CLICK HERE to learn more about Camp Magic (Registration for 2020 opens in January)
Camp Magic is happening this week at Augusta Tech’s campus in Burke County.
Magic stands for “Mentoring a Girl in Construction.” The goal of the camp is to introduce high school girls to the different career opportunities in the construction industry.
Renee Conner founded Magic Camp 13 years ago and is still the National Executive Director. She explains how they are able to offer the camp for free to young women.
“We work off of sponsor donations,” Conner says. “Georgia Power picked it up down here 10 years ago and they are our biggest supporter out here, along with the Augusta Building Trades, Williams LLC and Richmond County Constructors.”
Many of the girls at Camp Magic 2019 have come in previous years. Eliana Gomez is a first time camper who is interested in a job in automotive or construction.
“There’s not too many women on the job of construction or automotive,” Gomez says. “There’s 7% women in both so I want to help increase that population of women.”
Gomez says her drive is fueled by encouragement from her family.
“I think it comes from my family pushing me to like be able to say that I can do anything I can as long as I put my mind to it,” Gomez explains.
On Monday, they went over safety protocol. Tuesday they focused on carpentry and built bird houses. Wednesday centered around electricity and the girls took home a handmade lamps. Thursday (the crowd favorite) the girls get to drive heavy machinery and weld. Friday they worked on engineering projects before an end-of-the week ceremony.
Girls do not typically consider these kinds of jobs, but these ladies are. When asked why, they responded with the following:
Destiney Scott said, “because of Magic Camp.” Her experience at the week-long camp inspired her to consider a job in construction.
Toniya Wesby is a sophomore and has already made up her mind. Now she encourages other girls to consider the construction industry. “I’m trying to to make a change for all the girls everywhere. We’re in a man dominated world, but we’re taking over so we’ve got this in the bag,” Wesby says with a smirk.
Amanda Lewis is a senior and has come to Magic Camp each summer since she was a freshman. “It’s just been a good opportunity to give you the perspective of, not every job in construction is a mans job. It gives you a better perspective of things you can do besides just being a nurse or a doctor or do a ‘woman’s job,’ Lewis says with air quotes around her final two words.
Deveyonna Green says Camp Magic inspired her to change her mind about what she wants to be when she grows up. “I wanted to be an OBGYN, but I think I want to go into heavy equipment now,” Green says.
Camp Magic 2020 is the same week at the same place– the week after the 4th of July at the Augusta Tech location in Burke County. Registration opens in January.