Hello readers! I am back today after a bit of a hiatus, which I will be writing about in a new segment on my blog called Life of Lynn! For the next five weeks, I’m going to be writing a post on my summer adventures, where I traveled to four different states and attended five camps! This week, I am here to tell you all about STEP, so hopefully you can get some insight about a new topic and even get some tips that you can apply to any summer camp! Let’s get on with the show!
STEP stands for Summer Textile Exploration Program and it is hosted by the North Carolina State University Textile College! I was a residential student at STEP from June 26-July 1, and I have to tell you, I loved every minute! For this post, I’m going to go through what we did each day until Tuesday, then release a second half of this post with Wednesday-Friday’s escapades!
On Sunday, we arrived over at Wood Residence Hall and were greeted by the two directors of the Program, Allie and Tim! Allie was who I had been conversing with over email during the weeks leading up to the program, and she actually recognized me and greeted me by name! It made me feel immediately welcome at home in this big State campus. Then, we walked up the (several flights) of stairs to my room to unpack and get acclimated before the program officially began. The rooms housed two people and included a bed, desk, closet, and microwave and fridge. After getting my bed set up and clothes unpacked, my family wished me well for the week and left. Sitting on my bed in my dorm room for the week was so exciting, I could only imagine all the amazing memories I was going to make throughout the week. My roommate Sophia arrived a little while after me, and we hit it off as soon as we made eye contact! (BTW, Sophia if you are reading this HI!!! and I love you, you were amazing :D).
Then, some of the other girls came around and started introducing themselves, and we all formed a big group really fast. By the time we headed down to meet the rest of the group, we were already playing our own icebreakers! For that night, we played a few board games (I’m not good at Catchphrase BTW) and went to Walmart for people to pick up anything they may have forgotten from home. Then it was back to the dorms where we played Uno and went to bed soon after. Admittedly, there wasn’t much sleeping, I was much to ecstatic to be at State!
I got up bright and early the next morning at 7:00 AM to shower and get ready for the day ahead of me. We took our first ride over to the College of Textiles where we met some other really great people in the COT and got a tour of the facilities. Guys–these machines and equipment they had were world class and amazing! They had a knitting machine that you could make an entire dress with no seams! What? Yes, this is real. I took so many pictures of all the beautiful clothes and creations that were presented to us, it was amazing to see the creativity of the State students! After that, we had a presentation on diversity in college and played a game called “Step To The Line.” If you’ve ever seen the move Freedom Writers, it is demonstrated in there. Basically, the head of the game calls out different aspects of your life and your past, and if it applies to you, you step to the line. Then everyone claps in appreciation of that part of your identity. We talked about things like heritage, religion, upbringing, and it was really interesting to learn a deeper level of my fellow campers.
Next, we had lunch with our project group leaders. At this camp, there are four project groups to represent a few of the majors of the College of Textiles: Apparel Design, Textile Design, Engineering, and Chemistry. We each completed a different project and presented it at the end of the week. I was in Textile Design, and we were told we would be making a woven jacquard fabric that could be made into a pillow, tapestry, or tote bag. We got a tour of the area of COT that we would be using, and also got lots of information about weave structures, color selection, and illustration programs. Then, we dove headfirst into sketching and brainstorming! Four hours flew by so quickly!
That night, we visited Southpoint, which is a shopping center near Raleigh. We were allowed to go and have dinner anywhere we wanted in the mall, so a group of us went to Maggiano’s, an Italian place. It was AMAZING! The food was so good, our waitress was above and beyond accommodating, and some great memories were made (what happens at Maggiano’s stays at Maggiano’s ;D). After, we traveled to Goodwill where I actually was able to find a dress, sweater, and button up shirt for about $12 in total–I love thrifting! After arriving home and a round of Uno, it was time to hit the hay. Let’s just say I slept a little bit more soundly this night because of the big day!
On Tuesday, we were able to screen print our own College of Textiles t-shirts! The process was super interesting! Basically, you lay down a shirt between a screen thats on a lever. Under the screen is a layer of screen printing ink. Then, you take a squeegee looking spreader and spread the ink over your shirt. Finally, you lift it up an viola! You have a shirt. Then you send it through a heating machine twice to dry the ink! I love my shirt so much, especially the fact that I was able to have a hand in creating it!
Next, we had a session on college success with two admissions counselors from NC State University. I took a lot of good notes in this session! If you have the opportunity to go to any sessions about admissions or tour colleges (especially you juniors and seniors), please go! They answered questions about class selection, extracurricular activities, GPAs, ACTs, SATs, essays, and more. It was eye opening, informative, and extremely exciting! After that there was a student panel with a few students from the College of Textiles. Let’s just say, it made me so ecstatic for college! Then we went to lunch at the Clark Dining Hall and walked over to the library where I had some amazing ice cream!
At our project groups this day, we started really focusing on our designs. After several iterations, sketches, and some critiques, I was able to start fully forming my idea! Also, I want to give a shout out to Port City Java downstairs for making the best apricot tea ever! I got it ever single day of camp and I miss it!
And that’s it for this weeks Life Of Lynn! I am going to be putting up a part two to this post in the coming days since this post is almost 1200 words at this point! After that, this will be a weekly column on my blog. I hope you guys enjoyed; thank you for reading!