My goal this summer with Girls Inc. was to form real relationships with campers and to have a genuine conversation with at least one camper. I feel like this week I was finally able to accomplish these, because there was a turning point in my relationship with the campers. This week the Duke Engage students were able to have more of a traditional camper counselor relationship as we were able to stay with the same group of middle school girls for the whole week. This is the kind of setup that I was anticipating when I first started working at Eureka camp, because other camps that I had attended and worked at always assigned counselors to one group of campers for the duration of the summer. It took me a little bit of time to understand the way that students were rotated around at Eureka and I think that the modified schedule this past week helped me make those last adjustments to really solidify my relationship with campers.
This week I was with a group of incoming seventh graders and I feel like I was really able to get to know them. We were building robots all week and we were planning activities as we went as there was no exact path that the girls needed to take to understand the robots and the block coding that went along with it. It was more of a learn as you go kind of lesson and I think this relaxed aspect of it allowed me to joke around with the girls more. They requested quirky songs and danced to them with me and they started to seek me out to tell me stories about themselves or others. I am sad that it took until the third week for me to form the real connections that I had desired from the beginning, but I am excited that I still have another amazing week with these amazing girls.