Skip to main content

This has been our fourth and final week of full-time work at Girls Inc. Orange County before Eureka! camp begins in earnest next week. While we have completed the vast majority of the planning and preparatory work for Eureka! in previous weeks, this week has been extraordinarily useful as a time to tie up many loose ends in our various projects and to ensure that we as a staff are ready to run everything as smoothly as possible during the next few weeks of camp itself. Final touches we undertook this week included completing and combining our parody lyrics for the staff song that we will perform on the first day of camp (definitely a step far outside of my own comfort zone!), holding English and Spanish parent orientations for the families of the girls who have registered for camp, brainstorming and developing puzzles and structure for CSI week crime, and meeting with our site coordinator to get feedback on our planned STEM lessons. I was particularly grateful for the time that our Duke Engage Orange County coordinator Jessie Yates took to meet with us individually and let us rehearse our lessons. Her expertise as an educator who has been teaching online during the past year was invaluable in planning techniques for fostering effective online facilitation.

Most exciting to me this week, though, was the orientation we held for only the girls on Wednesday night. During this orientation, we laid out the broad overview of Eureka! camp and STEM topics this summer, did a couple of icebreakers with the girls in attendance, and gave instructions for how girls would pick up their material bags at the headquarters and set up their Canvas pages. It made me happy to finally get to virtually “meet” the students for whom we’ve been working so hard to develop engaging lessons and activities. Watching Girls Inc. leaders LC and Anna interact with girls who have attended Eureka! camp in the past and perceiving the mutual joy they felt at those girls’ returns inspired me, and I can’t wait to build meaningful relationships like that in camp going forward.