Written by: Kyle Amergian
Just like that, Oceanography Camp for Girls draws to a close! Camp might be winding down, but it wouldn’t be OCG if we didn’t take time to celebrate all that the campers have accomplished. Yesterday was the final day of camp before our SeaWorld trip: OCG Celebration day! Celebration day is a day for the campers to distill down what they did during our lab sessions into a short presentation so that their families, friends, and peers can see what they learned! We did a lot of great oceanography during OCG, but science isn’t complete without being able to communicate what we discovered. When scientists present their work, they often do it at a conference where they either present a talk or a poster about their research. At OCG, each camper is a scientist, so the OCG campers got a chance to experience this first hand as they spent the day in their lab groups learning how to make scientific talks and posters! We broke out the glitter glue, poster boards and photos to make a visual representation of our goals, methods, and results on our posters. Posters need to quickly communicate to the reader what we did and why we did it, and they need to be able to do that without us mentors there to answer questions. Talks, on the other hand, give scientists a chance to speak directly to an audience and engage them face to face in our scientific process. Campers made presentations about their work, taking the audience step by step through the process of doing their labs, as well as communicating the big takeaways of what they learned. Completing a PowerPoint presentation, writing a script, and then standing up to present to a full auditorium all in one day is a huge feat, and each and every camper did an amazing job!
Once we finished communicating our science, it was time to communicate something else: our love for each other as an OCG family! We celebrated our campers with a slideshow of fun moments throughout camp, and got some shouts of laughter and excitement as our campers got to see both their baby pictures and camp pictures flash across the screen. This year’s camp was dedicated to Dr. Angela Lodge, who co-directed the camp for 20 years and whose impact on the camp was palpable tonight as the campers asked to give their parents a special performance of the songs they learned at camp that our staff learned from Angie over the years! We presented each girl with a certificate of her graduation from OCG as her peers clapped and cheered their support. As the night drew to a close, we thanked and celebrated all of our campers, lab leaders, mentors, peer counselors, directors, donors, parents, and awesome OCG fellow for making it a great camp! Everyone has a role to play in building each other up and supporting our OCG family, so we ended celebration day by doing our camp cheer all together.