Summer provides the opportunity for girls to spend more time with friends and family, to learn new things and maybe even discover a thing or two about themselves. When girls attend summer camp, they find new experiences and great opportunities to grow and have fun.

This summer, the YWCA will welcome a new group of campers, girls ages 11-13, to a different kind of summer camp. Camp counselors will introduce these young ladies to STEM-related careers and help them build self-esteem, physical confidence, cooperation and leadership skills through learning and hands-on experience. Our counselors get just as much, if not more, out of camp as the students. They especially love witnessing the bond that forms as the class works collectively on a project like building a miniature outdoor playhouse or picnic table for the YWCA’s domestic violence shelter.

This is not your mother’s day camp. More than 20 girls will spend time learning carpentry, auto mechanics, architecture, information technology, electrical wiring, welding, plumbing, surveying, tiling and more. And while those skills are truly amazing and life altering, they will also build unbreakable bonds with their fellow campers, learn the value of working in teams and gain strong self-confidence. They will become “Rosie’s Girls.”

Rosie’s Girls gets its name from the fictional character Rosie the Riveter who symbolized the emerging strength and power of women who went to work in the defense plants while men were fighting World War II. Rosie has inspired generations of women to take the path less traveled and to do it with courage and conviction.

YWCA Greater Cincinnati and the National Association of Women in Construction have provided this summer camp experience to 156 girls since 2008. I am looking forward to meeting our new campers and witnessing the transformation of the fortunate girls who get to experience what summer fun is all about.