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It’s Eureka! Ooh Ooh

Emily Ma

Throughout this second week, we prepared for the Family Fun Fest hosted by Girls Inc. At this event, families attending Eureka! meet staff in a fun orientation. To make it as fun and interactive as we could, we set up numerous stations around the Girls Inc. campus ranging from STEM to body image to the history of feminism. I took over the STEM table with another Duke Engage student, Katherine, and together, we made oobleck and taught the girls the science behind this strange substance. Although I was excited to meet the campers, I was also nervous since we would be making our first impressions and setting their expectations for camp.

Soon after we set up the stations and put up the decorations we had created, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach as I heard cars pulling into Girls Inc. One by one, the girls and their siblings trickled in and made their way from station to station. As the first group approached my STEM table, I eagerly smiled and introduced myself and my partner to them. These first girls made my job easy since they already knew what oobleck was and were third year camp veterans. However, this was not the case for everyone. There were some girls who were so shy they barely spoke a word and then others who were disruptive and threw paperclips into the oobleck. Nevertheless, we were able to settle these minor challenges and move forward with the day. Not only were we able to meet many of the campers and begin to bond with them, we also saw campers reunite with old friends and begin to make new ones.

Furthermore, meeting these girls and their families opened my eyes to their backgrounds. All throughout Girls Inc. training, we have discussed the socioeconomic backgrounds these girls come from. Even though, all of the girls spoke English, many of their parents did not speak a word. In one instance, I spoke to a girl whose mother only spoke Spanish and she told me about how she wanted to become a computer engineer and buy her mother a trip around the world in the future. As I talked to the girls about their aspirations, I grew more excited about camp and developing these relationships. Family Fun Fest was only a sneak peek of what camp would be like and I look forward to seeing these girls again and making their summers memorable.

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