Dean’s Report: Detroit 2020

When we made the decision that the only safe way to to hold camp this year was going to be online back in mid-April, it was impossible to imagine what it would feel like and look like.  How would we convert a camp that is built on relationships, to a virtual setting, and also stay focused on…building relationships? Would our focus end up being to “just survive”?  Just hold on to our kids for a year, until hopefully things go back to normal next summer?

And now, here we are, halfway through Math Corps Summer Camp 2020. 

There are challenges, of course.  Our beautiful kids had to “meet” their teammates through a screen.  They had to learn how to navigate Google Classroom and do their homework on a tablet. They have to continue to stay focused during team time while at home, which is no easy task.  Our kids are wonderful, and persevered through the hard stuff.

Our CIs are amazing.  These college students are truly the best young adults I have the privilege of knowing.  They arrive early each day to get their Zoom classrooms ready for their TAs and PAs, and of course their students.  They work through their lunch, because their kids just want to spend more time with them.  They host before and after camp tutoring sessions for their kids.  Our CIs took the lead on their afternoon activities, and they are keeping their kids engaged into the afternoon with their leadership.  The kids love the time with their CIs, and the activities are engaging and fun.

And our TAs and PAs?  Well, they have always been the heart and soul of the Math Corps, and this year is no exception.  These high school kids are truly exceptional, fully dedicated to their kids, and to each other.  They seek out different strategies for teaching their kids, from each other and from staff.  Most importantly, they are constantly trying different ways to connect with their kids through a computer screen.  One of the best parts for the day is during debriefing after camp, listening to our TAs and PAs offer up to each other various creative and unique ideas for connecting with their kids, They are some of the most dedicated humans I know.

We did not need to be worried about just surviving, or just holding on to a few kids for the summer. 

We are not simply surviving, we are thriving.

We are not just “holding on”.  We are taking off.