CAPE MAY — On Saturday, Nov. 16, Lower Cape May Regional High School once again hosted a successful “Girlz Rule” conference for fifth- and sixth-grade girls, sponsored by the Soroptimist International of Cape May County organization. Eighty-eight girls from Wildwood, Lower and Middle townships, Cape May and West Cape May took part in workshops designed to give young girls tools they can use to succeed in life, to build self esteem and to have fun together. Assisting in the workshops were 21 high school girls, 10 Girl Scouts and numerous Soroptimist volunteers.

They started the day with a fun craft project, learning how to make a paracord bracelet, then moved on to building an electric circuit to power a minion and learned the right moves for physical fitness. Coast Guard Training Center commanding officer Capt. Kathy Felger was keynote speaker. Felger captivated the attention of the girls with her stories about sailing as a young girl in Indiana, her experiences being the only woman shipboard on some of her assignments in the Coast Guard, and being in command of a ship on a rescue mission for a ship in trouble. She also spoke of the role of the Coast Guard in marine safety, environmental issues and the monitoring of U.S. ports.

At the end of a great day, a meal of pizza, salad and cookies was served by the Girl Scouts.

Co-chairpersons of the conference were Mary Rose Bispels and Karren Barr, teachers at Lower Cape May and Soroptimist members. Soroptimist International is a global organization that has a chapter of 58 women in Cape May County. Their focus is to empower women and young girls in Cape May County through awards and scholarships, leadership conferences and visits to nursing homes. They also support many community-based organizations such as Coalition Against Rape and Abuse and The Family Promise of North Cape May. For more information about Soroptimist International or to become a donor or member, see

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