bidne_katieDear Contributor,

Words cannot express how grateful I am for your support of the 2011 National Youth Science Camp. It was the most amazing experience of my life, which is saying quite a bit, as I have many moments that stand out, though none quite as much as this. If you are not an alum, you probably can’t fully grasp what NYSC is to all of the campers and staph. I know that my friends and family back home don’t quite get it. It is something you have to experience, but I will attempt to explain it in words the best that I can. All of the people at camp are smart. That is a given. But to be in an environment with so many other very intelligent people in a non-competitive environment is huge. Many of us only encountered other people of similar intelligence in competition, whether it was obvious, like a science fair or Science Olympiad, or even just the competition at school for who got the best grades or the highest GPA or the best ACT score. It was always a competition. But at NYSC, it isn’t. The Foundation has done an AMAZING job creating a program that not only fosters intellectual growth but enables us to build relationships with our fellow delegates and staph. Relationships that I hope last well into the future. So you see, your contributions don’t just let us come to camp to learn about all of the exciting things in the various science fields. They allow us to not only exercise our full intelligence (and vocabulary) but to also be exactly as we are in an environment of people who will understand and not judge us for it. I know that I never, EVER would have felt comfortable going in front of everyone and dancing to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan at my high school. It would not have happened. But at camp, it was not only okay, but everyone loved it. They were unbelievably supportive, which is why I knew that I could do it. That is yet another facet of camp. The people there support you in all of your endeavors, and even if you kind of suck, they don’t care. Unless of course you hit them in the face with a Frisbee. Then they might care a little. But they won’t condemn you for it. They will accept you for it, and just watch a little closer to the disks in the circle next time. This is what you are supporting. I know that my words can only touch the surface as to what camp is, but maybe you will understand a little better now why I say that this was the best experience of my life. I hope that you continue to support this program and all that it entails. Thank you.


Katie Bidne, NE 2011