The girls gather in a circle between activities. Photo Credit: Bret Matthew

- By Bret Matthew, Northborough Daily Voice -

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Erin Mahoney doesn't waste time when she leads a Girl Power session.

Just as soon as the group of Northborough Brownies from Troop 30851 gathered in he Town Hall gym Friday afternoon, Mahoney turned up the boom box and led the third-graders in some fast-paced warm-ups.

"I am strong!" she chanted. "I am smart! I am amazing!" The chorus of girls echoed her, growing louder each time

"Be fabulous, and don't let anybody tell you differently," Mahoney told them.

The afternoon session was an offshoot of Mahoney's Girl Power program, which recently cam to Northborough. A personal trainer, Mahoney aims to teach young girls how to live healthy lives and build their self-esteem. In many ways, the lessons are similar to what Girl Scouts, Brownies and Daisies learn.

"A lot of the messages are the same," said Rachel Howe, who works with Mahoney.

And yet, the program offers "a lot of things these kids have never experienced before," said Maria Boeckeler, the girls' troop leader.

For example, after they finished warming up, Mahoney led the girls in some basic kickboxing techniques. They ducked and weaved to the music as Mahoney led them in uplifting chants.

"Remember, do not do these moves on brother, sisters, dogs and friends," Mahoney cautioned.

Friday's session was the first in a two-part series Mahoney is running for the Brownies. If they complete it, the girls will have a chance to earn the "My Best Self" merit badge. The secon session will be held Oct. 19 at 5 p.m. at tthe Town Hall gym.

Just like in school, at the end of the day the girls received a homework assignment. But this one was a little different than what they were used to.

"Your homework is to do one thing a day that makes you happy," Mahoney told the girls.

For more information about Girl Power sessions, visit the Northborough Recreation website.

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