Junior High Girls Aspire Higher at SMWC Summer Camps

May 19th, 2014 | Betsy Wells

Summer Camps at The Woods
Middle schools girls dipped roses in liquid nitrogen during the 2013 TWIST – STEMsational Camp at SMWC.

As a women’s college, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) is an expert in providing a nurturing environment where young women can try new things, persevere through setbacks and see that strength of character comes when you give something another try. Summer camps at SMWC build a foundation for a successful life.

The summer camps at SMWC are designed to develop life skills, instill confidence and foster leadership skills. The week of June 23, SMWC is offering three summer camps designed specifically for junior high girls who want to aspire higher.

Summer camp is the perfect place for young girls to explore future careers and discover hidden talents under the guidance of faculty and professional businesswomen, who will have a lasting impact on their lives. Through one of these camps, girls can find a passion that they otherwise may never have explored.

Camp CEO

A four-day overnight camp (June 23-26), for girls entering grades 6-8, Camp CEO brings accomplished women executives to The Woods. This camp, in partnership with the Girls Scouts of Central Indiana, is designed to empower girls to become confident leaders who use their time and talents to benefit their community. The College is uniquely qualified to provide Camp CEO with its traditional focus on women and its highly successful Master of Leadership Development program.

“It’s not often junior high girls have the opportunity to meet top women executives in a small setting and to learn from them. This will be a great opportunity for these young women to ask them questions about their journeys and life experiences,” said Angie Hudgens, Camp CEO program director and assistant director of distance admission. “This will help them see more career options and to dream big. It will be a great opportunity for them to learn leadership skills.”

Women executives from organizations including GE Aviation, Girls Scouts of Central Indiana, Simple to Elegant and Terre Haute Children’s Museum, among others, will mentor participants during specific activities geared towards critical thinking and problem solving, leadership, entrepreneurship and networking. Other activities will include topics on career planning, goal setting, public relations, service learning, social media and marketing, team building, professional writing and more.

At Camp CEO, camp participants will be inspired by how real women started out just like them: a young girl with dreams, goals and challenges.

The Oakley Academy

A five-day overnight camp (June 23-27), for girls entering grades 6-9, the Oakley Academy is a camp centered around environmental science, a growing area of prominence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and professions. At this camp, girls will expand their knowledge of the environment, natural history and the connectedness among all things. Participants will use the natural environment of the rural campus and Lake Le Fer during hands-on activities including taking environment samples and interpreting the data.

“It is very important to get young women involved in Environmental Science because they are underrepresented in the STEM fields,” said Robert Jean, Ph.D., the Oakley Academy program director and assistant professor of ecology at SMWC. “A woman’s perspective on the environment is always a plus. In many cultures, women are considered to be the sex closest to nature, but men are often making the decisions about nature and often have more of a tendency to want to dominate nature. Environmental ethics would suggest we incorporate women into the decision making process about natural areas to encompass more of a nurturing or sense of caring into the decision. We need to tap into all of the pools of knowledge and experiences, and women offer a unique perspective for the environment.”

Outdoor experiences will enrich camp participants’ perception of the environment and the sustainability of it. They will learn to be good stewards of our planet within the natural beauty of SMWC’s campus.

TWIST (Today’s Women in STEM Tomorrow)

A five-day overnight camp (June 23-27), for girls entering grades 6-9, TWIST is an exciting, hands-on exploration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, powered by Duke Energy Foundation. Through indoor and outdoor science adventures, participants will learn more about the possibilities of a career in STEM.

Activities include exploring the natural habitats of The Woods and the species that thrive there, uncovering the possibilities of the digital world, discovering the power of electricity and other sources of energy and learning about the tallest trees in The Woods. This summer camp is filled with activities, field trips and special guests who will share their knowledge and expertise of STEM careers.

With expert faculty in leadership, environment, STEM and educating women, the benefits of SMWC’s camps are both immediate and slow to emerge. The Woods’ philosophy is never to underestimate the simplest lesson. While these experiences are fleeting, the impact often lasts a lifetime.

For more information about summer camps at SMWC or to register, please visit http://smwc.edu/camp2014.

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