We asked parents to share their perspectives on the camp, and the value of the camp for their daughter. Below is a compilation of the responses. If your daughter is a current or former camper and you would like to contribute a testimonial, please use the contact page to reach out!
My daughter first heard of this camp a few years ago. She has always loved marine biology and could not wait until she was old enough to apply. We were so excited when she was selected. She is a very dedicated student, but can be an introvert. It can take her awhile to open up to new people and we were unsure how she would do. We were cautiously optimistic. She enjoys one-on-one friendships, but sometimes big groups can be overwhelming. OCG has been the most amazing experience for her. Every day she comes home and talks about activities she completed, other students she works with and friends she feels she has made. She is excited every morning to see what experiences are coming next. This program has fueled her love of science and ignited her passion for oceanography. She will be entering the biomed program in high school next year and hopes to go to college for biology in the future. She has loved being in a camp that fosters a positive environment with other girls who also have a passion for the same interests. I have heard her say…”this has been the best 3 weeks of my life.” What a wonderful gift that is for these girls. Thank you for an inspirational experience that will last with my daughter for a lifetime!
— Jenny, mother of Julia, camper in 2018
I think this was an excellent program to introduce the girls to. A great age to plant the seeds for what is to bloom later. When my daughter started this program, she had her head set on being an international entrepreneur. She wanted to run her own successful company. She has taken many business classes; also, web design, graphic design and different coding classes. She has really set her sights on an international business driven course structure. If you know my daughter, she is very driven. Very goal oriented, always meets her goal; no matter what. As a parent you sometimes worry, what if that doesn’t work out? Would she feel like she missed the mark?
OCG, has given her new ideas; with that comes new goals. She was able to learn new things about herself and what other interests she could enjoy as a career. This camp offers exposure, and I think at this age, that is what they need to keep them interested and engaged. You are as much as you experience. I will mention that we held on to the application we received at the USF Pinellas County STEM fair expo. I believe it is now three years ago. There was a female from National Geographic, we thought. She was the speaker that year. She gave a presentation about this program, OCG. My daughter has waited since 6th grade to come to this camp. It was a great moment in time to watch her go through the phases leading up to now. I thank you for your imprint on my daughter’s educational foundation and look forward to seeing what she will contribute in return as the years go on.
— Brandy, mother of Sage, camper in 2018
Why is your daughter at camp? After watching a documentary called A Plastic Ocean, Mckenzie became interested in learning more about the how plastic is affecting our oceans and animals. She wants to study to be a marine biologist.
Why are you excited that she’s at camp? I’m excited for her to have had hands on experience while learning about data collection and research. This camp is a learning experience she will always remember.
How has this camp helped or challenged or supported your daughter? The camp is helping to support her decision that she wants to study within the marine science field. She has learned more about coral, sediment, and geology and is even more excited about college.
Do you think this experience would be beneficial for other young women? Yes!
— Jazmen, mother of Mckenzie, camper in 2018
OCG was AMAZING for my daughter! She has had an interest in the ocean and marine sciences since Kindergarten! This camp was an amazing opportunity for her to figure out if her passion holds true today and whether or not she will be seeking a career in this field. Our family feels so incredibly lucky that she was chosen to participate! Abby made new friends, learned a lot, had fun and, most importantly, says her decision is made! She will seek her degree in Marine Science from USF St. Petersburg! Your program is a true blessing and we are forever grateful. May you continue to touch the lives of girl scientists for many, many more years to come!!!
— Holliday, mother of Abby, camper in 2018
Note: Some parents choose to answer our prompts, others chose to write something more freeform. Some content may have been edited for grammar or clarity, but otherwise is as contributed to us.