Flash back! It seemed as if I were back at school for the first day all over again. As nervous and excited girls crowded the elevator, we had already started off on the right note as one of our youngest campers pointed out that being packed so closely together was instantly creating a “bonding experience” among the rest of us. When the elevator finally reached the 7th floor, I could feel the excitement just pouring out of the gym.
As I poked my head inside the gym to simply get a taste of the energy that had clearly taken over the atmosphere, my adrenaline had already started soaring at the thought of working with these 140 excited and energetic girls.
Within about 20 minutes, our first group of girls started to file in and sit down in anticipation for the start of our workshop. Attentive, engaged faces were all we needed to see in order to recognize that class was now in session.
A warm welcome seemed to be the only thing that was needed for the girls to feel comfortable and ready to learn. We then introduced ourselves and began to break down what exactly it means to be “a first.” When we opened up discussion with the girls, I can say on behalf of all of us, we were thoroughly impressed with their answers. Girls saying that they wanted to be the first in their families to be journalists, judges, doctors, and even attend graduate school. The depth and complexity of their answers were not only impressive, but also empowering to us and the rest of the girls sitting in the room.
After getting down on their level and really diving into their goals for their own futures, we then went ahead and passed out a survey. The survey would include questions about social media, and their usage or feelings on it. For handing in the survey the girls were rewarded with a lovely She’s the First sticker, and a handout that mapped out the instructional information of the challenges we would present to them in weeks to come. After Kate went through the handout, together with the girls we creatively brainstormed a Social Media Code of Conduct, and discussed the do’s and dont’s of their tremendous new superpowers.
In the coming weeks, the girls will be hard at work creating Tweets, submitting content for the Tumblr blog (ExplorersTYWLS.tumblr.com), and taking pictures to post to Instagram. They’ll learn not only how to harness their creative energy, but to use it for good as their strongest superhero power. With that being said, it couldn’t have been more perfect than to leave the girls with a special quote from the Spiderman movie. Kate closed the workshop by leaving the girls with this powerful statement: “…with great power comes great responsibility.”
Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts as we continue our journey with the @ExplorerTYWLS girls!