burns-fulkerson_galenDear Contributor,

Thank you so much for your contributions to the National Youth Science Camp! My name is Galen Burns-Fulkerson and I was a delegate from North Carolina this summer. Before attending camp, I didn’t know very much about NYSC. Now, after spending three and a half weeks with motivated, interesting, amazing people from around the country and world, it is hard to imagine my life without NYSC.
The past three and a half weeks were incredible for multiple reasons. I got to listen to world-class lecturers in a relaxed setting and in many cases, was able to chat with well-established scientists over breakfast. I had the opportunity to do some awesome hikes and ended up logging over 40 backpacking miles over our three overnight trips. I also got to go rock-climbing, caving, and mountain biking, among other exciting outdoor activities. Most importantly, I was able to create friendships with smart, motivated, relatable peers from many different places and situations.

The amount of planning and organization that went into NYSC was impressive. Our days were filled with activities and although every once in a while I found myself wishing for an extra hour of sleep, I came to value the packed schedule because it meant there was never a shortage of things to do. Despite the careful planning that went into ensuring an efficient and fun schedule, delegates were encouraged to live in the moment and not worry about upcoming events. The staph members (spelled this way because of their infectious enthusiasm) whisked us from one activity to the next, and almost always thwarted our attempts to figure out what was in store.

I definitely appreciated the importance that NYSC placed on living in the moment. Although I have many fond memories of all the carefully planned activities, it was often the spur of the moment things that happened in between that were the most memorable. Forming an ultimate Frisbee team to compete in the tournament at the last second resulted in my team’s early defeat by the best team, but it also provided a lot of laughs. Joining the camp choir for a few days was a great opportunity to try something new, despite my lack of singing ability. I relished the rare free hour that I did have, as it allowed me to relax and talk with my fellow delegates. Conversation topics ranged from the best way to serve a ping-pong ball to the merits of religion, and everything in between.

Thank you again for your generous support of NYSC, and I encourage you to continue to contribute to this awesome program. I will never forget my summer at NYSC, and I hope that many other students will have the opportunity to have an equally thrilling experience.


Galen Burns-Fulkerson, NC 2011