Enlightening. This Duke engage experience has definitely opened my eyes to more areas of the United States. Not only in a physical sense, but I have also gained exposure to what some of these girls go through on a daily basis and the problems that they face.
United. Overall, Eureka camp has brought us closer together as a DukeEngage cohort, and closer to the campers and to the other staff. We bonded through both feelings of frustration when something was not working out and through love and empathy we feel towards each other.
Respect. This summer has taught me numerous lessons in respect and what it really means. First and foremost, respect is earned not given. With the campers, this was not an easy task because I always wanted to befriend them but they also need to view me as a figure of authority. By the end, I was able to figure out a good balance of the two and earn their respect.
Energy. Overall, Eureka was a draining but worthwhile experience both physically and emotionally. Often, campers would open up to me and share their stories. Other times, we would play an enduring game of ultimate frisbee. Even though I felt drained at the end of each camp day, I knew I was making a positive impact in the girls’ lives.
Kindness. Although camp is supposed to be a happy place where the girls should get along, kindness was something that was not always there. There were some instances of bullying where girls were bringing each other down. As a result, we taught lessons in building girls up and universal kindness.
Adaptive. Last but not least, I certainly learned how to adapt to numerous situations. Things often did not go as planned and we had to change plans. I learned how to think on my feet and quickly adapt to whatever situation was thrown my way.