Tech Trek Dorm Mom Musings
There is a week in July that is permanently on my calendar, when Tech Trek’s Camp Curie is hosted at Stanford. 2016 was my second year as a Dorm Mom at this marvelous weeklong science and math experience for girls entering 8th grade and once again, I had a blast. Here are my top reasons for wanting to return for a third year.
Teck Trek girls are fascinating. You’ll meet girls from vastly different backgrounds. One mother shared her harrowing story of escaping sure death in Croatia and the equally harrowing saga of making it to the United States, while her daughter filled my head with Croatian customs and traditions throughout the week. I was stunned to find out the level of violence that my girls experience at school – 80% had experienced a real school lock down and 50% don’t feel safe at school. On the brighter side, teenage girls are funny, and I laughed and laughed and laughed still more.
Science and math are fun. If I had my career to do over, I’d pursue a STEM field. You’ll meet amazing professional women who are creating films at Pixar, working on the James Web space telescope, helping California farmers save water and more. Dorm Moms are welcome to sit in on any of the fascinating classes. You won’t believe what comes out of an albatross’s stomach unless you attend the marine Biology class!
Tech Trek is a good diet. Both years I lost 5+ pounds during the week, running around with my girls. This year my dorm group took me under their wing for dance lessons and I became quite proficient with several new, cool dance moves. I love walking and had plenty of chances to take walks with my girls and other Dorm Moms. The campus is beautiful with much to see.
Jane Stanford co-founded the university. Mrs. Stanford was a true partner in the establishment of Stanford, and she made sure it was co-ed from the beginning. She also ensured the school’s commitment to the arts, which is front and center with the art scattered around the campus. My girls particularly enjoyed the Stanford family totem pole which tells the story of the family and their dreams for the college.
College life is the same and different since you went to school. You definitely get a sense of what it is like to live on a college campus today, and you won’t believe the amenities provided. In the dining hall there are machines designed to fill water bottles with carbonated or still H2O. The food is a lot healthier and you have many, many choices from salad bar to hot entrees. The rooms are still small and shared bathrooms are the norm. While some classrooms are air conditioned, the dorms are not.
Teck Trek is an experience. This week is like no other week for me. My only child is a 25 year old son so hanging with teenage girls is a trip for me. I keep hearing there is something called “girl drama” but so far I have seen no evidence of it at Tech Trek. The other Dorm Moms are a hoot and it is great to meet members from other AAUW branches.
Tech Trek is rewarding. The week is completely inspiring and you really feel like you have made a difference in girls’ lives. The home sick camper who became a leader; the pushy girl who learned how to work in a team; the insecure camper who left with more self-confidence; the anxious girl who conquered everything: these are the stories that unfold during the week, but you know that the girls are taking away so much more.