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people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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when feminism meets parenthood
children of dune - leto 1
I am an enlightened woman of the twenty-first century. I support women's rights, women's issues, I wander about in a veritable sea of female-oriented hobbies and career paths. I am woman; I sympathize with my sex.

However, rage blackouts do occur when one is searching for engineering camps for summer and discovering they are all for girls.

This is where Parent of Male Child meets Woman Who Understands. I am glad that girls are being encouraged at an early age to pursue more traditionally male-oriented fields. I am thrilled that more and more of my sex are going on to achieve in the hard sciences.

*narrowed eyes* I want Child to go to engineering and robotics camp, and he refuses to temporarily go by the name of Mary.

Pardon me while I go sulk in a deeply entitled way. I am a terrible feminist today. Though I can't tell if I resent more the lack of camps or the fact Child will not temporarily take on an alternate sexual identity.

/end tantrum

This was brought to you by googling. MIT/UT has one, but it's a.) hideously expensive and b.) not really engineering oriented.

*throws up hands*

And see, that is why I don't call myself feminist, even though I goddamn am. I refuse to be associated with a label that is exclusionary and frankly? There are very few feminists (most of them on LJ, not at all surprisingly) who aren't exclusionary.

What locale are you near, if you don't mind letting me know? I love searching for things like that and there's just got to be something.

Yeesh. I had to broaden the search to 'science' because yeah, everything engineering was girl-only.

Nice, but I'm not really calling that a win. Grr.

Emailed; I'll keep hunting, I've got a few more places I need to log in and try.

I looked on the Chronicle web page, and found this:

A couple of years old, but...from a Jane Grieg column:"List possible camps. Ask parents about camps, attend a camp fair or contact the National Camp Association, (800) 966-CAMP or www.summercamp.org, which offers a free camp advisory service, or the American Camping Association at (800) 428-CAMP or www.acacamps.org."

Oh! Oh! You may have seen this, but it may be the resource you need:

Thank you! Reading it now.

(Deleted comment)
Unfortuantely, Arlington has the same problem being a day camp, but I'm reading to see what it's about.

I feel your deeply entitled pain.

Googling led me to a couple of places people have already linked, as well as here: http://www.watonka.com/cgi-local/wpage?sci

and here: http://engineeringcamp.vmi.edu/

Good luck - may Child have the engineering and robotics filled summer of his dreams (and may the CIA not knock on your door if he follows the example of one R. McKay).

Or at least may they have good medical plan.

If you're into that, Space Camp has an engineering subsection.

Based on all these answers, the problem may not be exclusionist feminists, it may just be poor advertising on the part of everyone else. It's harder to blame women for that.

Edited at 2007-12-18 06:54 pm (UTC)

*g* I don't. I'm having a Moment during googling frustration.

Space Camp is possible, but so far I can't find one in my state that is also overnight. Still googling though.

I'm sorry that your son will not temporarily take on a different sexual identity. *g*

We had a similar/different problem last year - our youngest loves to cook. There are not very many camps for cooking with boys. We teased he might have to go as a girl. He was fine with this. Mind you, this is the same child who whips off his shirt and sings, "I'm a Lady Marmalade" as well as tried to pole dance with his ninja scarf this Halloween (he also recently tried on a velvet coat and asked if it made his butt look big). He's 8. He settled for French Camp (which is local for us) and took the electives of every cooking course they offered.

Good luck in finding a camp for him. If all else fails, you could try convincing him "Mary" is actually a very masculine name and/or hint at all the chicks he'll be around.

(Deleted comment)
See, those camps would be most useful if they were coed with constant reminders to the staff to work with the quieter children (of either gender, really.)

Because unless there's some kind of sci-fi overthrow of the male gender, girls who want to go into scientific fields will be working with men. They need to learn to argue with men, and that if a man interrupts them it's fair game to interrupt back.

Yep. And men need to know women are going to be there so get used to it. On one hand, I understand the female-safe space. But if they're going to have a camp just for girls, another one that also allows boys to match it wouldn't hurt.

From my way-biased POV:

Have you looked into general summer enrichment programs which offer options including either a main course in engineering, or at least two out of four or five engineering-related courses?

/gifted camp geek

*thoughtful* Tell me more.

I cannot recommend CTY enough. He would have to do some testing, but from the sound of it he'll have absolutely no problem with it. I'm unsure of their programs for younger folk, but in grade 7 I took the SAT and got in for a few years. It's the best thing that ever happened to my education. The courses are available at many locations across the country - again, I'm not sure of the younger grades, but my summer programs were a three-week session and we were housed in college dorms. The classes were on campus, and there were all kinds of activities, and it was really unspeakably good for me. Definitely geared towards using everything the kids have, and there's a lot of individual attention and a whole lot of bonding. I wonder if they still do the American Pie dance...

I think all gifted camp dances end with American Pie. It's, like, a rule.

</gifted camp alum>

Is this a bad time to point out that cloning is technically a form of bioengineering? :D

I'm going to medical school if I can get in but plan B for graduate school is biomedical engineering. (I find biophysics extremely interesting too, just not something I'd want to work in.)

Edited at 2007-12-18 08:27 pm (UTC)

...I seriously do not sleep well remembering how much he watches Discovery Channel.

Had a thought! Maybe if you got in touch with one of the engineering summer camps in your area that is just for girls and asked them whether they knew of one that was for boys (or coed - but maybe they wouldn't want to direct you to a coed one, tho, since that might end with opting away from all-girls-camps). Anyway, people who run such a topic-oriented camp might be knowledgeable about other options in their field. Hope you succeed! Love, mxm

True. There's probably at least some kind of listing somewhere. Hmm.


You know, feminism stops being a good thing at the point where it leaves all thoughts of equality behind. Why can't the camps be for boys and girls together?

There really ought to be some co-ed camps. I'm all for having some gendered ones too, given all the studies that indicate how differently girls behave when there are boys in the class, but it just seems nuts not to have any that accept both boys and girls. Grrrr.

Our school of engineering has no female teachers and maybe a handful of female students, so to anyone who is trying to rectify the extreme gender imbalance in this field my hat goes off to them. Not that removing my hat is much help to either yourself or your son. In fact I will quickly put it back on to stop the dirty looks. :)

It may be as one poster suggested above that it's just a case that google is only throwing up the ones that aggressively advertise themselves on the net - it might pay to check with either a schools guidance councillor/tertiary institution, or again as someone suggested, ring one of the No Smelly Boys Allowed Camps and see if they can direct you to somewhere.

Otherwise there's always costly and painful surgery.

*snickers* I love the idea of lots of girl-based science camps; ther'es no better way to encourage it. I just want a *bit* more in coed, you know?

I'm checking with teh school to see if they have any kind of list.

*hugs tight* That sucks. :( It doesn't, of course, make you a bad feminist to want this for your kidlet. It's great that girls are being encouraged and that places are being made to help them reach their potential, but it sucks mightily if the same isn't being done for boys.

I'll ask around amongst my near and dear and see if any of them know of a good engineering/robotics summer camp for boys. Have you checked with the school and/or your son's teachers?

*hugs you* Thanks.

I'm calling tomorrow to ask the school; there might be some kind of listing since it's a science focused school.