Camp Ocean Pines Camper Spotlight: NINA!

Another week, another spotlight! I am so delighted how many responses I received from the first Camper Spotlight (if you haven’t read it... check it out here). Camp Ocean Pines campers are doing truly incredible things in their communities and in their lives. It is amazing to see how they are contributing to the world and making it a better place.

This spotlight is all about Nina! She has been a summer camper at Camp Ocean Pines since 2016 and this past summer received her 3rd-year banner! I asked Zona, Curie cabin counselor, to describe Nina and she shared “ Something that really stuck out to me [about Nina] was how caring and kind she was. She constantly put everyone else and their needs above her own and it was beautiful to see in someone her age.” Nine was a friend to all at Camp Ocean Pines and everyone at camp appreciates her generosity and kindness.

During the school year, Nina competes on her school’s robotics team and helps teach code in her community during her free time. Below is an interview with Nina about her time on her school's robotics team and teaching code on the weekends.

1. Tell me about your robotics team. When did you start? Was there an inspiration?

I am a part of a robotics team called the Marlbots 3526, and we participate in a tournament called the FIRST Tech Challenge, held by a group called FIRST Robotics. I started last year in 7th grade and I was inspired by my friends Julianne who was already on one of the teams, there are four at my school. Each year our team participates in a tournament, and the game changes each year. We build and code robots from scratch. We reach out to companies for sponsorship, and work with groups to help spread the word about robotics, and teach people how to code.

2. Personally, I have never competed on a robotics team. Can you describe what a match looks like?

A typical match consists of a game and around 5 matches per team. This year's game is called Rover Ruckus, and the main goal of the game is to score small gold and silver “minerals” into a raised box. Though we are usually running pretty behind, everyone is busy and there is little to no spare waiting time. Whether we are getting our robots inspected for safety, repairing the robot or test driving, taking with other teams, or actually competing, we are always working together as a team and learning new things.

3. Do you have any big goals you want to attain in robotics?

I want at the end of it all be an active member of the community, and to hopefully have a good understanding of both coding and engineering. I would like to be able to continue being a part in the community, even after I am too old to be on a team. I would also like to continue working with the volunteer groups that the team works with. Ideally, I would have a good enough understanding of engineering and code, in order to use it in a possible future job or college class.

4. Tell me more about your volunteer service on the weekends. What do you teach? How often? What do you enjoy about it? Is there anything challenging?

The Marlbots work together with an organization called CoachArt, who provide PE and Arts classes kids who have chronic illnesses. The Marlbots teaches a coding club on Saturdays, which occurs over about four weeks. I enjoy working with and teaching the kids, though it can be challenging explaining the language of code, especially when I myself have trouble understanding it all/putting it to use. Outside for robotics, on as many weekends, or days I have off, as possible, I like to work at the barn. I help with corse, setting up for lessons, and when there is camp, I am a counselor at the camp.

5. Anything else you want to share with the Camp Ocean Pines community?

If you enjoy something, even if you feel it takes up to much of your time, or you love too many different things to just do one, do them anyway. I spend almost every day doing robotics, as many days off as possible going to the barn, and any time in between dancing. It is often hard, especially when it comes to getting my homework done, but I do it all because I love all of it, and it gives me a chance to take a break and not think about any problems I have.

 I want to thank Nina for taking the time to answer my questions. I was so inspired by her answers and passion for helping and teaching her community. Here at Camp Ocean Pines, we all want to wish her the best of luck in her robotic-ing over the next year. Hopefully, she can teach us some code here at camp!


Remember, if you have a camper doing awesome, incredible, mind-blowing things…tell me! I would love to feature them on our camp blog! Send me an email at erinm@campoceanpines.org .