As the second overnighter of the 2018 National Youth Science Camp approached, the anxious feelings associated with the first overnighter had decreased and excitement about the next overnighter lottery filled the camp.

Delegates once again had the opportunity to climb, hike, cave, and bike. However, bout 40 delegates had the option of kayaking where they could learn basic tricks taught by the local instructors. Also, eleven delegates had the opportunity to spend the night at the Greenbank Observatory. During the trip, they used the 40-foot telescope to track hydrogen in the galaxy and presented the data the next morning. There was also an option to visit the Cranberry Glades, the southernmost northern-type bog complex in the US. The delegates got special permission to visit this bog that is closed to the public and only accessible through a long bushwhack through a dense alder swamp. The delegates were taught a variety of ecological sampling techniques by Dr. Elijah Goodwin.

Francesca Garafulic Justiniano, who went climbing, has asthma. She’s used to taking it easy during physical activity. But during assisted rock climbing, she got to pause and breathe. Justiniano was encouraged by the cheers of other delegates and realized she was capable of more than she thought. Now she wants to find out if there are climbing centers back home.

The overnighters challenge the delegates, both mentally and physically. For most of the delegates, this is the only opportunity to hike, sleep, cook outdoors, and push themselves in outdoor activities.

A more extended photo gallery can be found here.