My favorite part of the final week of Eureka! was Eurekathon!, which was a celebration that consisted of dancing, singing, eating, and taking pictures. It was the last time that we would see and interact with the girls, so it was an emotional experience.
At the beginning of Eurekathon!, we did an activity that was called “Tap a Girl Who…”. Beth, the leader of the activity, said various statements such as, “Tap a girl who made you smile throughout Eureka!,” and we walked around and tapped each girl that her statement applied to. It was encouraging to be tapped by the girls because it made me feel that I had impacted the girls through making them laugh, being a leader, and engaging with them.
Throughout the celebration, the girls wrote us notes, and the DukeEngagers, the Girls Inc. staff, and I wrote in the girls’ yearbooks. I loved reflecting on the memories that I had made with each girl as I wrote in their yearbooks. Additionally, a couple of the girls from each class gave speeches. I enjoyed listening to the speeches because I got to hear how Eureka! had had a positive effect on the girls’ lives. For example, one of the girls stated that she had always found it difficult to make friends, but it had been different for her at Eureka!. Eureka! was a place in which she felt welcomed and accepted, and she wanted to make other girls feel that way as well. It was clear that the girls had benefitted from attending Eureka! and were grateful for the friendships and the memories that they had made during camp.
As we all said our goodbyes, I was surprised at how emotional I became. I had not accepted the fact that I would not see the girls again. I hope they will remember me because I will remember them. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to participate in this program and to develop friendships with girls that are strong, smart, and bold. I know that they will have wonderful accomplishments in the future, and I cannot wait to hear about them.