valentine’s Day is a great time to get all your girls together and celebrate love with self-care that incorporates these items. I’m talking about delicious and edible facial masks that provide your skin with deep nutrients, can help clear acne, hydrate, repair and balance skin. All while you get to play with your girlfriends looking like a chocolate mud monster!

The Benefits of Rose & Chocolate

a rose from my garden

Roses have long a symbol of beauty. Originally, admired for their fragrance and elegant pedals these flowers were once used by the Greeks and Romans to perfume their bathes. Roses remain widely popular ingredient in the beauty industry today. In addition to their esthetic appeal and fragrance, they offer deeply healing benefits to the skin.

Remember the rose water cleanser we made this summer? Well, did you know that it was acting as an antibacterial (giving you a deep cleanse), anti-inflammatory (reducing any swelling/irritation), giving your skin a strong dose of antioxidants (stay looking young forever), hydrating, relaxing, and toning your skin? It’s mind blowing… To think, I have this powerful skin revolutionizing tool growing in my front yard.

Let’s talk raw Dark Chocolate. This definitely a favorite treat of mine. Its deep luxurious flavor seems to “hit the spot” anytime I have a piece.

Plus, eaten in small amounts it provides many health benefits for the internal body and skin. How delightful that we can enjoy our chocolate by eating it, or covering ourselves in it. When consumed raw dark chocolate aids digestion, and help reduce stress by balancing hormones. Similarly, it helps balance hormones on the skin when used as a facial/skin mask. Provide your skin with antioxidants that support collagen to keep skin supple, hydrated, prevents fine lines, and even can repair UV damage from the sun.

Now that you know the science, here’s a fun Chocolate & Rose mask idea for you girls to try out!



1 tablespoon Dark Chocolate
1 tablespoon Olive Oil, Almond Oil or Coconut Oil
2 tablespoons Rose water
Option: Add Avocado (essential fatty acids help hydrate)


Warm the Chocolate until it becomes liquid. stir together with 1 your chosen Oil,  and the Rose Water. Add in the the optional Avocado (will make mask thicker) if desired. Mix together well.

Check the temperature of the mixture to be sure it’s comfortable before applying. If it feels good, begin to spread the mask onto your face and even bring it down your neck. Let sit for about 15 minutes, just long enough to take some silly photos! Then rinse clean with warm water.

Enjoy! I’d love to hear how your skin feels after, and see those chocolate mask photos, so please be sure to share here in the comments! Happy Valentine’s Day ❤

Keep Shining,
Morgan Andersen

For more on Edible Beauty, check out this post Laura put on her blog. I love her poetic writing style, and she’s also listed a few recipes you might have fun with.

Sophia’s Story

Sophia’s Story
A short story by Sophia camper Ella Friedman

This is the story of a girl who was able to conquer the hard times we have also faced or will face in life…the struggle of finding yourself and who you are.

* * *

“And you, Sophia?”  I heard a slight sound familiar to the name I was given at birth, so I popped my head up from my desk out of curiosity.

“What, huh?”  I looked around to see who said that and why they said it.

“Well?  What’s your answer Miss Eden?”  as she pointed to the board gesturing towards where I should be looking.  Sadly I didn’t know the answer, or even get the question, but I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of over 30 people and a well educated teacher. Well, maybe it’ll be fine if I play it cool and admit to not knowing.

I must have convinced myself that she would not hear me and let it go if I said it soft enough, but that didn’t work, so I had to repeat myself and say it louder.  “I don’t know” I tried to say louder, but still mumbled.  At first the class was completely silent, probably waiting for the teacher to say something, and she just said “well, you would know if you had paid attention” and took a pause before going back to teaching.

Half the class was laughing and half the class was oohing.  My face was red and felt weird from trying to strain my eyes from breaking out in tears.  I plopped my head back down to doodle some things I’ve been drawing lately, almost unconsciously.  These doodles have been coming to mind after I went to a lecture the other night and heard about the personalities of the elements.  It’s kinda cool actually, the Ayurvedic teaching of the elements relates specifically to you and yet still relates to literally everyone else in the world.  At the lecture they said you usually have traits of only up to three of the elements, but I think that’s to make people with only that many feel good about themselves, considering I related to all five.  Either that or I was different from everyone else.  Anyways, I’ve been drawing fire and water, stuff like that.

* * *

I was in the middle of a conversation with my best friend, Megan, when the bell rang for the end of school, and Megan stood up like she was staring into the face of death and started to walk out of the class, when she said bye over her shoulder really fast, and I said it back.  Megan was such a type A personality. Every one and thing had to be perfect and on time, like what she was just doing.  She had soccer practice and couldn’t be late, because she wanted to get the most out of her lesson.

I stood up and casually walked out of the classroom, smiling and waving to the teacher as we both uttered the word “bye” at the same time.  After I left the school I headed straight to the park.

* * *

I sat down, swiping my hands under my pants so when I landed on the dirt it would be smooth.  I gently placed my head onto the side of the tree and breathed out to relax.

I took out my phone and earphones, so I could listen to some music. I popped the shuffle button of my music, closed my eyes, breathed a long breath in and out, and looked around at all the nature. It was calming here, I truly felt alive, besides when I was doing something useful. It’s weird how I like to do completely different things and yet they merge to make, well, me!

* * *

“Well, does anyone know what they are?” the teacher looked in the eye of random people in the class hoping one of them would share.

The teacher was teaching us about how there are the five elements – fire, water, space, air, and earth – and how they can relate to the “dosha” or personality traits of people. Fire (Pitta) dominant people enjoy an efficient metabolism and a hearty appetite. They are also considered intelligent, aggressive achievers. Space and air (Vata) dominant people are quick, alert, and restless. They can walk, talk, and think quickly. As for water and earth (Kapha) dominant people, they are also leaders, and are strong but loving, tenacious but calm, and blessed with wise tolerance.

A girl I had seen around school a lot raised her hand and said “I am fire and space,” with confidence.

“Well, sure. Does anyone else think they are THREE or more?” no one raised their hand so I did and said “I think I relate to all of them, but I’m not really sure,” and I waited for a response.

“Well that’s great. There aren’t that many people like you, but it proves how much of a leader you can be if you put your mind to it.” A true leader will possess the gift & ability to see and relate to things from many different perspectives.” She glanced at me and smiled then looked at the rest of the class. “Well, maybe we could learn a thing or two from her.”

* * *

“Hi, my name is Sophia Eden, and I’m both a journalist and female rights activist. I visit countries around the world and write stories that shine the spotlight on things that are unfair and unjust. My hope is that by bringing these things to light through my journalism, I can help solve the problems that war and the devastation that comes with it brings, especially to women and children. Do you know how I accomplished all this? I worked hard and learned from my failures and struggles and I celebrated my successes. I knew what it took to be a leader, and I accepted that being a leader meant that I had to be true to myself and the things I believed in this world – and then I used that knowledge and experience to help others.”

The applause brought a smile to my face, because I finally knew how to lead others and embrace myself.

* * *

EllaElla is at middle school in Orange County & attended our Sophia Camp in 2014.  She is a writer who has published numerous science fiction stories online. 

Sophia Camp Reunion Leadership Keynote

katy on leadershipAt our recent Mother-Daughter Sophia Camp Reunion, Katy Taylor was our guest speaker. She talked about how we can learn from our defining moments, including the ones we experience as girls and young woman, to help grow and become an authentic leader.

Katy said, “Being a leader means being able to be gracious and respectful while also being assertive. It means being calm and steady in times of turmoil. A light that guides.

Think about what experiences you have had that you have learned from. How will they help define who you are… and how you lead?

When I look at you, I see beautiful people who are smart, capable and competent. I hope that you show up as your authentic self knowing that you can lead with your heart and you can respond to every situation by being life giving.

Be who you are. Be your authentic self. Be open to possibilities and opportunities.”

KatyAbove all, Katy reminded us that it is important to remember:

“You are a beautiful person.
You are smart, capable and competent.
Listen actively.
Be graciously tenacious.
Lead with your heart.
Choose to be life giving.”
Thank you, Katy, for your immense wisdom, and gracious, fearless leadership!