This week was the first week of Girls Inc.’s Eureka! camp. Despite the exhaustion from waking up at 5:30 in the morning and getting back at 7 at night, being a facilitator has been both rewarding and enlightening.
One of the challenges I faced was adjusting to the role. I am more of an introverted person than many of my friends in the program and seeing them having the energy to be excited and bubbly throughout the day was a bit discouraging at first—most of the girls were more drawn to them and became friends with my peers almost instantly. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make the connections with these girls that I had set as a goal of mine in the beginning of the summer. Towards the end of the week, however, I realized that not all of the girls at the camp are extroverts either and I was able to talk and create bonds with those just like me—the quieter ones.
Another challenge that I faced was seeing the bullying that took place at camp. It was difficult to see that some girls weren’t having as wonderful as a time as others because of how the other girls were treating them. It reminded me of the bullying that was prevalent in my middle school but it was also shocking to see how intense it was. When I was in middle school, the bullying could be controlled at school because of the teachers and people were able to get away from each other at the end of the day; now, because of technology and social media, these girls are still in touch with each other even after camp has ended. Thus, as staff, our anti-bullying tactics have been adjusted to address this added element—an element that I did not personally have when I was going through this period of life.
It has been a successful first week at camp. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of the campers, getting to know more about them, and being able to create bonds with them. I have also loved being able to introduce STEM topics to them—the energy, creativity, and innovation that they have brought to the classrooms have been so inspiring. Now that I have learned more about the challenges that come along with being a staff member at a camp, I am ready to tackle the next week.